Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.
I was looking at expensive rings with a variety of brilliant gems that sparkle in the light. They sparkle because they are highly polished and engraved for excellence. Gems cannot be polished without friction. I remembered at that moment that there were times in my life with friction. At the time, I did not appreciate the value of that friction to the ultimate value it created for me in my leadership skills. People would say encouraging things to me, to help me deal with the disappointment and to help me get refocused.
At the time of the stress, I could not fully embrace those helpful comments. After that stress is gone and I am in a better place emotionally, it’s easier to understand that I have grown in my skills. The experience is valuable, looking in the rear view mirror. The value of evaluation can be powerful in developing leadership skills. Perspective provides wisdom that we otherwise would not have.
Failure is a welcomed experience if put in the right perspective. Those who succeed get up one more time than they fall down. Failure is a step toward growth. Growth is a journey and not an event. Henry Ford also said, “Obstacles are things you see when you take your eyes off your goals.” The wisdom in that statement is that having specific goals is a key element for success.
Your goals may be bold. Actually, that’s good. It’s better to have high goals and fail, rather than have mediocre goals and succeed. Bold goals stretch skills and empower personal growth. Skilled leaders can share stories of how those skills were strengthened over time. Usually, the journey to excellence is punctuated with challenges. Welcome challenges as teachers. Embrace the teaching moments and look for the value those teaching moments bring to you. You, and only you, are in charge of your attitude. You will not grow without trials. Learn to discipline your disappointment.
Keeping a positive mental attitude is one of the definitions of true wealth, as listed by Napoleon Hill in his book, Think and Grow Rich. This book is full of examples of great leaders who overcame what some would classify as insurmountable obstacles. You are in charge of you. What attitude will you choose today?
Check out Seth Godin’s blog post: Good at the beginning.
Hugh Ballou The Transformational Leadership Strategist
(c) 2014 Hugh Ballou. All rights reserved.