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  • Writer's pictureJay Riggs

Do NOT fear failure... Own It And Move On.

12 Things NOT TO DO...

Issue 8

Do NOT justify your mistakes... Own It And Move On.

So, one of the most mistaught, misunderstood, unfairly treated, under appreciated, and crucial ingredients to success is.... FAILURE.

How many times in your life have you been taught that failure is good? How many times have you been taught what to do the moment you fail? How many times have you been taught how to dissect your failure, analyze it, catalog it, and add its information to your plan adjustments? How many times have you been TAUGHT HOW TO PROPERLY FAIL?

The answer to the last question for most people will be zero. Perhaps a few of you have; a super smart parent, an entrepreneur in the family, or read a great book on success and you learned about one or two of those initial questions. But by in large, in today's society, we are taught NOT to fail. We are taught failure is bad. We are taught you should learn by study then work hard and just succeed. Well, sorry to rain on the parade, but that is not how life, or success works. You need to LOVE your failures. You need to celebrate your failures. You need to own your failures, be proud of them and move on to the next attempt. If your goal is not to fail, YOU HAVE ALREADY FAILED, quit now and avoid yourself the hard work you're about to undergo for zero results when you quit. Your goal should be to learn and apply.

"If your goal is not to fail, YOU HAVE ALREADY FAILED."

In our previous 7 lessons we have discussed the detail involved in discovering our passions, creating goals and plans around them, and using our time effectively to work toward achieving them. Now it is time to dig into what it will take for you to make it through this journey without quitting, and to learn a life lesson that will help you see the rest of your days in a whole new light. Let's discuss the beauty of failure.



a. lack of success

b. the omission of expected or required action.

c. a lack or deficiency of a desirable quality.

d. the action or state of not functioning.

e. a sudden cessation of power.

f. the collapse of a structure, system, or business.

The above is the accepted dictionary definition of Failure.

IT IS WRONG. Or rather, it is incomplete. For the purposes of really understanding what it take to accomplish goals, you need to understand failure. You need to know how important it is in the journey. We will discuss that today. For now let's add to the definition above:

G. A key step in the journey to success

Did you know that failure is one of the key steps to success? Failure is a part of learning. From the moment you are born, you fail. You fail at eating, sleeping, crawling, walking, going to the bathroom in a toilet, running, riding a bike, controlling your temper, reading, adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing, spelling, driving, relationships, and yes career. I am guessing that you have mastered many of these items above. How did you do it? The most common answer is, "I learned them." But a more accurate answer would be, "I failed hundreds and hundreds of times. I tried, I failed, I tried again, and eventually I succeeded." FAILURE is part of learning. Without failure you can not learn. If you accidentally do something right the first time you have simply experienced luck, but you have not LEARNED anything.

Consider any sport where you project an item in a specified direction. Baseball, Football, Soccer, and the ever dreaded.... Golf. Let's say you are strong and athletic. Let's say I give you a golf club and tell you to hit the ball as hard as you can. And let's say you nail that sucker, first hit. Now I want you to bet all the money you have and will every make, what will happen on the next hit. A. You will biff it. B. You will crush it perfectly again.... Most of us will choose A. Most of us know that luck and skill are not the same thing. Most of us know that first lucky hit was not "Learning how to hit". Learning requires hundreds and thousands of hours of practice. And what is practice? It's failing over and over again. Taking what you observe of your failure, applying it to your next attempt until finally you have adapted to the point of success. You see without failure there can be no success.

"Without FAILURE, there can be no success."

"Well that all sounds nice", you say, "but I don't know of any great successful failures."

Really? Let me introduce you to 6 of the largest failures in modern history.

Albert Einstein; was not able to speak until he was 4 years old, and his teachers said he'd never amount to much." So what did this developmental failure do with his pointless life? Oh nothing much, He just developed the Theory of Relativity (one of the 2 pillars of modern physics). He also created the worlds most famous equation (E-MC2, the mass to energy equivalence). He had his first PHD by 26 and received the Nobel Prize for science for his service to Theoretical Science and his discovery of the law of Photoelectric Effect, a pivotal step in the development of Quantum Theory. He also investigated the thermal properties of light and the quantum theory of radiation, the basis of a laser today. Oh yea, and he helped develop the worlds first atomic bombs helping the Allies win World War II.

