For many of us, success has become a matter of recalibrating our perspective around the subject of failure.

To make things much more complicated, failure as defined by our cultural has become attached to the idea of finality. In other words, failure is seen as a binary, transactional, and vacuous event – from which we simply cannot recover or redeem ourselves (rather than the father of success or the master teacher).

In truth, no one likes to fail. We’d all rather succeed the first time we make an effort at achieving any objective. But, the larger truth about failure and life is much more powerful. Failure teaches us exponentially more than “how not to do something” – which is a gift in and of itself. Failure offers the opportunity to develop new paradigms of thinking by moving our methods and strategies towards the solution (and away from failed concepts).

In short, failure is a naturally occurring mechanism that leads to success through the shifted perspective often achieved by developing and experiencing (living out) strategies that do not lead to success. Failure forces us to think differently, act differently, and (if we are up to the task), try again.

Failure is the pathway to success – the only one. Without failure, there can be no consistent success. Failure demands – if success is the goal – patience, persistence, and reveals passion in the pursuit of the objective by those willing to try again.

What other phenomenon offers so much to each of us? Nothing gives us more than failure.

Want your children to be successful?
Hope for failure.

Want to experience more in this life?
Pray for failure.

Want to grow in the service of others and make more meaning of your existence?
Seek out failure.

The Navy Seal’s have a motto that reflects the need for both the failure and persistence required in moving past failure to success:

Do today what others won’t (that is, risk today what other’s won’t), do tomorrow what others can’t (by risking, failing, and ultimately succeeding).

In other words, “fail forward” as Roosevelt once said. Navy Seals “fail forward fast” by intentionally seeking out the lessons failure offers and quickly applying those lessons in the next evolution/effort. The same can be said for successful Kravists. Think about that concept…

Winston Churchill, one of my favorite historical figures who showed unwavering courage and willingness to risk much for his country, once said: “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” How could one have enthusiasm about failure? By recognizing that failure is the ONLY path to success.

Finally, I believe the most important element of failure is an understanding that (in many instances) the success achieved (at the direction of failure) far outweighs the combined cost that multiple failures extracted in getting to the goal.

Simply, all the effort and failure required in achieving success pales in comparison to the enormity of the payoff. This is a true to the extent that this ideal must be a natural law.

The next time you try and fail; remember that failure is the father of success. And, your success will tower over all your past failures. In the end, the concepts of failure and success can’t exist without the other in the continuum of seeking a result.

We try, fail, recalibrate, try, fail, recalibrate, and eventually succeed. Stay the course and follow the path; your failure is leading you to success.

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  1. Laura

    Awesome! So well written….Thank you!