Why You Should Be Celebrating Failures

Remember how excited you were when you launched your new venture? You have this incredible idea and nothing was going to stop you. The venture you put up was going to be a game-changer … and then you took a fall. How does it feel to come crashing down with all thoughts of making it big vanishing into thin air? I would be ecstatic if it were me who failed. I am proud to say that my past failures have brought me immense joy and uncontained excitement.

The Fool

There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it.” – Napoleon Hill

There is this entrepreneur who founded a remarkable company, gained celebrity-like status and was ousted by the company he built.

That entrepreneur is a fool,” I’d say.

It turns out this entrepreneur was no ordinary fool. Steve Jobs returned to Apple years later at a time when the company was about to fold and turned it around. Apple has since become the most recognizable brand in the world today.

It’s neither destiny nor fate. It’s Steve’s burning desire to create some of the most remarkable products the world has ever seen that made him one of the most successful entrepreneurs of all time.

Only a fool would think of failure as a step towards success.

Stay Hungry; Stay Foolish

 

The Stupid

Teachers are educators and motivators and I personally have great respect for them. Now, if there is a boy whom a teacher would dismiss as being too stupid to learn anything, then that boy must really be stupid.

And stupid this boy was, who managed to keep failing and failing. Fail once; maybe it’s bad luck. Fail twice; maybe the next time would be better. Fail thousands of times, you really are stupid.

Why you should celebrate failures

 

I speak without exaggeration when I say that I have constructed three thousand different theories in connection with the electric light, each one of them reasonable and apparently to be true,” Thomas Edison says in an 1890 interview with Harper Magazine. “Yet only in two cases did my experiments prove the truth of my theory.”

Isn’t it a shame that with the tremendous amount of work you have done you haven’t been able to get any results?” Walter S. Mallory asked Thomas Edison when he learned that after over 9,000 experiments, Thomas has not had success devising a new type of battery storage. “Results! Why, man, I have gotten lots of results! I know several thousand things that won’t work!” Thomas told his friend.

For someone to keep persevering after thousands of failed experiments, that has to be stupidity. Only someone as stupid as Thomas Edison could have possibly held 2,332 patents worldwide (1,093 in the United States).

Only the stupid would keep on persevering.

The Loser

If you were given a contract to play basketball and you missed 9,000 shots, lose nearly 300 games including missing 26 game-winning shots, what are you? It would be blasphemy to mention your name in the same sentence with the greatest basketball of all time. It’s just that all those misses and losses were made by Michael Jordan.

Only a loser would say, “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.”

Failing to Succeed

Are you familiar with Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen? Through more than ten seasons, Gordon must have asked over a hundred different contenders if they could bounce back from a horrible performance. “Yes, Chef,” each one of them replied. Only a few did bounce back.

It’s far too easy to say the right things. What’s hard is in doing. I’d like to think that there are many people who failed because they did not do what needs to be done – and I am one of those people.

Why you should celebrate failures

 

I cannot possibly count the number of opportunities I let slip away because I feared to fail again. It took a while for me to understand that failing is learning. “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new,” says Albert Einstein.

Again and again, I failed. “What am I doing wrong?” I asked myself. “I have learned from my past mistakes, and still I keep failing.”

One of the greatest minds in mankind had something to say about this too, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.” I had been doing different businesses, but the one thing that did not change was I. How can I change the results I wanted if I was unwilling to change myself?

Onwards to Success

It’s fair to say I am in the company of remarkable people. People who have failed again and again, and then succeeded. How does one become successful?

It begins with knowing one’s self. How can we change ourselves if we do not know ourselves? It’s the willingness to self-assess that allows us to identify our habits that cause us to keep failing.

I took on the path of self-discovery and along the way, learned who I am and what stops me. It was hard to admit to shortcomings, but when I did, it was liberating. As Winston Churchill once said, “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm,” I see obstacles and challenges in my journey with a new and positive perspective.

I choose to be the fool, who refused to listen to people telling me why I would fail, is stupid in persevering, and the loser who keeps learning.

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Robert Lee
Staff Writer: Robert U. Lee is a proud father, one of USANA Health Sciences' top directors, ELITE Trainer of XTRM 1-11 and the creator of Amazing Life Daily.

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Staff Writer: Robert U. Lee is a proud father, one of USANA Health Sciences' top directors, ELITE Trainer of XTRM 1-11 and the creator of Amazing Life Daily.

