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“A Case For Failure?”

Dan John’s book titled Way To Go contains an important topic.   The chapter—“Figuring Out Your Life and Lifting Goals.”  It always intrigues me to read about life and how people perceive it.  More importantly, the chapter discusses about an important subtopic—“A case for failure?”  As I have stated in my earlier blog entries, I have continued to view failure in a positive way.   Failure has always fueled me to perform better.  For instance, last year—2015 was disastrous to me, financially.  I saw that many of my gym clients didn’t turn up to the gym and the revenue I generated dwindled, drastically.  But I took a few reliable decision during that time of crisis.  When you face adversity of any kind, know that it is your friend.  It actually brings out the best in you.  For instance, I realized that personal training is my true strength and that I am pretty good at that.  Although I had abandoned personal training.  I now realize that some of my clients ask for my personal attention.   I am also contended to train them personally and glad that it fetches me extra revenue.  So failure, in other words, adversity, continues to help me grow in the right direction. However, I stumble upon different faces of failure and its effect in Dan’s book.

I have always envisioned that failure is the stepping stone to success.   However, I see that Dan opines contrarily on failure.  The first line of the chapter says, “Failure also leaves tracks?”  This was a definite slap on my face.   But I never imagined that failure can leave tracks.  Unfortunately, the bitter taste failure leaves on you can be grievous.  It can affect you deeply.  You might end up abandoning the pursuit.  Moreover, failure can cause a negative impact, which can also become a habit.  So, you get used to failure and think it’s normal to fail.

As I stated earlier, failure and not achieving a goal can sometimes spur you into making greater impact.   One of the most important positive facet of failure is this.  Mark Twight, the author of the book titled kiss or kill, and one of the world’s foremost mountain climbers, says how he failed while discussing with Dan.  Mark says that when confronted with a decision to continue climbing and presumably die on Mount Everest or to head back to base camp, he came back down.  He suggests that on that day he learned more from failure than he would have from succeeding.  So failure can be a blessing in disguise.

Nonetheless, I am fortunate to view failure in a positive way.  I am not suggesting that I don’t succumb, but I don’t delve on it.  I lookout for ways to come out of it, for I realize that yielding to failure is not pleasant.  Perhaps, I don’t want to make a habit out of it.   Last but not the least, allow me to narrate the story of Bruce and the spider and how failure is indeed the stepping stone to success.  Robert the Bruce was king of Scots from 1306 to 1329.  The legend goes that Bruce was defeated by the English in the early days and was exiled.  He took refuge in a cave where he saw a spider trying to make a web.  The spider repeatedly failed but slowly got back up to try again.  Finally, the spider succeeded and weaved a web.  Bruce was inspired by the spider and went on to defeat the English at the Battle of Bannockburn.

Whatever said and done, strive to look at the positive side of failure.  Moreover, I understand that failure though sounding bitter may bless you with several other positive things.  In the short term it can destructive but in the long run it can be a great blessing.  So don’t get bogged down if you fail.  Also know that if failure is one side of the coin success is the other side of it.

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