“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
– Thomas A. Edison
Happy Saturday, Everyone!
I found this quote today on a blog, www.successforrealpeople.wordpress.com, and it got me thinking! Of course I thought about my own successes, but also my students’. I often tell them that I don’t believe there is such a thing as failure. I tell them that when they think they have failed, they simply have not succeeded, yet. I don’t think it is ever too late to work at a goal or a dream that you have, even if you yourself have given up hope. Hope is something that you can always find again, if and when you want to.
Like Thomas Edison has said, I do think it is true that many times people give up right before they would accomplish their task. It is very similar to Randy’ Pausch’s idea of “brick walls” (if you haven’t read The Last Lecture yet, please do!) and how they are put in place to really test how badly we want what we are going after. I think though that if we allow a “brick wall” to get in our way, or we do give up on something, we still can go back to it later on. I don’t like to hear people who say that they will never be good at something, or that they missed their opportunity at something. There is no such thing! For example, I let some brick walls get in the way of my own writing and publishing for a while, but I have come back to it a little stronger and more confident than before and am working at my goals from an even a better place than I did the last time. I never felt like I had failed because I stopped writing or working on certain pieces, but that I had just not yet succeeded, that the time was not yet right. I kept the faith and the hope that someday I would come back to these goals and achieve them. I am now making that someday today.
Look at Thomas Edison himself; this is his quote and he is a perfect example of someone who had tremendous success in his life as well as a considerable amount of “failures.” But, because he persevered and succeeded in the end, we do not view him as a failure. We know of him only through his successes and accomplishments.
Think about your own lives today and see if there is anything that you had once really hoped to accomplish, but didn’t. Do you see a way to do it now? Do you still have part of that dream alive inside of you? If so, go for it. Don’t give up. It is never too late!
8 thoughts on ““Many of life’s failures…””
I’ve come to learn that the only “someday” we are ever guaranteed is today. Great article!
Thanks for the post. I just relayed a similar message from friend, a success coach, where he said about a client, “he was describing not a failure, but the middle part of a very inspiring story“.
Stopping when it’s painful is no crazy; you’re left holding a bag of pain. If you’re going to stop, do it when you’ve crossed the finish line. 🙂
I happen to love brick walls in my life
coming across one is how to get the magic going, and change happens
also nice to have breaks from brick walls sometimes too 🙂
I think that is a great way to phrase it…the “middle part of a very inspiring story.” Maybe, getting over or through the walls begins by changing how we look at things sometimes. I also agree about not stopping until you have crossed the finish line…what is the point in doing anything else? (You said so much in so few words!)
Have you read Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture? I think he would have agreed with you about the brick walls and magic. That is such a nice way to put it.
Thanks so much to you both for posting your thoughts!
Every bit of it is so true, but failures are also a natural way of life. You learn from them, build upon them, and hopefully gain the skill-set to not repeat them…thus, you hopefully become a better person from them.
I recently saw a news report about a 90′ something War Vet’ who is working part-time at Starbucks while going back to school…totally blew me away, and probably gave a TON of people hope.
Failure is the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently.
Unfortunately most of us don’t believe that we are as intelligent as we only dream we can be! Liked your blog, because it makes you think. And that is something not many people can do
Thanks so much for your comment.
Right, I think learning from our experiences (whether we call them mistakes or not) is very important. Well said!
It really is important to remember that for every failure we “get out of the way,” we increase our probability of success the next time.