Tag Archives: Failure

Inspiration: Embracing The F Word…

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all.” J.K. Rowling

Inspiration: Embracing The F Word...

What is our attitude towards failure? Have we recently failed at something and are still kicking ourself? Do we look around and wonder where we went wrong because everyone else is doing great? Do we avoid trying new things because we are afraid to fail? Regardless of how we answer the questions, the fact is that we have all failed or will fail at something and our attitude will be critical to the final outcome. If we fixate on what went wrong instead of resolving to correct our mistakes, we limit our chance at recovery.  Some people view failure as a stepping stone and others see it as a stumbling block. Even if we have different definitions of what failure means, the one defining factor is whether we have that stick to it drive or not – that we don’t give up so readily. Frankly, to borrow a line from J.K. Rowling’s TED speech, “Rock bottom can become the solid foundation on which we rebuild our lives.”

“I’ve come to believe that all my past failure and frustration were actually laying the foundation for the understandings that have created the new level of living I now enjoy.” Anthony Robbins

Inspiration: Embracing The F Word...

TED.com: JK Rowling: The fringe benefits of failure

In the article, 50 Famously Successful People Who Failed At First, we meet some of the most beloved and accomplished people in the world and they all failed at first. From Einstein to Edison, Gates to Disney, Spielberg to King, Rowling to Winfrey and more, the list tells us something – failure is a bump in the road to success. The difference between those who achieve success and those of us who don’t is that achievers find the courage to jump into the fire, get burned and do it again anyway because, as J.K. Rowling points out in the TED video above, there are fringe benefits of failure. Of course, the hardest part is taking that first leap and that is where most of us get stuck…

“Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.” John Wooden

Inspiration: Embracing The F Word...

TEDxManitobaAisha Alfa: Holding Hands with Failure on the Road to Creativity

Today, Oprah’s Newsletter on Thought For The Day shared an article, The F Word: How Failure Can Lead to Success, on how four women found their footing and success after a major failure. The author, Lise Funderberg, first shares her recent failure to win a fellowship and how it led her to speak with four other women about the subject; to consider, as she put it, “what each of them has recognized as the paradox that success requires a willingness to risk failure.” Her interviewees were: Terry Gross, host and an executive producer of Fresh Air, an award-winning show on National Public Radio. Terry got fired from her first teaching job, a challenging gig in a tough school district. She saw her failure as an opportunity to rethink her career plans and found her path to success in radio. As Terry said in the article, “Sometimes when you fail, it’s for a good reason. You’re doing the wrong thing. And sometimes, as in my case, the failure is doing you a favor.”

Lisa Rau, wife, mother of two, and an elected judge in Philadelphia shared her story of losing her first run for elected office and how hurt she felt. She cried over it, but learned many lessons including the importance of speaking about failure, being brave to try again and asking for help. I liked this line from Lisa: “We also don’t talk about failure enough, and that’s part of why everyone is so scared by it. One of the things that’s great about failure is, it’s never as bad as you think it’s going to be.” More below!

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On Success Part III: The Gift of Failure…

“Success is going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm.” Winston Churchill
“I’ve come to believe that all my past failures and frustrations were actually laying the foundation for the understandings that have created the new level of living I now enjoy.” Anthony Robbins

On Success: Failure, Extinction... all part of the journey?

More often than not, the stories we read about successful people rarely underscore their many moments of failure that led them to where they stand today – at the top of their game. We read about the fancy cars, the big mansions, the usual glitter and glamor, while the ugly stuff, you know; hard work, tough decisions, smart opportunities, stolen ideas, back stabbings and petty hatreds are swept under the proverbial table.

Pity really, it is digging deep into this failure stuff that shows the métier of the successful individual. The “unseemly” daily grind, the broken promises, the missed chances and plain out “Not Interested” meetings with potential investors or naysayers are glossed over once good old Joe hits pay dirt. These stories are not always shared even though they are helpful lessons for us to learn. Why?

Perhaps the failure stories are not as exciting to those who wish to sell us the Brooklyn Bridge? Or perhaps, once we discover the remarkable effort and stories of failure shared by people like Creative Commons CEO, Joichi Ito, we will recognize that a lot of the hype on success is suspect.

