I always thought that failure was a bad thing. Since a young age we are taught to succeed. Pass that exam, get into that college, graduate with a first class honors degree and walk into the job of your dreams all before you understand what it's like to know and experience the importance of no.
"No, I'm sorry you didn't get that position."
"No I'm sorry we haven't chosen to promote you at this given time."
And "No, I'm sorry but you haven't been approved for your business loan."
We are conditioned into thinking that success is good and failure is bad. But the truth of the matter is, that failure isn't bad - it's actually a very good thing. It is through failing that we learn and grow; we understand our limitations, our true ambitions and our inner most desires.
In todays society having a 'good' job, a nice house and a brand new 16-reg plate car on the drive is seen as the height of success for most modest peoples lives. Showing off your apparent 'wealth' to others through your hard work and dedication to a nine-five job.
But those who have real success, those who live a life that most people could only dream of, have faced more failure in a year than most people could probably handle in a lifetime. You see, it's that level of failure that drives unquestionable inner strength and resilience that allows one to question their true motives in life.
I will happily admit that for 27 years old I have what can be perceived as a lot of success, but I've also faced a bucket load of failure too. Maybe it's in my blood, maybe it's something that I naturally gravitate towards, but over the past 10 years I have learnt to accept failure as part of my life. Instead of letting it get the better of me and put me into a dark cave like whole in the center of the earth, I have allowed it to open my mind and question my real intentions behind my chosen endeavor.
"What was my motive?"
Was I chasing after success because I had the perception that it would make me happier? Or, was I chasing after something which I knew would make the world and me a better place?
I learnt early on in my journey through the working world that money, in all it's apparent glory, isn't the pinnacle of success that most people perceive. Money does indeed help better your quality of life, bring opportunity and allow you to experience life on life's terms - but money isn't always the answer, and success doesn't always equal money.
Success is personal. What I may perceive as successful another would condemn as failure; but that's ok. Some may see being the surfing world champion a success where other may say they are wishfully daydreaming for something that 'normal' people don't achieve and that having a stable job with a new car and mortgage to be successful.
Oprah Winfery was told by her father that at the age of 30, having a car, a house and a $30,000 a year salary was more than she could ever hope of achieving and in his eyes, his daughter would be a success. But for Oprah, that wasn't the case. She followed her dreams of wanting to be on the Television, being an inspirational and influential figure that could help shape the way people saw black people in the media. But it wasn't an easy journey.
Despite all the advice given from those closest around her, she pushed the other way and hit brick wall after brick wall - going with her gut and changing direction, despite countless pleas not to from her loved ones.
Now - she is one of the wealthiest and most powerful black women in America. To her, she is successful. But that success came with years of hardship, failure and apparent missed opportunities.
For others, living a life through; music, art, poetry, creativity or even charity work is their idea of being successful. Following their dreams outside of the boundaries of money. Not striving after a promotion, but dreaming of a chance to live a life where they would know true happiness.
And do you know what all those dreamers, idealists and entrepreneurs have in common? They failed.
They faced so much failure that most people would tell them to quit their dreams, put their feet on the ground and live in the 'real-world'. But it was that unequivocal determination to keep pushing that ultimately led those people to know true success and in turn, true happiness too.
So when you next take a turn that didn't work out as you expected, don't feel that your world is about to end. Take it as a sign from the universe that you are meant for something else, something better. A gentle reminder that your dream is still out there, and still achievable - you just need to take a leap of faith and follow your heart.
Because failure isn't always bad, it's just a little nudge telling you you're off course.