FAILURE: Predictor or Prelude? “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Winston Churchill. To predict is to use information to support probable future events. Predicting failure as our future is holding to a tight belief that past performance will very likely be repeated. Again, Churchill says, Stop…re-think the belief that past failure is a predictor Again, Churchill states, ” Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
Henry Ford also understood failure as Prelude, which means he understood failure as continuous opening, discovering, learning, encountering. Ford spoke of failure this way: “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.”
What about J.K Rowling, the most prolific and successful writer of the late 20th, early 21st century? What has she discovered about past failure as predictor or prelude? She states, ” Failure is so important. We speak about success all the time. It is the ability to resist failure or use failure that often leads to greater success. I’ve met people who don’t want to try for fear of failing.”
So, I ask you, my Inspiration Impulse Reader, how do you weigh in? Is failure-to-success a function of keeping on, keeping on as a risk-taker with life’s opportunities to be a continuous, optimistic learn at home, at work and in the community? I believe so. I am not familiar with Eloise Ristad, but I do love what she writes about failing into success: “When we give ourselves permission to fail, we, at the same time, give ourselves permission to excel.”
Over the past month, I have had the opportunity to come alongside a professional who has been grappling with the issue of failure as predictor. As I have listened with an intuitive mind to this professional talk about the fear of being defined by past failures, I have noticed that failure always seeks a final verdict. Failure always wants a tombstone. Failure always says, ‘Let’s settle up.’ Failure declares, “Game Over; Go Home. You’re Done.”
When the predictive mental habit of failure speaks like a hammer hitting your head, it feels like a nightmare you are waking up to daily. Ultimately, this nagging nightmare can become what we carry into each day and accept as the Truth.
The fact is that the nightmare of permanent, unending failure is a nightmare of a mind denying the hopefulness of becoming a Forever Learner. When we transform failure from Constant Nightmare to a Forever Learner, we stop beating our head against a closed door called Success and, instead, we put our hand on the doorknob of the Success door and turn it, ever so gently, with our mental/emotional/spiritual intention to purposefully step forward into a new room of learning.
Many people have come my way over my lifetime to tell me how they have beat their on a door of failure they can’t open. My counsel has always the same. Beating your head against failure’s door will not heal you. Get your hand on the doorknob of Today, and turn that doorknob, knowing your past is never intended to predict anything. Your Past is life learning leading you forward. Open the door named Now. Walk forward with your Past. It predicts nothing. Simply walk forward knowing you are creating anew. C.S Lewis understood failure as Prelude. He wrote, “Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.”
A good week awaits you! Embrace it. Pursue it. See it. Feel it. Invite your Past to move purposefully with you.