I’ve been an entrepreneur for over a decade and alive for over 30 years. In these years I’ve learned many things and one of those things is to pick yourself up after a failure. Humans are built that way, however our occidental way of thinking doesn’t allow us to realize that failure is part of our life. Generally speaking, we are not taught to overcome failures, as if these were not part of life. If you want to learn about this, you have to read oriental or new age authors.
When we fail, we learn and that is the reason why for example, we fall – to learn how to pick us up. That is life and we must embrace this reality. Several years ago I read a line that makes a lot of sense to me: “The sooner you fail, the sooner you will succeed”. If we start to think this way and prepare ourselves for failing one day, things will be much easier.
Let’s start by clarifying a couple of concepts. First, we believe failure is a bad thing. Neither failure nor anything is bad per se. These are adjectives used by man to help assign blame to occurrences, so our life is easier. So you have to think of failure as another of life’s events.
When failure occurs, we can see it as a bad thing and this is not bad. Our self-conservation instinct can push us away from harms way, so this is fine. But we must also realize that this is a temporal occurrence and no matter how difficult it seems, we can change our present condition. Since failure will happen eventually, we have to be prepared for it. It’s like with military men and women, who are trained for the worst-case scenarios. They don’t know when or where it’s happening, but they have trained for the worst possibilities. We should also train our minds to think this way about failures, expecting they never occur, but if they do, we’re prepared.
When we fail, we’ll probably be sad and thinking over and over what we did wrong, what could we have changed and more. This is also fine, as long as you realize that this mourning has to end as some point. When you’ve reached this stage, learn from these events and realize that they are temporal. You have to continue your life with your head high as if nothing had happened. Also, know you’re wiser and won’t make the same mistakes twice.
Some 5 years ago I had a major “failure” in my life, when as founder and CEO of my company I had to declare bankruptcy and close our operations. It was not an easy decision and it was very hard on me at a personal level. Today, 5 years later, I see that this was a blessing in disguise as I’ve learned so much form it. I’m much better than I was then and today I thank that I had this “failure”.
Keep in your mind that at some point you will fail. Don’t seek this failure, because that is neither wise nor healthy, but when it comes, be prepared. And after the failure, learn from it and you will become a better person. Guaranteed.
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