This article is inspired by the result of recent general election in my home country, Slovakia. Now I can imagine many of you having mixed feelings while reading the title above, maybe even thinking it's a non-sense and I won't be surprised or offended if you did.
So why is this being said? What's actually meant by it?
The truth is, there's nothing unusual about failing. We fail all the time, starting from being babies or toddlers trying to stand or walk. Yet, we rarely do know how to cope with failures. And the reason why we find it difficult to deal with failures as adults is because we perceive them as something negative (to catastrophic) and naturally work towards it's opposite - our victories. And when the victory doesn't happen when or just how we expect it to happen, we see anything other than that as insufficient, a failure.
And because of feeling terrible about not achieving, thinking that we're not worth it, that the thing is not worth it and that this is the end, most of us go even further to giving up on their goals, dream, passion after the first unsuccessful attempt. Does that sound familiar?
What really is a failure then?
'See failures as an opportunity to learn from, to grow, not a defeat. Failures are in fact partial victories, not anything less than that. It's a training ground to become better, stronger, smarter - a winner.'
We have a lot to learn from people who had to fail first to succeed later on and so understood failures differently. They didn't see them as show-stoppers, end-game or catastrophes, merely simple road-blocks. They anticipated, accepted and appreciated failures for what they are - a natural part of our journey, as learning opportunities, in fact as little victories, because all the knowledge that comes from failing to succeed makes it much easier to succeed next time. Lessons learned, mistakes understood and corrected, skill-set improved to eventually mastered.
All those who adapted their mind to understanding that failing actually helps them grow invested a lot of their time, energy and interest to master their passion and fulfill their dreams. Imagine a young Federer giving up on tennis before winning his first match, we'd have never heard of him and his dream today would have been a fantasy. If Gandhi has given up his fight for independence of India, Mozart given up on music, Frida on painting, Steve Jobs on programming or Greta on the movement to save this planet from an ecological disaster, their message would have never come across and the world would have been quite a different place today. We'd have never heard about Tesla if he considered failure a personal disaster. If we'd have given up on trying to stand up and walk every time we failed as toddlers life would be quite a different experience for us today, wouldn't it?
By the words of this noble man, A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, former president of India, F.A.I.L. only means a First Attempt in Learning. Therefore, work towards your failures, not your successes and you'd never feel like failing. Work towards your failures and you won't give up easily on things, you would want to work towards them. Work towards your failures and succeed.
Now, I hope that with this message, to aspire to learn rather than aspiring to succeed you'd succeed much faster than you'd actually have while pursuing your successes only.
ps. And the reason why recent Slovak general elections reminded me of this message is that there's quite some parties that worked only towards their successes and failed. Or rather they think they failed while it's only a message that there's still things to learn and improve to be successful. On the contrary, those who worked towards a failure, a consistent long-term learning, succeeded.
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