This month we’re looking at a word that no one really likes. Failure.
“Failure brings a climax in which one has the privilege of clearing his mind of fear and making a new start in another direction.”Napoleon Hill
It is high time we reassign the word failure with a new definition.
When you think of failure today, what do you feel?
When it is your failure does it feel differently than if it is another’s failure?
Most of us would agree that the opposite of failure is success. So when we experience failure, we get this sense of having moved in the opposite direction of success. Napoleon Hill (Author of Think and Grow Rich and Outwitting the Devil) would disagree. He spent a great many years of his life, in the early 1900s, studying the philosophies of successful people. He has concluded that if one were to “study the lives of all people who achieve outstanding success in any calling and observe, with profit, that [they would find] their success is usually in exact ratio to their experiences of defeat before succeeding.”
Stretch your imagination to consider failure as a tool rather than a defeat. Failure is the sharpening stone by which we become sharp, focused and poised in the direction of our aspirations. Failure communicates to us when it is time to adjust our plans. Failure reveals to us the necessity of abandoning thoughts or habits that are no longer serving our quest for success. Failure provides us with the opportunity to face and overcome fear, to strengthen our resolve and to fine tune our minds.
Next time you find yourself staring failure in the face, say “thank you.” “Thank you, failure, for helping me find my way toward my dreams.” “Thank you for redirecting me away from the path that does not serve my purpose and toward the path that does.” “Thank you for revealing to me the seed of an advantage that I may use to strengthen my cause.” “Thank you for providing me with the clarity of what will and will not work.”
So, how do you feel about failure now?