Failure is defined as: "a lack of success; the omission of expected or
required action." You could say failure is admitting defeat giving you
the feeling you are on a sinking ship. If you accepted failure you are in
fact giving up or as some would say, throwing in the towel.
Whereas, opportunity is defined as: "a set of circumstances that makes
it possible to do something." You could say that opportunity is like
hope; it gives you a feeling of a positive expectation or result.
So when you read "failure is an opportunity" how do the two
What if you changed your attitude
towards failure? What if you viewed
a failure as an opportunity to give you hope? Rather than admitting defeat
and giving up, you look at what you have learned and used that information
to move you forward with new knowledge. To fail at something, something
went wrong or you didn't do something. Identify that something, change
your attitude, and move forward. Doing this turns your failure into
an opportunity. You are able to identify an area where you can improve.
To quote Joseph Parker from his book, The 33 Golden Rules:
"Before tasting success, you are likely to face many setbacks and failures.
But the trick is to never let go of your enthusiasm, perseverance and
Attitude Determines Success
Your attitude can play an important role in all you do. Attitude is how
you feel; it is reflected in your behavior - the action you take when you
are faced with situations or circumstances. Many times when I was ready
to quit or to give up,
I would remember Thomas Edison's quote, "Many of life's failures are
people who did not realize how close they were to success when
they gave up." If you can change your attitude towards failure you may find
that what you may have considered a failure is actually an opportunity in disguise.
It is all how you view it. To find success
you must be able to
change your attitude and persist in moving towards your goal.
To ensure that you will never
- don't take a risk
by not taking a risk you will not see the possibilities; nor will you find
success. I am not talking about taking risks that would involve danger, I am
talking about risks that may involve pushing yourself.
- don't attempt anything new
so often we see this in people who hate their jobs; rather than try
a new position or learn a new skill to improve themselves they stay
stuck where they are.
- don't expand on your ideas
taking your ideas and expanding on them; many people place to much
weight on what other people may think, or they have a fear that it won't
work or that it will take too much work, so they do nothing
- don't set goals
and, there are times where people complain about their circumstances
but they take no action to get them out of it; laziness also plays a role
here in some cases.
- don't move out of your comfort zone
sadly, for some people they feel uncomfortable about stretching themselves;
they would prefer to stay where they are at rather than putting themselves
in a position where they are not sure of the expectation or what is required.
The point here is if you never do any of these things
it will actually guarantee that you will fail as life is meant to be
a journey. And, as we go on any journey we experience new things, we take
a risk going down a new road, we attempt new things by experiencing new
places; we open our mind to new ideas by exploring new areas; we
set goals to get from one place to another; and we move out of our
comfort zone, our home and explore new places. We take that journey
and learn. In effect, to never experience a
failure limits our learning and our growth.
We can learn from every failure. Failure is a golden opportunity to start
again with more knowledge than we had before.
To quote Henry Ford, "Failure is the opportunity to begin again
An Important Element
The most important element in the failure equation is your
commitment to keep trying. Think back to when you first
started, you had a vision, you knew where you wanted to end up.
You start with enthusiasm and determination, but when faced
with setbacks or challenges that is when the word failure can creep in.
How you handle the setback or challenge can determine your success.
Scott Allan in his book, Pathways To Mastery, stated:
"When your actions and habits combine with intense effort and are
directed by a solid purpose, it is this level of commitment that charges
the senses and fuels your enthusiasm for attaining the seemingly impossible."
Don't give up on your dreams because of one unsuccessful attempt!
To summarize I will use the words of Conrad Hilton, "Success seems
to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving.
They make mistakes, but they don't quit."
Inspirational Quotes for Reflection:
"Between you and every goal that you wish to achieve, there is a series of obstacles, and the bigger the goal, the bigger the obstacles. Your decision to be, have and do something out of the ordinary entails facing difficulties and challenges that are out of the ordinary as well. Sometimes your greatest asset is simply your ability to stay with it longer than anyone else."
"Life's ups and downs provide windows of opportunity to determine your values and goals. Think of using all obstacles as stepping stones to build the life you want."
"Successful people see alternatives and are willing to try different ways. People who only see failure are unable to see another way and give up to easily."
"If you don't accept failure as a possibility, you don't set high goals, you don't branch out, you don't try - you don't take the risk."
"If you call it an opportunity instead of buckling under the load of the words crisis or tragedy or disaster, then you can start taking advantage of what has happened."
"Perseverance is a great element of success. If you knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"A non-doer is very often a critic-that is, someone who sits back and watches doers, and then waxes philosophically about how the doers are doing. It's easy to be a critic, but being a doer requires effort, risk, and change."
Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
"Just because you have a dream doesn't mean the road is going to be easy. In fact, to follow one's dream can often mean enduring more than you ever have before, moving completely out of your comfort zone of security from what you already know, spending hours upon hours of hard work not ever sure that the path is paved or full of pot holes."
"Persistent people begin their success where others end in failure."
"Realize that it is possible to succeed after several failures because that is how it happened to other successful individuals."
"Each failure to sell will increase your chances for success at your next attempt."
"And who can possibly forget the rags to riches life story of the popular writer J.K. Rowling, who acquired acclaim and success through the sheer act of perseverance and commitment."
"Most people give up just when they're about to achieve success. They quit on the one yard line. They give up at the last minute of the game, one foot from a winning touchdown."
H. Ross Perot