Walt Disney; was fired from a newspaper for "lacking imagination" and having "no

original ideas". The first 10 years of his animation career were marked with failure after failure with his various partnerships all going out of business. So how did this cartoon failure cope with defeat? He decided to draw just one more character... Micky Mouse. Micky got sort of popular... The huge revenue brought in by his cartoons allowed Disney to try all sorts of new techniques creating movies like Alice in Wonderland, Pinocchio, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella, and many more. Disney invested his earnings in a little park now known as Disney World. The Disney corporation is now one of the largest companies in history with locations world wide.

The Beatles; were rejected by many managers and record companies with one saying, "We don't like their sound and they have no future in show business." So what did the boys do with all that crushing negativity from industry experts? John, Paul, George, and Ringo went on to be the most influential band of all time. They were integral to the development of 1960s culture and popular music's recognition as an art form. Their sound incorporated elements of classical music and traditional pop in innovative ways. As pioneers in recording, songwriting and artistic presentation, the Beatles revolutionized many aspects of the music industry and were often publicized as leaders of the era's youth and socio-cultural movements. They are the best selling music act of all time with 600 Million records sold, and have a list of awards so long we can't print them all.

Steve Jobs; became successful millionaire at 23 years old. He founded a little company called Apple. Then at age 30, he was fired from his own company. How's that for failure! He was devastated. He was internationally embarrassed, he became depressed, and for some time was off the grid. So how did he cope with the failure? He worked hard, came back, and made the company 5000% more successful than when he had been fired.

Michael Jordan; was cut from his 7th grade basketball team. He went home, locked himself in his room and cried. However, after he pulled himself together he decided to practice. He got into a routine of shooting 1000 free throws each day in addition to running, and other drills. He made the team the following year, and by the time he graduated high school, he was offered full scholarships from colleges. He played college ball, was drafted into the NBA and went on to become the most influential sports figure of his era. He played 15 seasons in the NBA winning 6 championships. He was the key figure in popularizing basketball world wide. He was a role model, became a philanthropist and has earned over 1.6 Billion (that's billion with a B!!!) dollars.

Oprah Winfrey; was born a black girl, in poverty, in the south, to a teenage mother. She was molested as a child, got pregnant at 14, lost the baby, and was sent to live with her father. Everyone thought she had no chance. So what did this wrecked girl do? She worked very hard for years to better herself. She rebuilt her faith, she rebuilt her confidence, she found her dreams again. And by 19, she was a co-anchor for the local news. She went on to create her own talk show which became the highest rated television show is history. She became North America's, FIRST Black Billionaire, the richest African American of the 20th century, the greatest black philanthropist in American History, and the most influential woman in the world. Yes... In the WORLD! Oprah came from next to nothing and through sheer perseverance, she has earned almost 3 Billion dollars and changed the world around her.

Those are 6 examples of failure. The biggest difference between them and you, is they have FAILED MORE. They fell more, they got up more, and the tried again more. That is really the main difference between any successful person and a less successful person. And I don't mean success in terms of money. It could be successful at relationships, peace, joy, life balance, or a host of other things. Success is simply reaching your goals. You'll find that people who reach more goals, are just people that have failed more, and kept going.

"You'll find that people who reach more goals, are just people that have failed more, and kept going."


  1. Failure is a key step to success.

  2. You can not succeed without first failing.

  3. The only difference between successful people and you is they have failed more.

  4. All the most famous and influential people in the world had their share of failure first.

So what do you do from here? Well, if Failure is a KEY step to success, then doesn't it make sense for you to get out there today, give it another try, and if you fail, learn from it, and keep going? Doesn't it make sense to follow in the footsteps of EVERY SINGLE SUCCESS story in the world and fail forward? Doesn't it make sense to celebrate each failure as one more step toward your eventual success? If you answered "Yes" to these questions then you are in the right mental place to go on to our next issue and learn another mental life lesson toward balance and success. If you answered "NO" to any of them, you need to go back lesson 1 and 3 to know what your trying to accomplish and why, then re-read this issue. Whenever things get tough, always go back to your why. It will help to center you and get you back on focus.

Join us in the next issue of 12 Things NOT To Do... to discuss a common mistake we all make, and one that can really harm your self-confidence.









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