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Why Failure Is Essential To Success

Routine failing

It means you are actually active, doing something, moving forward.

We limit ourselves, and we impede our ability to make big things happen when we buy into what society says will work or not work.

We must take a leap, take calculated risks, and be patient for the results. We don’t need to have everything worked out beforehand.

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Thomas Edison on failure
Thomas Edison's most memorable invention was the light bulb, which purportedly took him 1,000 tries before he developed a successful prototype: How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?”
Failure Is Life’s Greatest Teacher

Failure and defeat are life’s greatest teachers [but] sadly, most people, and particularly conservative corporate cultures, don’t want to go there...Instead they choose to play it safe, to fly below the radar, repeating the same safe choices over and over again. They operate under the belief that if they make no waves, they attract no attention; no one will yell at them for failing because they generally never attempt anything great at which they could possibly fail (or succeed).” 

 - Ralph Heath

Failure is essential for success
The prevailing school of thought in progressive companies—such as Intuit, General Electric, Corning and Virgin Atlantic—is that great success depends on great risk, and failure is simply a common byproduct. Executives of such organizations don’t mourn their mistakes but instead parlay them into future gains.
Failure and Success

We've all been bred to strive for success, attain perfection, sacrifice our dreams for obligation and "win", but we forget that failure is a necessary part of success.

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Importance of failure

We need to start talking about failure as life's master instructor. Experiences in failure are less about not finding success than they are about problem solving, and the skills cultivated a...

People who turned failing into success
  • JK Rowling. One of the most powerful modern writers whose net worth hovers around $1 billion was once living on welfare.
  • Walt Disney. Before the Disney empire was built, he was fired as a writer for lacking imagination and good ideas.
  • Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first TV job as a news anchor for being too emotionally invested in the stories she covered.
  • Steven Spielberg was rejected by the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts multiple times. Today, the profit of his movies exceeds $9 billion.

  • Lady GaGa, with 6 Grammy awards and entry to the Songwriters Hall of Fame, was dropped as a young artist after 3 months with record label Island Def Jam. 

  • Stephen King's failure and rejection as a writer persisted well into his adult years, before striking gold with his story, Carrie.