There are many examples of people who have failed repeatedly, before they managed to achieve success. These examples are interesting, motivating and inspiring. It seems that we have been sold the idea that being great and having an amazing talent is due winning the genetic lottery or just dumb luck. But, in reality, amazing people are those that are willing to fall flat on their face, wipe off the dust and keep on keeping on. To them, failures are an opportunity to learn and grow.
Personally, I remember when I got invited to present at a large and prestigious speaking event associated with the launch of my book. My presentation went so badly that they cancelled the planned press conference that was to follow! Devastating! However, after I had some tears and healed my ego, I managed to get some feedback, drag myself back onto the stage and improve myself as a public speaker. Now I even occasionally get flown half way across the planet to speak at events. It can be difficult, but it's rewarding to get up again after a colossal failure, wipe the dust off and get back in the ring!
Here are some famous failures that you may not be aware of:
Michael Jordan - Even though he is now a well-respected sportsman and famous basketball player, he was actually cut from his high school basketball team!
Steven Spielberg - It's hard to imagine, now that we know Spielberg as a household name, that he was a high school drop out. Additionally, his application to attend film school was rejected three times due to his C grade average.
Beethoven - He was told by his early music professor that he was a hopeless composer.
Winston Churchill - Suffered a speech impediment in his early years and performed very poorly in school. However, he rose above this to become a respected British Prime Minister.
Charles Darwin - Was told by his father that he would never amount to anything and would probably be a disgrace to his family.
Albert Einstein - Was called sloppy and disorderly by his teachers and concerned his parents by not speaking properly until he was nine. Additionally, he failed his university entrance exam in 1895 to the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School.
Thomas Edison - His elementary teacher told him that he was too stupid to learn anything.
John Grisham - Was very persistent with his first novel even though it was rejected by sixteen agents and twelve publishing houses.
Isaac Newton - Was a terrible student at school and failed when he attempted to run the family farm.
The Beatles were famously rejected by Decca Recording Studios and told " We don't like their sound, they have no future in show business."
Walt Disney - He had a job as editor of a newspaper, but was fired as he "lacked ideas and creativity".
He offers seven top traits that propel resilient people towards massive success.
1.) They Forgive Themselves Quickly: Resilient people understand that the me of two years ago made the best decisions the me of two years ago was capable of making. They never dwell on the past; instead, they reflect on their mistakes and use them as fuel to keep getting better.
2.) They Never Share Victim Stories: In life and business, there are hero stories (I am responsible for the situation, and I must change if I want the situation to change) and victim stories (The traffic made me late to work, Nobody listens to me when I speak). I don't hear many victim stories from resilient people.
3.) They Don't Pause for Perfection: People adept at overcoming life's obstacles don't wait for perfect information. They make a decent decision based on the information available and move on. They understand that you can make another decision tomorrow, and perhaps, even reverse today's decision if necessary.
4.) They Say Thank You ... and Mean It: Everyone I've ever met who has the ability to trudge forward despite failure makes it a point to thank those they meet along the way; they push out positive energy and receive it tenfold. They understand that negativity is a dragging anchor.
5.) They Make Time for Reflection: Resilient people reflect upon their life and re-examine past experiences based on today's wisdom. They see frustrations, challenges and hard work differently now than when they were younger. Instead of thinking: I am gifted, and I deserve success, they think: All meaningful work requires suffering. . Many use meditation to focus and clear their mind and stay present and focused.
6.) They Rely on Core Values: Every risk-ready person I've ever met relies on core values to centre them when things go south. These core values can revolve around work, family, hobbies, religion-- any deep interest that drives growth. And they don't commit 100% to one thing, but instead rely on balance.
7.) They Separate State and Person: Resilient people understand that the state does not make the person. For example, a state of bankruptcy is not a failed person; it's a momentary point on the journey. A resilient person understands that business and life is not always an uphill journey. They are willing to make mistakes, embrace failure and learn from the mistakes.
So, from now on, why not think of failure as a verb instead of an adjective.
A verb is an activity that we partake in for a short period of time, where as an adjective is a permanent label. Making mistakes plays a huge part in success. Therefore the more failures that you are willing to have, the further that life will take you.
All fotos used with permission from FOTOLIA