Webster defines failure simply as a “lack of success,” but what does it mean and how/why does it happen?

First, let’s start with the definition. There’s nothing in the definition that implies that failure is final. It just simply states a lack of success. It’s not an “inability for success” or “antithesis of success” – it’s just lacking. Even “lacking” simply means deficient.

None of the words associated with failure represent any sort of finality. WE created the finality of failure. Failure, in and of itself, is just another step. If you’re lacking or deficient in Vitamin D (which nearly EVERYONE is, by the way) – what do you do? You take extra Vitamin D. Being vitamin D deficient doesn’t mean you’re never going to experience the benefits of Vitamin D ever again – it just means you need to be more focused and intentional about it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not attempting to oversimplify failure (or success). I am, however, wanting to make the distinction that failure isn’t final until we accept it as so and stop. We make failure final.

Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

The greatest success stories throughout history started with hundreds (sometimes thousands) of instances of rejection and “failure.”

  • Thomas Edison had over 1,000 failed attempts at making the lightbulb.
  • Walt Disney was turned down 302 times before finally securing the funding to open Disney World.
  • Colonel Sanders was turned down 1,009 times before someone finally agreed to give his chicken recipe a shot. (and he was in his 60s by then)
  • Henry Ford failed and went broke five times before he finally succeed with Ford Motor Company.
  • R.H. Macy failed seven times before his store in New York City caught on.

Success is not about how many times you get knocked down, it’s about how many times you get back up.

One of the biggest mistakes we make is comparing our starting point to someone else’s achievement.

We boobytrap our own path to success by setting unrealistic expectations based on a reality that doesn’t and hasn’t ever really existed. It’s when we understand that failure is part of the process, not the end of the process that we’re able to move forward.

If you’ve “failed” it’s because you’ve decided it was ok. It’s too hard. I don’t have enough resources. I’m too far behind.

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.

The race is won at the end.

Joseph McClendon III

There are two true keys to success:

  1. Show up
  2. Keep showing up

One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned from Tony Robbins is simply: Decide. Commit. Resolve. Decide what you want, commit to the changes necessary to make it possible, and resolve the details later.

You can’t change your past, but you can absolute create a different future. This time next year, you’ll wish you had started today.