Learning from failure

Is it me, but every blog post or book I read is premised on the same formulaic approach: If you emulate me and my success criteria, you too can be successful.

However, no one seems quite so enthusiastic to talk about failure!

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against people sharing their principles, but it never properly reveals their travails, injustices or mistakes that provide the (true) building blocks of success.

I have, for a long time, been an advocate of the school of thought that says he who makes the most mistakes wins. I’m not advocating that you set out to fail, but, rather, to accept that failure has to come at some stage; and in falling forward we learn more about who we really are.

This isn’t time either for me to trot out the famous Edison quote about failure. Instead, it’s time for all of us to open our eyes to the possibility that comes with trying and trying again. Perhaps it’s a sign of the times where everyone expects things to happen with minimal effort, but, for those who are passionate about their art, it’s absolutely fine to come to the table with no expectation of immediate success.

When I look back on my own career, I recognise how much of my time I have wasted pursuing the wrong thing. Does that mean I should give in to the (safe as houses) status quo?

Come on?

As long as I have a breath in my body, I’m not going to fall into a narrow purview of expectation.

Life is too precious.

Neither is it about proving yourself or beating back your demons. It’s about allowing the real you to come alive.

I think it unlikely that the success landscape will change any time soon. That being so my advice is to follow your heart no matter the consequence. Even if you belly flop at least you can look yourself in the mirror and say you gave it a go.

One final point. Everyone thinks that freedom is doing what they like when they like. It’s not. Freedom is when you find your life’s purpose, and you follow that with guts, passion and persistence. In my case, I thought it was law but I know that my passion is to help others by connecting the dots and awakening the real you to a life of engagement, purpose and meaning.

PS. Next time you pick up a book look for the chapter that says “I screwed up.” It’s likely to be much more instructional than the chapter on success.

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