Failure gets such a bad rap in our society. We see thousands of best-selling books about how to succeed in life, but none about how to fail. Now you’re probably thinking, “Why on earth would I ever want to fail, or even worse, learn how to fail?” The truth is, failure is an essential part of life. We have just completely lost sight of its purpose.
Think of a baby learning to walk. Should we see it as a “bad” or “shameful” thing every time he or she falls? Do babies beat themselves up when they lose balance after taking a few steps? Of course not. Falling and losing balance is precisely how they learn to successfully walk.
The same goes for us and whatever it is we choose to create with our lives. We can’t expect ourselves to be perfect and flawless when we are new to something (or even if we aren’t new to it, for that matter). But taking steps regardless is the perfect way to gauge what works and what doesn’t work.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
– Thomas A. Edison
Not only that, failure has a way to bring out the best and the worst in ourselves so that we may clearly see what it is we truly want or need to work on. Perhaps being fired from your job can make you realize it wasn’t what you wanted in the first place and be the exact trigger you needed to reignite your previously dormant dreams and aspirations. Or maybe failure can be just what you needed to rid yourself of distractions and sharpen your aim towards success. Regardless of what your “failure” may look like, I believe there is always some form of greater perspective to be gained from it that will ultimately benefit your path.
We humans seem to learn a whole lot by experiencing contrast. I can say for myself that it is by experiencing what I don’t want in my life that I have gained greater perspective on what I truly want. As a result, my choices have changed and I am now in a much better place. However, I doubt I would be where I am today if it wasn’t for the priceless lessons I learned by attracting the “wrong” relationship or growing sick of my own self-sabotaging behaviors. But enough about me!
Here is an excerpt from a profound speech by J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter fantasy series, where she talks about her own “epic failure” and how it has helped her succeed. Below the video are 12 powerful quotes about failure by other successful individuals that I hope will altogether inspire you to see your own “failures” in a new, more positive and empowering light!
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12 Quotes About The Benefits Of Failure
1. “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” – Henry Ford
2. “Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.” – C.S. Lewis
3. “Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” – Denis Waitley
4. “If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.” – Ken Robinson
5. “No human ever became interesting by not failing. The more you fail and recover and improve, the better you are as a person. Ever meet someone who’s always had everything work out for them with zero struggle? They usually have the depth of a puddle. Or they don’t exist.” – Chris Hardwick
6. “When we give ourselves permission to fail, we, at the same time, give ourselves permission to excel.” – Eloise Ristad
7. “I’ve come to believe that all my past failure and frustration were actually laying the foundation for the understandings that have created the new level of living I now enjoy.” – Tony Robbins
8. “With a hint of good judgment, to fear nothing, not failure or suffering or even death, indicates that you value life the most. You live to the extreme; you push limits; you spend your time building legacies. Those do not die.” – Criss Jami
9. “The phoenix must burn to emerge.” – Janet Fitch
10. “Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt
11. “An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail.” – Edwin Land
12. “Mistakes are the portals of discovery.” – James Joyce
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