Comments

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    Timo October 19, 2017 6:01 pm Reply
  • I personally prefer that. I celebrate each and every failure that I do. Celebrating not like drinking or crying.

    Sujit Das March 24, 2017 6:52 am Reply
  • I personally prefer that. I celebrate each and every failure that I do. Celebrating not like drinking or crying.

    Sujit Das March 24, 2017 6:47 am Reply
  • Awesome reminder and post. How we look at failure is the difference between becoming successful and continuing in failure

    Sija Mafu March 22, 2017 10:30 am Reply
  • Sometimes our great failure in life is what brought us to the happiness we desire which was what exactly I have gone through. Our failure in life is what gets our life colorful, whole and complete because after all, it is not a matter of how many times we failed, but a matter of how many times we hoist ourselves and learn to still celebrate life even after disappointment and failures. This is such a great thought to reflect on and a reminder to all of us.

    Thelittlelai: Beyond limits December 14, 2016 10:52 pm Reply
  • My thoughts exactly!! Failure must be celebrated and embaced. We wouldn’t be humans if we don’t fail. What matters is that we learn from our failures and discover how we could become better, how we could grow more. I like how you cited stories from different people. Will surely be taking note of that blogging technique. 🙂

    Chardy December 14, 2016 5:27 pm Reply
  • Truly a great Post. I think that in every failure you’re having – there is a little bit of success. It is not only about defining the goal correctly but also defining the “sub-goals” correctly. In most cases, the “sub-goals” like learning something on your way to the goal, or understanding why you failed this time have much more value than getting to the goal itself.

    Hadar December 14, 2016 5:21 pm Reply
  • Another great read from you [again]! Failures could really teach us a lot. Even if these hurt us from the beginning, realizing our errors and/or mistakes committed would mean a great deal. Even the great figures fail before succeeding and they never gave up! We get inspired looking up to them. Surely, by continuing striving to do our best will lead to success!

    Maria December 14, 2016 2:20 pm Reply
  • I have failed many times with all sorts of things. I also now know what I’m not so good at. Like running a cafe, I’m pretty bad at that. It seems like I’m always failing and proofing my work, this kind of failure just seems silly though, I should be able to fix that.
    I am looking forwards to more failures so that my wins can be that much bigger.

    Orana Velarde December 14, 2016 10:41 am Reply
  • I don’t wish for failures but I acknowledge them, I take note of them and learn from them. I also revel in the reality that success is sweeter and more fulfilling after a huge failure. Not every day is rosey and we don’t win in every endeavor but failure is a great character-builder and we should take advantage of the situation. After all, only losers quit!

    KT Nielsen December 13, 2016 12:08 pm Reply
  • I really don’t like to not succeed and failing at things that I decided to do. Although I have learned through time that it doesn’t matter as long you have learnt the lesson

    Mimi November 8, 2016 6:36 am Reply
  • I used to be so afraid of making mistakes and failure. Now I see it as a lesson learned and never regret it my missteps. Appreciate this positive perspective!

    Shane Prather November 7, 2016 11:12 pm Reply
  • This is a very inspirational and moving post. So good to have old quotes and wisdom shared in a way that makes it so refreshing but still foregrounds the importance and underlying message of each. You have written this so well and I know many readers will find this incredibly useful for when they stumble into trying times or self doubt.

    Suanlee November 7, 2016 1:44 pm Reply
  • I appreciate failures, though I never celebrate it but treat each failures as a stepping stone to learn something and make improvements the next time around. Without failures, life’s a bit boring (in my opinion).

    Blair Villanueva November 7, 2016 6:52 am Reply
  • I think excitement is something natural that comes along with a new venture.failure is obviously a part of life. You should not let yourself down with one, but learn lessons. However, if you try and still do not succeed on the respective path, then I think it’s time you should take a life check.

    Laveena Sengar November 7, 2016 6:44 am Reply
  • Love this and wish we would talk about this kind of thing MORE! Great quotes, really resonated with me. I’ve felt like a failure for not graduating university for so long, but now I see all the amazing things I’ve done instead.

    Sarah Harvey November 6, 2016 7:39 pm Reply
  • This feels very relevant for me right now as I’m trying to start a freelance writing business. It’s been a huge challenge to get new clients but this is a good reminder that I just need to persevere.

    Michelle November 4, 2016 4:21 pm Reply
  • I tell my kids the same thing each time they are disheartened by failures.
    In our school days there was one teacher who used to lecture us on this…. much later in life I realised what a wise soul he was! Thanks for this wonderful write up.

