Failure is the Answer

Failure is the Answer

Nov. 1, 2019

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Somewhere along the line, failure got a bad rap.

At some point failure fell victim to a decades-long smear campaign.

Feeling like a failure now is a scarlet letter that needs to be cured by self-help books or medications.

Fear of failure is so scary it ruins people’s dreams.

Failing in front of an audience is our biggest fear.

Getting a “F” on a grade card is a death sentence.

And so on.

When did all this happen?

It has to stop.

What if some rich friend told you they left $100,000 in an envelope in a storage unit but he has to leave town immediately. If you don’t mind going through the unit, you can keep $90,000 of it for your trouble and send $10k to him when you can?

How would you feel? Excited?

It’s a sure thing, right?

Now how would you proceed? Would you look in one desk drawer and give up if the money wasn’t in it?

After that first try would you say, “I’m such a failure,” and go home and cry?

Or would you open one desk drawer, see it empty, and feel kind of thrilled?

That’s one down. Won’t be long now.

And an hour or so later, you’d find it.

You’re $90,000 richer. You’d feel great.

But, if you analyze it, all you did was fail for an entire hour. You looked in places that probably made no sense or had no chance to be the hiding place.

You made bad decisions, maybe wasted a little time when you got distracted by something, and probably took too long solving this puzzle.

Failure, failure, and more failure.

Shouldn’t you be sad?

Shouldn’t you need a therapist?

What kind of loser would take so long to find a simple envelope?

No, no, and screw you.

You wouldn’t think it was failure at all. You’d think it was awesome.

Isn’t everything this way?

Dating expert after dating expert says that finding someone great is inevitable. For everyone.

Go to a mall. Find someone pretty sitting alone. Ask them to coffee. Maybe 3-4 out of 10 will say yes.

Of those three or four coffees, one or two will go well. Ask them to dinner.

Of those dinners, one or two will turn into a relationship.

It’s a numbers game, and it’s guaranteed.

Just like the envelope.

The scenario is the same for job interviews (keep applying until there’s a fit), coaching (keep helping until one student breaks out), writing (keep sending proposals until someone says yes), or anything else.

Failure is the guaranteed pathway to greatness.

Just like your friend’s garage.

Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

-Samuel Beckett




My book is called The Inevitability of Becoming Rich, and you can find that here.