Life / Can Do

Helpful tips to living a better life

The Value of Failing

with 2 comments

When I started this site it was my goal to publish at least one post per week. Now it’s been months since I last posted so it is obvious I failed to meet that goal. I can list several worthy reasons why I did not accomplish this but that does not change the fact that I failed. When you set a goal you can’t add a clause that lets you off the hook if it becomes inconvenient or harder than you first thought.

But here’s the thing – failure is always an option. I know that flies in the face of hard core goal setters but if it weren’t true nothing would ever get done. Some of the most famous and successful people in the world are also known to have failed several times. Steve Jobs was fired as CEO of Apple. Abraham Lincoln had lost several elections. Edison failed thousands of times to create a working light bulb. If these people buried their heads in shame and quit, the world would have been a different place. The secret to success is to learn from failure and keep going.

Failing is great time to reassess your goals and look back at what went wrong. It may be that the original goal was not feasible and needs to be adjusted. Or, maybe the goal is not something you want to accomplish anymore.

Just as it is important to set goals, it is equally important to access whether or not you still want or need to meet a goal. If your life situation changes and the goal you set for yourself is no longer relevant or desirable you need to stop working on that goal. If while working toward your goal you get involved in a great business opportunity that requires a great deal of your time, than maybe the goal of “Read War and Peace by June” is no longer a priority.

When you decide to give up on a goal you have to consider if timing is a factor. The goal may still be worthwhile, but that you can’t work on it until another goal or obligation has been completed. If that’s the case, it is important to reset the goal and set a new completion date. Don’t give up entirely because it didn’t work out the first time.

The ability to remove or edit your goals is a tricky balancing act. Care must be taken that you are not just finding justification to get out of a difficult but worthwhile goal. Failing to meet a goal should still be taken seriously. I don’t believe that when Thomas Edison failed to make a light bulb work after several tries he would say, “Oh well. I’ll just try again.”. Despite his public non-nonchalance at having failed so many times, I believe he agonized over ever failed attempt.

Each failure should motivate you try again. Your level of determination should increase and not decrease. You need to develop a “I’m not going to let this beat me!” attitude.

Written by Tim ThinkAuthor

December 26, 2011 at 12:31 pm

2 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. From what I hear, a reporter once asked Edison “What was it like to faill 1000 times before inventing the light bulb?”

    Edison drew himself up and said “We didn’t faill 1000 times.This was a process of invention with 1001 steps…”

    Sometimes failure is all part of the process of getting ourselves to where we’re going….



    December 29, 2011 at 9:32 am

    • Thanks for the quotes and your comments.

      I wish I had added another quote:

      “Wisdom comes from experience, Experience comes from failing.”

      I think that’s how it goes.

      Tim Thinkauthor

      December 29, 2011 at 9:40 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: