Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Success and failure

Failure stepping stone to success

Success: The achieving of the results wanted or hoped for

We all want to be successful in whatever we do but does success really mean to us?
To many success means achieving something we dream.

1. Youth – excel in studies maximum grade in exam. Go to best university to pursue the dream course
2. Career – professional, entrepreneur, make a lot of money- nobody wants to be poor, low jobs
3. Status – wealth, big house, big car, luxurious life, many servants etc.
4. Beauty - famous and glamorous
5. Go to heaven – spiritually inclined and do many things to get closer to God

In short we want to win all the time. We do all sorts of things to succeed and what we hate most is failure.
But very great men and women had a different view of success and failure. Many of them view failure as being necessary for success later. In fact many of the great people who became successful had failed miserably in the earlier part of their lives. In fact most them considered themselves as stupid not genius which they turned up to be later.

Although there are thousands of them today I like to share with you six such people who had impressed me with their failures and success. 

Famously Successful People Who Failed At First

Albert Einstein: Most of us take Einstein's name as synonymous with genius, but he didn't always show such promise especially earlier in life. 

Einstein did not speak until he was four and did not read until he was seven, causing his teachers and parents to think he was mentally handicapped, slow and anti-social. Eventually, he was expelled from school and was refused admittance to the Zurich Polytechnic School. 

It might have taken him a bit longer, but most people would agree that he caught on pretty well in the end, winning the Nobel Prize and changing the face of modern physics.Here are some of his sayings on success.

“If A is success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z. Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut”

Thomas Edison: In his early years, teachers told Edison he was "too stupid to learn anything." Work was no better, as he was fired from his first two jobs for not being productive enough. 

Even as an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. Of course, all those unsuccessful attempts finally resulted in the design that worked.

This what he had to say about failure.

“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”
 “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is to try just one more time.”

Winston Churchill: This Nobel Prize-winning, twice-elected Prime Minster of the United Kingdom wasn't always as well regarded as he is today. 

Churchill struggled in school and failed the sixth grade. After school he faced many years of political failures, as he was defeated in every election for public office until he finally became the Prime Minister at the ripe old age of 62.He turned out to be one of the best PM Britain ever had.

Churchill had this to say about success which belongs to only the optimists.

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty”.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.

Abraham Lincoln: While today he is remembered as one of the greatest presidents of USA, Lincoln's life wasn't so easy. 

In his youth he went to war a captain and returned a private. He spent years studying law. Lincoln didn't stop failing there, however. He started numerous failed businesses and was defeated in numerous runs he made for public office.

Finally he won and became one of the best presidents the US ever had. He had the courage to do something that not many would have dared - abolished slavery.

Lincoln’s believes that made him great.

“My concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right.”
“Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.”
Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.”

Oprah Winfrey: Most people know Oprah as one of the most iconic faces on TV as well as one of the richest and most successful women in the world. 

Oprah faced a hard road to get to that position, however, enduring a rough and often abusive childhood as well as numerous career setbacks including being fired from her job as a television reporter because she was "unfit for TV."Her TV shows became one of the most watched throughout the world.

Oprah’s take on failure ,which she says  needs to be enjoyed.

"Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough."
"Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness."
"I do not believe in failure. It is not failure if you enjoyed the process."


Steve Jobs : Founder of Apple.Creator of iPhone, iPad and iMac

Childood – no father, adopted parents, dropped out of school – most right decision in his life
Hard work and in right environment – became the CEO of Apple Corporation. At the time of death his assets estimated about USD8billion.

When he was 17, he read a quote that changed his life: "If you live each  day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on him, and since then, for the past 33 years, he looked in the mirror every morning and asked himself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today? And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something” 

He had always challenged himself to create new lives and meaning.
He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer when he was 48 and the doctor told him that he should expect to live no longer than three to six months.

He did not give up and while trying to prolong his life, he continued to grow, and iPhone and iPad were the results. He died on 5.10.11 at the age of 56.

Life lessons learned from these inspirational success stories

Certainly these success stories are not told for the sake of entertainment but they are told in order to inspire, motivate and encourage people to succeed in work, business or life.

The most precious lessons you should come up with from these inspirational success stories are:
  1. Rejection should never stop you
  2. Failure is not a problem at all
  3. People who reject you know nothing
  4. Believing in yourself is the key to success in life
  5. Faith in God especially when things do go your way – continue doing the right thing despite failure

What does success mean to you? To me success  in the satisfaction and joy that I obtain  in the process of striving to achieve something  dear to me, doesn’t matter whether I really achieve it or not. 

Two other motivational quotes for your reflection
"Unless you're willing to have a go, fail miserably, and have another go, success won't happen."   Phillip Adams
"The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will." Vincent T. Lombardi

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