From the Ashes of Failure

Ashes of Failure

Almost everyone who succeeds, fails the first time. In fact they usually fail many times before they get it right. Failure, it seems, is a key ingredient in the success of any business, project or person.

What can we learn from this? Well, if anything it’s that failure is just a stepping stone to success. And there are few better examples of this than Abraham Lincoln. The man failed at almost every point in his life, right up until he became the U.S. President, and the most powerful man in the world at that time. See for yourself.

One of my heroes, Guy Kawasaki summed it up nicely when he said “if you succeeded at everything you did, what would you have learned along the way”?

This truth became clear to me when I tried to build my first pc. I naively went out and bought a processor and a motherboard, stupidly thinking they would just ‘work’ together. Of course they didn’t. I then bought a system fan and a few other bits and pieces like memory and a graphics card. There was problems with all of those too. But despite the challenges, I over came them and I learned a ton about computer hardware in doing so. And to be honest, I’m not so sure I would have learned as much if everything had worked together first time. The end result was a killer system that I knew inside out.

The bottom line is, don’t worry about failing, just make sure that when it happens you get up and try again. You’ll eventually get it. Remember, you’re always stronger and wiser the second time around.

Even Michael Jordan knows that failure is just a part of success: [Thanks Dave].


5 Comments added. Add comment?

  1. Dave Concannon says:

    Nice post.

    A quote I’ve always liked is:
    “An expert is someone who has made all the mistakes which can be made in a very narrow field”.

    That said, mistakes are only useful if you learn from them. The definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

    Apr 17, 2009
  2. Derek Organ says:

    Nice post and very true

    Apr 17, 2009
  3. Iarfhlaith says:

    @daveconcannon I’ve always like that one too. I think it was Einstein that said it.

    @derek Thanks man.

    Here’s another one I’ve always liked: There’s a scene in one of the Rocky movies, I think it was the last one where Rocky’s giving some advice about boxing. He says “It aint about how hard you can hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep on going.” – I think this is another great way of looking at failure and learning from it.

    Apr 17, 2009
  4. Gordon says:

    Thomas Edison has a few quotes along these lines, the most popular any my favourite is:

    “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. “

    Apr 17, 2009
  5. Iarfhlaith says:

    Hey Gordon, yeah I think that might have been the one I was thinking of. Getting confused between Edison and Einstein!

    Apr 17, 2009

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