How to Transform Failure into Success

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison

success-failure-signEliminate the fear of failure

There is nothing more human than making mistakes. Despite that, in our eagerness for success we do our best to hide our failures and short comings from others. A movement to bring this behaviour to an end is growing. It’s called Fail Forward and calls for individuals to stand by their failings. The theory is that nothing contributes more to learning potential than your own failures. The question remains, is failure really the best way to move forward in your life? How can you best learn from your failures and orientate yourself towards success in the future.

Failures are the true winners

Ashley Good is convinced that learning from failure is the doorway to unlimited potential. She is the founder of Fail Forward and has received the Innovative Innovation Award for her ideas. Ashley is looking to show us the way to learning from failure and is calling upon everyone to stand by their mistakes. She believes that doing so is the key to reaching their true potential.
This approach has received praise from high places. The New York Times, the Guardian and even Bill Gates have spoken out in support of learning from mistakes. Not only that, there are major conferences in Silicon Valley dedicated to failure, where the best of the best in the business world speak about their failures over the years and how they contributed to their eventual success. Has failure actually become sexy? Could it be that failures are really the true winners?

From loser to winner?

The question if someone will become a winner or a loser is not an easy one to answer. Some of the biggest heroes in history were classified as losers during their lives. An example of this is Vincent van Gogh. While the 19th century artist’s paintings are now worth a fortune, during his lifetime, he was only able to sell one single painting. It was only after his death that he became one of the most famous artists of all time.
Furthermore, inventor Thomas Edison suffered through many failures before he finally made his breakthrough and invented the light bulb. Not only that, every sportsperson once began at the bottom and made numerous mistakes on their path to where they now are. Does this mean we should classify these big talents as losers? Today we would call them winners, however at an earlier stage of their lives, there were times when they were the loser. The key to their success was not giving up after each of their failures.

Failure – ruin or redemption?

Although many examples exist of people overcoming huge failures and reaching great success, in every day life, the Fail Forward concept can prove more challenging. The German economist Holger Patzelt researched this topic in a study. He looked at the failures of entrepreneurs and came to the conclusion that being able to learn from failure has a lot to do with the ability to process negative emotions. People who face a massive failure, fall quickly into a period of mourning. It is only those who are able to bring themselves back out of that, who have the chance to learn from their mistakes and begin anew.

Cultivate self-awareness

Those who are looking to learn from their mistakes must be willing to take a long, hard look at themselves. It is necessary to put your mistakes under a microscope in order to understand them and learn how to prevent them from happening again in the future. This is the way to forging a new future. Sometimes a successful life is faced with a small detour, and who knows what might have become of many of the world’s greatest, if they had not been faced with failure along the way.

Adapted from an article in Experteer Magazine

Le Billet Froissé

billet-froisseUn conférencier bien connu commence son séminaire en tenant bien haut un billet de 100 € et demande dans la salle :

Qui veut ce billet ? Toutes les mains se lèvent.

Le formateur froisse alors le billet avec force et demande encore :

Qui veut ce billet ? A nouveau toutes les mains se lèvent.

Puis il jette le billet froissé par terre et le piétine avec acharnement et demande une nouvelle fois :

Qui veut encore avoir ce billet ? Évidemment, les mains continuent de se lever !

Mes amis, vous venez d’apprendre une leçon… Peu importe ce que je fais avec ce billet, vous le voulez toujours parce que sa valeur n’a pas changé, il vaut toujours 100 euros. Alors pensez à vous, à votre vie. Plusieurs fois dans votre vie vous serez froissé, rejeté, souillé par par les décisions que vous prenez et / ou les circonstances qui viennent à votre rencontre. Vous aurez l’impression que vous ne valez plus rien mais en réalité votre valeur n’aura pas changé !

La valeur d’une personne ne tient pas à ce que l’on fait ou pas, mais à ce que l’on est, car la valeur intrinsèque est toujours intacte.

El Billete Arrugado

billet-froisseUn orador renombrado inició un seminario mostrando al auditorio un billete de €100 euros. Dirigiéndose a los 200 espectadores preguntó:

“¿Qué es este papel y tendra acaso algún valor?” Alguien respondió: “Es un billete de €100 euros que vale tanto en el mercado nacional como el internacional para pagos de productos, servicios y demás por su valor nominal”, respondió uno de los muchos participantes que levantaron la mano.

El orador procedió a abollar el billete de €100 euros con ambas manos hasta convertirlo en una bolita de papel arrugado. A continuación, la desplegó nuevamente y tras un intento fallido de enderezarlo preguntó: “¿Ahora, aún podrá negociarlo por su valor nominal?”

“¡Sí!” fue la respuesta contundente de los participantes.

“Bueno,” dijo, “Parece que no le he hecho lo suficiente, ¿Qué pasa si hago esto?” arrojando el billete al suelo y pisándolo con su zapato. Luego lo recogió, todo arrugado, sucio, dañado y difícil de reconocer a distancia. “¿Alguien quiere cambiarlo por su valor de cotización?” Muchos alzaron la mano.

“Creo que el billete aún mantiene su valor”, respondió un participante en con voz dudosa. “El billete todavía puede traer bienes por el valor de €100 euros”, dijo otro participante. Todos estuvieron de acuerdo.

“Amigos míos, hay una lección muy valiosa para aprender de este ejercicio. Delante de sus ojos he desfigurado, mutilado y alterado el billete. Sin embargo, no importa lo que hice con el billete, todavía confirmaron su carácter negociable porque estaban seguros de que a pesar de mis acciones, no disminuyó su valor. Aún es un billete de curso legal por el valor de €100 euros”

Muchas veces en nuestra vida caemos, nos arrugamos, o nos “revolcamos en la tierra” por las malas decisiones que tomamos, por las difíciles circunstancias que nos rodean y / o que hemos contribuido a crear. Llegamos a sentir que no valemos nada. Puede incluso aparecer así a los demás de tu entorno. Pero no importa lo que ha sucedido ni qué va a pasar, no olvide que jamás pierdes tu “Valor”.

You Never Lose Your Value

billet-froisseA well known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a €100 bill. In the room of 200, he asked “What is this piece of paper and is it worth anything?” “It is a €100 bill, which can be cashed in international & national markets for it’s quoted value,” replied one of the many participants who raised their hands.

The speaker proceeded to crumple up the €100 bill using both his hands until it became a bundle of wrinkled paper. He then unfolded it again and making an unsuccessful attempt to keep it straight he asked, “Would you still be able to negotiate it for it’s quoted value?”

” Yes!” was the echoing reply from the participants.

“Well,” he said, “Looks like I haven’t done enough! What if I do this?” And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, which was now all crumpled, dirty, defaced and not easy to recognize from a distance. “Now will someone like to trade it for its quoted value?” Many hands went in the air.

“I think that piece of currency is still holding its quoted value” replied a participant in an unsure voice. “This bill can still fetch goods worth 100 Euros” said the other participants. Everyone agreed.

“My friends, there is a very valuable lesson in this exercise that we are just through with. It may have appeared to some of you, that I was able to deface, mutilate & alter the €100 bill during the process as the effects were quite visible”.

“However, no matter what I did to this piece of paper, you still upheld its negotiability because you were sure in your mind that my actions did not actually decrease its value. It was still a currency note worth €100”.

“Many times in our lives, we feel as though we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and/or the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless. It may also appear to onlookers as if it has really happened to a certain extent. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, please remember you never lose your “Value”.

Les Six Aveugles et l’Éléphant

6blindmenSix hommes d’Hindoustan très enclins à parfaire leurs connaissances allèrent voir un éléphant (bien que tous fussent aveugles) afin que chacun, en l’observant, puisse satisfaire sa curiosité.

Le premier s’approcha de l’éléphant et, perdant pied, alla buter contre son flanc large et robuste. Il s’exclama aussitôt : « Mon Dieu! Mais l’éléphant ressemble beaucoup à un mur! »

Le second, palpant une défense, s’écria : « Ho! Qu’est-ce que cet objet si rond, si lisse et si pointu? Il ne fait aucun doute que cet éléphant extraordinaire ressemble beaucoup à une lance! »

Le troisième s’avança vers l’éléphant et, saisissant par inadvertance la trompe qui se tortillait, s’écria sans hésitation : « Je vois que l’éléphant ressemble beaucoup à un serpent! »

Le quatrième, de sa main fébrile, se mit à palper le genou. « De toute évidence, dit-il, cet animal fabuleux ressemble beaucoup à un arbre! »

Le cinquième toucha par hasard à l’oreille et dit : « Même le plus aveugle des hommes peut dire à quoi ressemble le plus l’éléphant; nul ne peut me prouver le contraire, ce magnifique éléphant ressemble beaucoup à un éventail! »

Le sixième commençant tout juste à tâter l’animal, la queue qui se balançait lui tomba dans la main. « Je vois, dit-il, que l’éléphant ressemble beaucoup à une corde! »

Ainsi, ces hommes d’Hindoustan discutèrent longuement, chacun faisant valoir son opinion avec force et fermeté. Même si chacun avait partiellement raison, tous étaient dans l’erreur.

John Godfrey Saxe, poète américain (1816-1887) en racontant une histoire ancienne de l’Inde.