This year’s Black Friday sparked a few thoughts about success and failure.
Let’s pretend we can simplify the definitions of these terms based on whether we achieve the desired outcome or not.
- Making the buzzer beater shot or not.
- Meeting a deadline or not.
- A $100,000 in losses instead of $1,000,000 in profit.
- Happily married vs. joyful divorce.
- And so on.
#1 – A 10 to 1 ratio.
I don’t know about you but I seem to fail a lot more than succeed. And in most cases, I think my successes are caused by my failures.
Is it really a 10 to 1 ratio? Maybe. It just sounded like a nice round number. The fact is, without failure, I wouldn’t have gotten better at communication, problem solving, exercise, writing, and leading.
#2 – They both have to exist.
It’s the law of opposites.
- Cold vs. Hot
- Happy vs. Sad
- Win vs Loss
- Good vs. Evil
- Light vs. Darkness
We only know we have succeeded only because there’s an equal opposite outcome.
#3 – Failure is more valuable, don’t let it go to waste
If I win to often, I tend to think I’m not doing something challenging enough. I also start getting overconfident.
Failure is humbling. It’s a sign that there’s room for improvement. It’s the trigger that sets off the quest to get better and master a knew skill.
I summarize my thoughts with a few quotes.
- Don’t think of it as failure. Think of it as time-released success. – Robert Orben
- You’ll be given every opportunity to fail. It is your choice whether to embrace them or not. NEVER negotiate with your obstacles. – Chris Rollins
- Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly until you learn to do it well. – Zig Ziglar
Which one are you betting on? Black or Red?