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Adrian Ciesielski
 
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5 reasons why failure is your greatest advantage

05 January 2014, 15:11

5 reasons why failure is your greatest advantage.

As if a nuclear bomb just imploded in your soul, the impact makes your heart shiver, your mind shrivel, and all arguments of rationality collapse as you grasp for a breathe of air. You clutch your fists, ready your sword, and defend your integrity as if Sun Tsu had commanded you into war. We all know this feeling, or something similar. This is failure, and like a cold shower on a winter’s day, it really is unnecessary and puts you in a bad mood.

Failure has a few definitions, but generally it rings true to things like being unsuccessful, a feeling of misfortune, and having power taken away from you unexpectedly. Let’s be honest, these definitions manage to dress up the feeling and cannot account for the emotional torment experienced.

My question here is why is failure so highly looked down upon? I remember failing my first year at university and having many people discard me, as if I was a stray cat with malaria, and six eyes. I also had support, but only from two people. What I discovered was absolutely enlightening.

1. Failure is yours, not theirs.

If anything, when you fail, other people in your life will generally go towards two extremes; they will either tell you to get over it, or they will tell you how they warned you, and ask why you did not obey them. Lets iron this out now, if you fail, you fail. Do not bring in people to confuse or dilute the situation, and don’t let others be selfish and show how successful they are because you failed.

Own it, learn from it and make sure that you acknowledge it fully. This is incredibly important, especially if you consider the next four points.

2. This is a fresh start, not a punishment.

When failure sets in after the fireworks and sadness, human beings are known to become optimistic and almost refreshed when they begin to contemplate that life has not ended. There are more opportunities and chances to succeed, just not the way you just did.

Pick yourself up, learn from it and be better than before.

3. Failure gives you the keys to another world, yet alone other doors.

Remember when you were at school and you failed that Afrikaans vocabulary test, or when you did so badly in an English essay that you considered running away. We have all done poorly somewhere, and yes, even failed. However, when we did not succeed we learned something, and that most likely was that that route was not for you, or at least, that there is more out there than a simple mark on a test. Therefore, without trying, without learning your weaknesses, you would never know where you were meant to go, or the others places you could be.

4 . Failure breeds innovation.

The most successful people have had to take their failures, learn from them, and find better ways to improve on their actions. Look at Vivian Reddy for example, who with his first job, and in debt, did not get paid due to the client being liquidated.  Now he is extremely successful and even a motivational speaker. Some would even go as far to say that without this failure, he would have never reaped his fruits.

Another example is that of Steve Jobs, having been kicked out of his own company, for being too innovative, they needed him back, to be innovative.

If you are going to do something, do it.

If you fail or succeed, you will learn and only get better at what you do.

5. “Don’t ask me to build a bridge, but a better way to cross the river”

Nowadays, or in my opinion anyway, the processing of passing or getting by has become mundane. In fact if you are a bit Internet savvy, know what is going to come up in a meeting, test, or perhaps later at tea, you can quickly “learn” something and quickly impress someone.

Too many of us are too comfortable, we have forgotten what it means to explore ideas, question things, or even understand how objects function. The next time someone asks you for advice, how something works, or why an idea is so great, ask them to figure it out. Let them fail, it is the only way they will come understand their own laziness.

 It can also be fun, and that is what it should all be about, enjoying your learning experience.

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