8 Examples of Why Failure is an Amazing Thing

In Uncategorized on January 23, 2013 at 9:14 am

I watched a video this morning of economics professor Larry Smith At TEDxUW 2011. He was giving a talk on “Why You Need to Fail to Have a Great Career”. This made me start to think about my own situation and how this could be applied in my life. As some of you may know I have COPD and it has now progressed to the point that it interferes with my daily life. Boy, did I feel like a failure. I failed my family. I failed myself. Sitting in the hospital hooked up to an IV and tethered to an oxygen line for the first couple of days all I could think was “WTF”. That was one of my low points in life. In the middle of the night after the nurse had come and woke me out of a somewhat sound sleep to take my vitals, I realized I was being an idiot. The problem was not how was I going to deal with this situation it was how am I going to take this situation and pull something positive out of it. As the sun came up I called my daughter and asked her to bring me a notebook and a pencil. I started to make lists.

The lists to someone else may seem a bit odd. They started with what was going on with my health. Once I had that down on paper I had a clear black and white picture of where I stood with my current health situation. Then I made another list. This one was about what my immediate concerns were at that time. First on the list was how will I keep money coming into the house. That led me to the next list. What was I going to do about it? I am in school for graphic design and I had previously sold freelance work before I moved to this area. I decided to re-energize my freelance business. I made lists that stated what steps I needed to take to get the business ready to go, such as redesigning my website, putting together a marketing plan and more. I made lists about where I would find clients. I made lists of lists. Within 24 hours I had redirected my thinking and knew that this FAILURE was actually exactly what I needed to get my ass in gear and do what I love. I have gained several new clients and I expanded into the content writing field and that is going very well.

Now I am making another list.

8 Examples of Why Failure is an Amazing Thing

1)     When You’re Looking for X Sometimes You Find Y

Accept Defeat: The Neuroscience of Screwing Up by Johan Leher A great article on what can happen when scientists make “mistakes”.

2)      Michael Jordan’ Nike Commercial on Failure

3)      Will Smith on Conquering Failure. Very inspiring.

4)  I’ve come to believe that all my past failure and frustration were actually laying the foundation for the understandings that have created the new level of living that I now enjoy. – Tony Robbins

5)      In his lifetime, Vincent Van Gogh only sold one painting of the 800 pieces he created.

6)      Abraham Lincoln lost the 1858 election for Illinois State Senator. But the Lincoln-Douglas debates were so impressive he went on the run for the President of the Untied States and won.

7)     Then there is Alexander Fleming’s miraculous invention of the drug Penicillin.

8)      Here is a quote from someone who faced failures but kept enduring. Jesus said this to his disciples after they left a particularly difficult village and they were traveling to the next.

If any place will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them. Mark  Ch.6:11


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