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Failure Should be our Teacher - not our Undertaker

Kim Brebach - Sunday, September 16, 2012

Failure should be our Teacher, not our Undertaker

Dealing with failure in 6 simple steps. 

All of us here can realise our dreams and aspirations, whatever they are:

  • Happiness
  • Wealth
  • Movie Stardom
  • The Nobel prize for science
  • A new Steve Jobs
  • Living in harmony with the world

1. Start with a dream

Think of Martin Luther-King. ‘All successful people men and women are big dreamers,’ says Brian Tracy. They imagine the future they want, and then they work every day toward their vision, goal or purpose.’

2. Set clear, focused goals

Goals provide the energy source that powers our lives. Goals help us concentrate our energy.

‘An average person with average talent, ambition and education can outstrip the most brilliant genius if she has clear, focused goals,’ says Brian Tracy. Committing goals to paper increases the likelihood of achieving them by one-thousand percent.

3. Single-minded pursuit

We must pursue our goals with single-minded determination. Single-minded means we learn to spend most of our time focusing on the opportunities of tomorrow rather than yesterday’s mistakes.Put another way, we must focus on the things we want to achieve, not on the things we fear.

4. Learn to deal with failure

Failure can be painful – think of a slap in the face, or a kick in the guts. My writing mentor Sol Stein talks about the failure writers suffer – from writer’s block to 100 rejections of their stories. Stein tells the story of Christy Brown who wrote a book with the title ‘My Left Foot’, made into a movie starring Daniel Day-Lewis. Brown had cerebral palsy so bad he only had some control over his left foot, and he wrote his life’s story with his left toe. When Sol finishes telling that story, he asks: ‘What did you say your problem was again?’

5. Perseverance is everything

The most valuable asset is our willingness to persist longer than anyone else. Think of Churchill. He was defeated in every election for public office until he became Prime Minister at the age of 62. Think of Edison who persevered despite three thousand failures to make the light bulb work.

Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.

6. Be prepared to change

Successful people are simply people with successful habits. If we want to be more successful, we have to change our habits, have to get rid of bad ones and develop good ones. Every day. Change is a step by step process.

It helps to remember this:

You’re the one who has the dream, you set your goals, it is your journey, it’s your life
You are your own scriptwriter and the play is not finished as long as you’re alive
You only get one life, so shouldn’t you be the one writing the script?

*A quote from Denis Waitley


Kim Brebach
Content Chief

Kim loves people and words. He is our lateral thinker, ideas guy and genius story teller. He can conjure engaging technology yarns out of thin air.

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