Read Joichi Ito’s story and about other entrepreneurs who share their stories on the BBC News feature on entrepreneurs and then go review your philosophy on success… Quite frankly, success is about working smart not just hard. Success is about recognizing that failure is a complementary factor on the road to success.
What do you think? Do Share!

Positive Motivation Tip: Don’t Quit! Success is about falling down, getting up and working smarter on the treadmill called life.

PHOTO CREDITS: Ivory Billed Woodpecker by John James Audubon via Wikipedia

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

Susan Boyle: Finding the Positive in Failing to Win♥

Susan Boyle: The Positive in Failing to Win.

“Experience life in all possible ways – whether it’s good-bad, bitter-sweet, dark-light, summer-winter. Experience all the dualities. Don’t be afraid of experience, because the more experience you have, the more mature you become. ♥” Osho

Susan’s Final Song at … Britain’s Got Talent 2009
*See Video Disclaimer Below

Failing to win isn’t always such a bad thing because it forces us to reflect on where we might have fallen short, how to strategize to do better next time, accept that our opponent had the trump card, and, in Susan Boyle’s case, to develop a resolve to move on to other accomplishments. While Susan recuperates from stress at a hospital in an undisclosed location, some might say she was gob-smacked. She will recover and get on with life. The question for the rest of us is: What is the lesson learned from all this hoopla?

“… joy and sorrow are inseparable . . . together they come and when one sits alone with you . . . remember that the other is asleep upon your bed. ♥” Kahlil Gibran

The Winner of this year’s Britain’s Got Talent TV show is …. Diversity
*See Video Disclaimer Below

In the seven weeks or more that Susan Boyle appeared on our collective radar, she became a symbol of hope for people who often wondered about achieving dreams that in many cases were never pursued. She is still a winner because she stayed the course and graciously applauded the winners – Street Dance Group – Diversity. Winning can be a great teacher yet, I still believe failure is the greater teacher for it humanizes us, teaches us to face our foibles and helps us keep our egos in check.

“Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form. ♥” Rumi

Do you remember the time you lost an opportunity, a competition or a desired outcome? I am sure we can all think back to things we held dear to our hearts that did not bear fruit. It is the very nature of life to experience our share of loss and gain. These events don’t define who we are or diminish our capacity to accomplish great things; we must commit to move on and pursue other dreams. When one door closes, another one opens.

“But to me nothing – the negative, the empty – is exceedingly powerful. ♥” Alan Watts

Susan's supportive fans, friends and family can make a huge difference.

Susan's supportive fans, friends and family can make a huge difference

There is much to be grateful for even when we do not win everything we want. It is up to each of us to go back and look at the bigger picture behind the loss and consider what it all means. For Susan,a winner no less, it could mean taking her life back from the glare of prying public eyes and cherishing more time with loved ones. It could also mean great growth in strengthening her character as she recognizes the power of treating praise and blame the same.

“With every experience, you alone are painting your own canvas, thought by thought, choice by choice. ♥” Oprah Winfrey

Diversity: Dazed but quickly thrilled to bits after a huge upset and win.

Diversity: Dazed but quickly thrilled to bits after a huge upset and win.

The very media that uplifted Susan started to castigate her in the final weeks of competition; this is life and its ironies… the love/hate relationship that public figures learn to live with daily. The highly entertaining Dance Group Diversity won and they will face admirers and detractors too. I wish them continued success, blessings and strong stomachs. As we all know, adulation today can become vilification tomorrow.

“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength: they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. ♥”
Isaiah 40:31

It is apropos, in this economic climate, important to keep the shifting winds in our status in the forefront of our minds; especially as friends and family lose jobs and other safety nets that were considered ubiquitous in the past. Failure to secure a new job right away or watching the home foreclosed does not augur a negative future but an opportunity to rebuild and reinvent yourself for the new positive direction your soul is being called to follow. There are always positive opportunities standing behind our failures – we just need to reach out and embrace them.

What are your thoughts on this subject? Do Share.

Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

Photo Credits:
BBC News online.

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank