What is your association with failure? Have you ever failed at something small or big you attempted? You probably have. Or maybe you are one of those who have a custom positive interpretation/definition for the word failure? Today I want to write specifically to those who never start because they don’t want to accept failure as an option, consciously or subconsciously. I belong to the second group (subconsciously), therefore I am writing to myself as well.
It has been almost a month since I last wrote, and I have no valid reason for not writing. I have reasons, but they are not valid, therefore there is no point in mentioning them. Subconsciously, I think it is because I don’t want to write something I will not be happy with and proud of. Which is something most writers experience, until they learn to overcome. Unfortunately, most of our best growth experiences come from times when we mess up, times when we produce unexpected results.
It is similar to one time when I remember breaking a water pipe at home and because I knew my mom was going to spank me, I just simply took a clothe hanger and gave it to her for her to beat carelessness out of me so I could repent. In that situation, nothing I could say or do would have made me avoid the spanking. But spanking did not occur, and I suspect it was because my mother recognized the fact that I had already learned my lesson after breaking the pipe, maybe even before.
I define failure as an event or activity that produce an unexpected result. I started a business with my friend Brandon in 2013, but we produced unexpected results. We could not keep the business alive. It was not our first business venture, for either of us. But we drew a lot of valuable lessons from that experience. I am ready to start a new business any time there is an opportunity that presents itself and is in alignment with my mid term and long term life goals. I am ready to get back in the game because I have accepted failure as a possibility. It was Michael Jordan who said: “I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”
Next time you want to start something new, a relationship, a business, or any form of adventure, expect to succeed. You should never expect to fail. However, if you produce an unexpected and undesired result, draw lessons from that and keep moving forward. Like Walt Disney said about his Disney Corporation: “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” Go fail forward successfully!