Career Development: The Truth About Failure
In Walter Bond’s book All Buts Stink (2009), he puts failure into perspective. He believes that there are two important factors that contribute to it – a lack of information and/or a lack of discipline. Both contributing factors can be overcome.
You are already paying a price for the life you have. Pay a little bit more and have a bigger life. ~ Walter Bond
Reaching for a bigger life is to risk failure. Ironically, failure is easy to live with because it brings out sympathy from our friends and colleagues. Sympathy is comforting. We may not realize it, but there may be a point in life that we settled comfortably into the benefits of failure. Discipline is hard work, and so is finding the information that we need to be successful.
However, accepting failure is also accepting a smaller life.
So how do you live a bigger life? Bond advises,
Career change, back to school, investment of time, investment of money, increased effort or focus, investment of courage.
And then what? And then the road to success may get uncomfortable, and one reason is that success brings out jealousy from those same friends and colleagues who were all in on the group hug when we failed. They may send this message to us once we begin to experience success: Don’t push forward and leave me behind. Stay here on my level where we’re friends. They may not say those exact words, but what they do say to us may not encourage us to move toward a bigger life. Plus, taking risks will create more obstacles, more roadblocks, more failures.
Perhaps the solution is to re-frame “failure” as simply an undesirable outcome. Undesirable outcomes are not failures, they help us succeed. To experience success after an undesirable outcome, we must be willing to take action. We not only need a willingness to risk failure, we need to be willing to fall flat on our faces allowing that experience to motivate us to take that information and increase in action, to find the information we need, to become more disciplined. Failure is a chance to move forward with important, new knowledge.
Know better. Do better.
Think of all the successful people throughout history, and all the struggles they went through before achieving a bigger life. They never gave up — they corrected what needed to be corrected after each failure and kept their momentum.
When we become wildly successful, no one will be talking about our failures. Failures are just important and necessary stepping stones to achieving our highest aspirations. Stepping stones … not stumbling blocks. And that, friends, is the truth about failure.
Are you paying a price for the life you have? Are you willing to pay a little more?
Learn more about Walter Bond at http://walterbond.com/