If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate
Failure is a good thing!!! Bet they didn’t teach you that in school. Hopefully after reading this blog you will agree!
I Fail A LOT!!
In 2017, I set out on a mission to read 40 books as an attempt to improve on the 22 books I read in 2016. The goal in 2016 however, was to read 30 books and although I fell short, it didn’t stop me from setting an even higher goal the following year.
The category of book didn’t matter as long as I read it and could write a short description of the material for the Reading List I created for my website visitors a few months back.
I loved each book in its own way but clearly, some were better than others. Regardless of my own personal preference, I can confidently say I was able to retain at least one bit of information from each book.
During my quest, I found that some books came into my life at the exact right time. As I have mentioned before, one of my favorite books is “Radical Acceptance” by Tara Broch.
Because 2016 was a particularly rough time for me and Chante. In it, we suffered four family deaths (two of which were a week before and a week after our wedding), my dad was in and out of the hospital for months and given a 2% chance to live due to liver failure (don’t worry, he pulled through and is doing great today), and my mom was unexpectedly diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. On top of all of this, 2016 was the year my wife and I got married and bought our first home which can be super stressful in and of itself.
When I read Tara’s book it helped me learn how to deal with all this “stuff.” There were so many good ideas and each one seemed to hit me directly in the heart as it felt like she was speaking directly to me. I loved the book so much I even got a phrase from the book tattooed on my arm inner left arm.
It reads: “This too”
Which reminds me that no matter what happens out there in the world, I can ease my suffering by accepting it precisely as it is—without the desire to change or alter it in any way.
This non-resistance has the power to change our lives because when we see the “is-ness” of every moment without judgment, we guard our hearts against the pessimistic narratives that predominate most our lives.
Why You Should Set Your Goals High
Contrary to what I was told in school and while playing sports, failure is indeed an option. In fact, sometimes failure is the best option. We as humans tend to learn better from our failures than our victories.
At least, that’s my experience.
2016 was tough but I came out the other side a better man because it forced me to grow. Trying to read 40 books in a year was a challenge for me and even though I failed, it still helped me become the person I am today.
Everyone fails. No one is perfect and there are countless examples of people who are “successful” who have failed hundreds of times.
I don’t know about you, but I find it somewhat comforting to know that we are not alone in our struggles. It feels easier to give myself permission to fail because I can see that I’m not the only one and more importantly, I can see through others that failure is an essential part of the journey towards success…a cost of doing business if you will.
In America it’s unacceptable to fail but the fact is you can’t win in life unless you fail.
After a lot of reading and failing to reach my goals in both 2016 and 2017, I’m still not afraid of setting great plans for my future. What’s the worse that can happen, right?
If we look at failure closely, we can see that there isn’t always as much downside as we anticipate because at the end of the day, there’s always a lesson to be learned in every unsuccessful endeavor.
When we don’t succeed we can simply ask ourselves, “What is this failure trying to reveal about myself? What is it trying to teach me? What can I take or leave from this experience into future experiences?”
The answerers to these questions can be life altering and if we don’t fail, we will never see the true wisdom in falling down and getting back up.
The fact that we are here on this planet, and that we are aware of our existence, means we must go forward despite the possibility of failing. It means we must try and maximize the time we have in this life. Anything less would be menial and not worth the space and energy that was spared to create us.
So with that, what are you waiting for?
Why do you need permission to fail?
I encourage reconsidering your beliefs about failure and thinking seriously about what you want in life because there is always something worth failing for!
Thank you as always for reading. Tell us about a time where you failed – what did you learn from missing the mark? Is it possible for you to look back on your failure as a good thing? Let us know!