On Failure

F.ScottWe’ve all had those days. Those days where nothing—absolutely nothing—goes right.  Those days when two submissions garner rejections. You ask yourself if you’re failing as a writer.The kind of day when your kid gets in trouble at school and you ask yourself how and why that could have happened. You ask yourself if you’re failing as a parent. Those days when you’ve hurt someone’s feelings unintentionally. You ask yourself if your failing as a friend, a wife, a mother, or a family member. These are the kinds of questions that can keep you awake until 3 o’clock in the morning as you ask yourself what it’s all about, anyway?

I don’t take failure very well, and I’m sure a lot of other folks out there feel the same way I do. While it often can act as a motivator, sometimes it just brings us down. We’d much rather get an acceptance than a rejection; we’d rather hear our kid made honor roll and became class president than receive a disheartening phone call from a teacher; we’d rather know we can help a situation rather than make one worse; and we’d rather know that every day there is a clear-cut positive direction our life is headed.

But sometimes, it doesn’t go as planned. There’s a bend in the road, and we go off course.

So what do we do about it?

There are so many great quotes out there about failure. As some of you know, I’m a big fan of quotations. I read them as inspiration. I post them on my Facebook page. I Tweet them. But most importantly, I “hear” and heed them.

Those folks who talk about learning from failure, those who talk about growing from failure, and those who talk about appreciating failure are some of my absolute favorites.

Failure is simply a stepping-stone. Don’t let it get in your way of striving to be the best you can be or putting your best foot forward every time.

I’ve combined a few of my quotes on failure in today’s post. We may not always have the answers, but just knowing that we are not alone, and that perseverance counts in beating failure, should serve as its own inspiration.

Today’s stellar quote from JK Rowling reminds us never to give up on things and to always seek hope: to learn from failure and move on from it.

From JK Rowing: “So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realised, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”

From Dale Carnegie: “Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.”

From Winston Churchill: “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

And from Bill Cosby: “I don’t know about success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”


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