Saturday, 6 October 2012

Failure (Part 1)

By: James Kyle

A man meets a famous guru walking along the road. The man is delighted by this unexpected encounter and takes the opportunity to ask for guidance, "Which way is success?" he asks.
The sage says nothing but points to a place off in the distance. The man, thrilled by the prospect of a quick route to the success he craves, rushes off in the indicated direction. Suddenly, there comes a loud "Splat!!!" Eventually, the man limps back, tattered and stunned, assuming he must have misinterpreted the message. He repeats his question to the guru, who again points silently in the same direction. The man obediently walks off once more. This time the splat is deafening, and when the man crawls back, he is bloody, broken, tattered, and irate. "I asked you which way is success," he screams at the guru. "I followed the direction you indicated. And all I got was splatted! No more of this pointing! Talk to me!" And the guru replies: "As I indicated, success is that way. Just a little bit further, after the splat."

How many times have you been splatted by life? Now ask yourself honestly - what is your usual response - do you quickly recover and get on with your life or do you go hide somewhere to lick your wounds? For how long? Days, weeks, months? Take a second to think about this. Because I really think that your attitude to failure is crucial to the way your life unfolds. My intention in this article is to show that changing your attitude to failure can fundamentally transform your life.

So let’s see if we can find some specific examples to relate to:

Have you ever sworn to give up on dating for ever because of yet one more relationship disaster?
Have you ever beaten up on yourself in your work life because somebody else received the promotion you were after?
Have you ever moved into despair because of insurmountable money problems?

Yes it’s that “oh no - not again” feeling that plunges us into depression and lethargy. I expect that most of us can come up with our own particular version of this reactive attitude to life.


Now here is the crux of the matter - in life stuff happens - what makes us decide that some stuff is unacceptable? As with most philosophical questions William Shakespeare, of course, had the answer 400 years ago: "Nothing is either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”


Here are some more words of wisdom, this time from Edwin Louis Cole, “You don't drown by falling in the water; you drown by staying there.” … and we stay down because of our attitude - our thinking that tells us that what has happened to us is bad, that it is unacceptable - the consequence is Learned Helplessness, a desire to give up, apathy, and depression. And then we stop trying. Here’s a thought. If you really need to worry about something, don't worry about failure. Worry about the chances you miss when you don't even try.