Thomas Edison said “I haven’t  failed…I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Albert Einstein said, “Failure is success in progress.”

C.S. Lewis said, “Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success.”

Bill Gates said, “It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”

I’m not here to quote-a-thon at you. My point is also not to go about that generic approach of saying ‘LOOK successful people fail too!!” Duh, everyone has failed we get it. What is intriguing to me about these quotes is how these innovators and geniuses view failure.

Now, I don’t know this for a fact, but it seems like they don’t view failure as:

  • A reflection of their self-worth,
  • A reason to give up,
  • A reason to self-deprecate or self-destruct,
  • A negative.

It seems far more likely that they view failure as an opportunity for success. We completely squash the possibility of seeing this when we beat ourselves up over failing. Success might be just past the next failure, but when we feel the need to punish ourselves it might as well be nonexistent.

The more you focus on the negative aspect of failures, the more that will perpetuate because that is what you are asking your brain to concentrate on. This is what I mean by expand. I’m not talking about “The Secret” type of focus, this is just common sense. If you always turn your focus to the negative, your brain will accept that negative is the neutral place. That becomes the zero from which you operate, and therefore you’ll more likely perpetuate failure.

However, if you see failure as a catalyst for success, not an opposing force, then you’ll more likely perpetuate success. By focusing on the positive aspects that failure brings to you, you will naturally program the computer that is your brain to operate from a place of success. So, you will already have succeeded before you even achieve your goal.

If you’ve been reading along then you know I have already broken some of my rules. It’s not a failure though, it’s just a lesson for me. And, possibly, a reminder of how being overly ambitious means that you have to be even more disciplined, focused, and productive.