How to Fail, and Turn Failure into Success

In failure lies the seed of real hope.  Perhaps even genius.

The very first thing that must be done when beginning to fail is to realize and believe that failure is not the end, but rather the beginning; that it is not in fact altogether bad by definition, but rather good in its potential.  After all, failure clears the floor for something new, and something new can be a great place to start.

While the simple state of newness is not in and of itself beneficial, it certainly can become good if allowed to germinate correctly.  The correct way to germinate something new is to take an inventory of the failure and determine the points at which failure was compulsive or inevitable.  This is called learning from one's mistakes--putting into practice those things to which one has been witness that caused a breakdown in the distance from plans to realities.

To the meat of the issue, how to fail, there are several things indispensable to the task.  While this is not intended to be an exhaustive list, it is nevertheless an essential one.  To fail, one must embody several traits, including the ability to be self-important and prideful, the capacity to dismiss gut feelings of doom, a knack for imaginative and fantastic flights of irrelevant fancy, and a penchant for irrational excesses, whether in word or in deed.  One must be able to oversell a thing, not only to prospects but also to oneself.  A slight amount of greed, selfishness, ignorance, dynamism, ambition, and magnetism of personality are prerequisites for failure.  Add to this the absolute requirement for boundaries in relationships that are impossible to navigate, large sums of debt (whether monetary or not), and high and unreasonable expectations, and one has got a very handsome recipe for failure indeed.

Like most things in life, it's not what's past or what's to come that matters most, but what's present instead.  For failure to be complete it must find its end; one must close the loop and end the circle or be turned back round the other way to circumscribe its arc again and again in alternating directions.  In short, failure is not simply about what we tend to think of as bad or negative, but also about what is born out of such revelatory and epic goings on.  What is bad or negative for a time can just as soon become the seed for the birth of an idea that very well may change the  world, such as Tomas Edison's thousands of failures in the attempt to create the incandescent bulb.  To close the circle, glean from the failure all that is possible about what caused it, and then let it go, taking only the lessons for the remainder of the journey.

It has been said elsewhere that the path to hope lies first through hardship, then perseverance, then endurance, then character and finally on to hope, which does not disappoint.  If failure helps to plumb the depths of hardship, then hope for a renewed chance to, if necessary, fail again can serve as steps on the stairway to change.  Failure is not an end or even the end.  Failure is a wonderful beginning because, if nothing else, at least we know how not to do a thing.  Failure is a prerequisite for success, plain and simple, because if one has tasted success without failure, one cannot savor success rightly, and therefore has never known success at all.


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