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Fail Greatly And Achieve Greatness

TO FAIL IS TO KNOW THYSELF: Wise words from the world’s great failures

"A bad day for your ego is a great day for your soul" - Jillian Michaels.

Businesses fail, relationships fail and people fail to reach their goals…all the time.  

But, this is not always a bad thing.  

In fact, most people who fail will tell you it propelled them onto bigger and better things.  Nonetheless, failure is a hard pill to swallow and it’s tough to forgive ourselves for failing at something especially when we become so emotionally attached to a certain goal and we focus all of our energy, enthusiasm and drive on to it.

Usually, we can still strive towards that goal no matter how many setbacks, obstacles or defeats we might suffer along the way.

And when we learn to use those “failures” to motivate and fuel us rather than to hinder our progress, transformational change can happen.

Right now, if you are going through failure and you are in the flux of all that pain and anguish, my heart goes out to you.  

Truly, I feel for you because I know that experience all too well. My advice is to accept the hurt instead of trying to reject it and keep it at bay.  

When you do that, the pain will soften and leave you  sooner.  If you reject how you really feel, then those emotions can arise at unexpected times later on, and can make you feel pessimistic, moody, angry or sad.   

Zig Ziglar the famous American coach and “encourager of all people” once said  “Remember that failure is an event, not a person.”

At times, I have wanted to give up but I have always been an optimist by nature. 

Before we taste success, before we become heroes, before we can change the world, we all have a threshold to meet.  

I knew that I had to struggle through the tunnel of darkness to see the light just like Andy Dufresne did in my all-time favourite movie Shawshank Redemption.  

I just kept pushing… then I found signs and omens.

I truly believe that the Universe sends us messages and warnings and that we are all blessed with the ability to interpret them to guide us in the right direction. Looking back and reflecting, I have failed more times than I would like to remember. 

And these were not small failures - they were monumental, painful, earth-shattering failures.  

Failures you can be proud of!

During those hard times, I wondered how I could ever overcome them but, the truth of the matter is that failure in life does serve us. 

We are human; we are bound to make mistakes: the invaluable lessons that we learn from our them is something we should embrace.  

In fact, something truly monumental can be built on a foundation of utter destruction and failure - that is a life lesson. 

So, I began to read autobiographies of people who succeeded despite hitting the lowest point in their lives and I realised that great failure can be the source of great inspiration.  

Did Steve Jobs consider himself a failure when he was fired from Apple in 1985 or J.K. Rowling when all 12 major publishers rejected her first Harry Potter book?  

If Thomas Edison believed in failure would we still be living in darkness? Did Henry Ford see himself as a failure following his two bankruptcies before the age of 40?

If you look at the most inspirational innovators, athletes, geniuses, and icons throughout history, they all shared a common belief - they simply did not entertain the notion of failure as negative. 

Anyone who has achieved anything great, anyone who has impacted the world has at some point made a choice to embrace failure instead of fighting it.   

I do not want to downplay how hard it feels to fail, as some failures can be exceptionally painful and make it extremely difficult for us to stand up again.  

There are failures that might knock you to the ground and make everything feel pointless. 

But, with every failure, we are given the opportunity to re-evaluate.  

And sometimes failure can be a blessing in disguise for bigger and better things in the future.  You may not understand it at the time but, there will come a time when that failure will serve you.

Without my failures, I would not have faced my biggest fears and realised my solid willpower, enduring persistence and my cheery positivity.  

In its very own difficult way, every failure has taught me something new and forced me to look inward and really find my true self.  

My failures have helped me to redefine myself and grow, to have clarity and an understanding of what I truly want, fueling my quest for a bigger and brighter future.

I used to wonder why champions cried after winning.  Now I know.  

The jubilation and exhilaration of achieving your goal is one of the best feelings that you can ever experience. It is absolutely priceless and worth every second of the blood, sweat and tears that you go through to get there.  

Now I  try and live by John Green’s mantra...

“What is the point of being alive if you don’t at least try to do something remarkable?”  

Think about failure as a form of feedback: the situation is showing you what is not working so you can understand what will work.  

Thomas Edison knew this well: “I have not failed. I have’ve just found 10,000 ways that do not work.”    He also said “Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.”  

He realized that it was so important to invent the lightbulb and he knew it wouldn’t be easy.  It shows me that the fear of failure becomes remarkably unimportant when it is compared with such missed opportunities.

So, have faith, belief, and trust in the fact that whatever you are going through right now is temporary and that the Universe is supporting you.   

You are not alone.  Many others have and are going through what you’re going through.

And keep going…..just like Michael Jordan:

“I have missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games.  26 times I have been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed.  I have failed over and over and over again in my life.  And that is why I succeed.”

Farah Idris

Farah Idris

Hypnotherapist | Philanthropist | ExtremeAdventurer

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