Your Precious Failures
Nobody likes failures.
However, failures are more precious than most of us are inclined to think.
In fact, they can become stepping stones towards our final success. Don’t get me wrong, a failure really is a failure, not a success. It’s ugly, discouraging, accusing, threatening, judging! However…
A failure doesn’t have to be the final word spoken. The crucial question is, what do you do with it? What comes next?
Think of Thomas Edison. Holding as many as 1093 patents in the United States, and in addition many patents in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany, he probably was one of the most prolific inventors of all times. Edison became famous not only for the widespread impact of his inventions, but also for his unbroken decisiveness to never give up. It is said that before succeeding with his first well-functioning light bulb in 1879, he went through around 2000 failures. When during the time of his endless struggles being asked, why he wouldn’t give up such a meaningless endeavor, he gave his well-known answer. ”It’s not a failure at all”, he said, ”I just found 2000 ways of how not to make a light bulb”.
Inventions are made when someone thinks outside the box and tries to accomplish something that others call impossible, or at least meaningless, and uses every failure as a stepping stone for still another try.
However, our problem is that we are stuck inside the box and all we can do is think inside.
So, how do you manage to think on the outside? What then makes individuals finally free themselves from the bonds of the well-known and secure paths of thought, risk a failure and jump the leap? How do you accomplish such a feat?
Many times, it’s through a deep crisis caused by a failure. Sometimes, it’s out of pure desperation. You are stuck and can’t see any way out. You hit the bottom and have nothing to lose.
This is when you are ready to stretch beyond what seems possible.
Seen that way, failures are the condition in which creativity is ignited. They are the soil out of which success springs forth, but only for those who stop mourning and lamenting and decide to try again and go on.
Judas didn’t have to end up in a tragedy. That was his own decision, his own self-made judgement. As Jesus restored Peter, I am sure he was ready to even forgive Judas and open up a new life for him, a life of peace and freedom way beyond his failure.
So how do you think about your recent failure? What’s your decision? Are you ready to welcome and embrace it and learn from it?
And open a new and unexpected door.
Geoffrey: Thank you Egmont! This is true and I have been in failures many times, and I have seen the hand of God in the end of it. The worst part was when I was laughed at, but I was deeply convicted that God my heavenly father will turn it up for his glory. Thanks again.
Reply: Thank you, Geoff! You are right. The Lord is a master of turning things round. We just need to wait.