The road leading to destiny is often paved with failure. If you’ve never failed in life, then you’ve been sitting on the sidelines—a spectator and not a participant. There is a difference between failing and being a failure.
Should you study the lives of the world’s greatest leaders you will find that there were setbacks along the way. You only become a failure when you drop out of the race. Winners get back up again.
Failure should be viewed as a stepping stone rather than a stumbling block. We actually learn more from our failures than we do from our successes. Bill Gates once said, “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” Although failure doesn’t feel good, it can be a good teacher because it reveals our weaknesses and helps us assess our strengths.
Regardless of ones age and stage in life, failure will eventually come knocking. It often catches us unaware. Just when we think we are on the brink of stepping onto the stage called success, it can rear its head. Our first notion is to question the turn of events. If we can make sense of it, we can better deal with it—we have a point of reference. There’s nothing wrong with questioning why. However, our questions should be for the purpose of learning from the experience, rather than brooding in frustration because our life has suffered a blow.
In order to be overcome failure, we have to first accept what responsibility lie within ourselves. Although some set backs can result from circumstances beyond our control, we should take an inventory of ourselves. Making excuses can serve as mental crutches that prevent us from becoming all that we were created to be. We can’t blame other people for our failures.
We must be also open to change and correction. We should be receptive to new ideas and creativity. If we continue to do the same thing and get the same results, it should be an indication that it’s time to change. We need to recognize when our season in a certain situation has expired.
Mike Milken refused to allow his failure to become a stumbling block. In 1969, Milken began a legendary career on Wall Street as a financial innovator. He was fluent in the capital and securities market. After his mother-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1972, he began his quest to obtain medical solutions for all serious diseases. In 1982 he co-founded the Milken Family Foundation, which provides assistance to families of children with cancer, worldwide research on pediatric neurology, nutrition, brain and breast cancers and leukemia. He also founded the Prostate Cancer Foundation, which is the world’s largest philanthropic source of funds to prostate cancer research.
In 1989, in the midst of his philanthropic strides, Milken was charged with 5 counts of securities/reporting violations—conduct which he admitted to having occurred briefly during his 20 years on Wall Street. He was assessed a $200 million fine and served 22 months in prison. After paying his debt to society, he immediately resumed his philanthropic passion. He never responded to his critics or wrote a book detailing his account of the events. He maintained his focus and accelerated his efforts to his cause.
Milken viewed his mistake simply as a bump in the road on his quest to revolutionize medical research for the treatment, and cure, of cancer and other serious diseases. He never lost sight of his goal. His legacy will not be defined by a mistake he made on the road toward his destiny, but rather by his tireless efforts at seeking a cure for serious diseases for mankind. Milken served his time in prison and resumed a productive life—he bounced back.
How we view failure will determine how we respond in the face of failure. If we view our failures as opportunities, they won’t paralyze and prevent us from moving forward. Even if we have to pause and take some time to assess the damage, we can continue our walk equipped with the knowledge we gained from our failures. We can apply this knowledge to our future experiences and be able to help others on their journey. If, on the other hand, we define ourselves by our failures, we impede our progress and become unproductive.
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******* As an entrepreneur, author, speaker and coach, my mission is to provide expert solutions to people all across the nation and internationally. I collaborate with individuals and entrepreneurs to confront their challenges and achieve transformative results. To receive a complimentary download of, "Ten Fundamental Truths You Must Believe to Manifest Your Dream!" visit http://www.rebecca-mcclain.com