    Indrani November 4, 2016 1:13 pm Reply
  • This is a good read! Absolutely inspiring. I also do believe with Failure as a way of creating your multiple successes. 😀 Never give up! And yes, Many of my friends think I’m unreasonable for doing things out of the normal and sometimes blame me for my own failures, damn! hahaha. they don’t know I am celebrating my own failure!

    Ferna November 4, 2016 3:34 am Reply
  • Failure is only worth celebrating after one has overcame defeat. Until then, failure is akin to a puzzle that one should look at eyeball to eyeball, to either figure out how to solve it, or to throw it away for good.

    ASKSonnie

    Sonnie November 3, 2016 1:17 pm Reply
  • Just yesterday I read an article which said for successful organizations the organization needs a big failure to learn from. This article makes so much sense.

    Vaisakhi November 3, 2016 7:11 am Reply
  • These stories just never get old. It’s nice to read something like this once in a while to remind me not to be so hard on myself. I’d been facing a lot of failures this year, but in the end, I realized that it has done me more good than bad. But taking a fall is really scary, you know. I guess one must learn how to stand up and learn from those mistakes then. 🙂

    Mimi November 2, 2016 11:51 pm Reply
  • I remember watching the video of Steve Jobs when he said “Stay hungry, Stay Foolisfh”. I was so inspired by him. The individuals you featured in this post are all inspiring individuals who chose to look at failure in a completely differently light. I can only wish that it’s as easy as they make it sound to be.

    Angelie Pangilinan November 2, 2016 11:46 am Reply
  • Thank you for sharing another inspiring post. This is actually a very timely read for me, as I am also struggling with a few things in my new ventures. The individuals you have mentioned in this article are great inspirations. Although failure is hard, it is as important as success, from which many new opportunities to begin again comes from.

    Chessica Mirasol November 2, 2016 5:21 am Reply
  • As you always, this another inspiring post. And I can only agree with you. We are not born with knowledge and we need to fail in order to understand how it works. And it’s when we can understand this, and actually admit it, that we truly learn and improve. You’ve described this with all those great examples. I’ve seen this ad of Michael Jordan before, I really like it.

    Nya November 1, 2016 5:29 pm Reply
  • This post made me emotional. I had this plan to work abroad and the agency just informed us that it’s over after I have waited for a year and invested a lot of effort flying back and forth to Manila in separate occasions. I could have felt really devastated because I badly want to work in another country but I chose growth, so I decided just to move on and celebrate the fact that my time to be in the Philippines with my family and friends would be extended indefinitely. Thanks a lot for reminding me that the least likable moments in our lives are also worth celebrating.

    Mike November 1, 2016 5:28 pm Reply
  • Beautiful post! I agree with every word. Failure is not the end of the world, but a beginning. These failures should be our number one drive to push harder. Failures are lessons worth being kept. Thank you for sharing this wonderful post.

    Renissa Dawn Flores November 1, 2016 3:45 pm Reply
  • Failure in my books is a stepping stone to success.We learn from our mistakes and find alternatives to succeed.

    I am an educator and some days I feel as if I am speaking French to my students and then I remind myself that English is not there first language so I need to adapt and change my methods to ensure I succeed.

    So failure gives us another chance to refocus and change our game plan or method.Thank you for this insightful read and fantastic examples of Micheal Jordon and Einstein.

    verushka November 1, 2016 1:58 pm Reply
  • Robert Lee, I absolutely love this post. I love that you write that success isn’t neither destiny nor fate, and I agree. Failure is so hard, yet so important. What you write about Michael Jordan gave me the chills! If that isn’t motivation for those who have failed, what is? Thank you so much for motivating us entrepreneurs in this post, it’s just amazing!

    Have a great day!
    Jenny Holmquist
    http://freedombasedbusinesses.com/

    Jenny Holmquist November 1, 2016 1:18 pm Reply
  • This is exactly how I felt before, ““Isn’t it a shame that with the tremendous amount of work you have done you haven’t been able to get any results?”.

    I have to remind myself that things can always get better. It is challenging to motivate yourself when you feel that things are not working in your favor but we need to keep trying.

    Iza Abao November 1, 2016 12:52 pm Reply
  • Terrific post, Robert. These individuals you’ve highlighted here are great examples of the power of perseverance in the face of conflict, criticism and initial defeat. Super models for ourselves, and our children, to learn from and emulate. Thanks for sharing your thoughtful insights.

    Reuven November 1, 2016 12:40 pm Reply

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