”Failure doesn’t kill you… it increases your desire to make something happen.” Kevin Costner
I read the above quote earlier and I began to wonder about this notion. Webster’s Dictionary defines failure as a lack of success. The truth of the matter is that all of life is about lessons. Thus, if as Kevin Costner states in the quote, if failure is really just a life motivator, something that spurs you to make something happen, one needs to ask is the failure really a failure?
Some define success by traditional means. Does one have the material things that indicate a certain level of financial independence or earning potential has been achieved? Others define it as reaching a certain level of inner peace and self-satisfaction. Still others define success as the amount of service they give to others.
So the question is raised: if the definition of success is so subjective then isn’t the concept of failure subjective as well? At what point in life does one stop to assess whether this journey has been successful or not? A quick review of history shows us that many great people endured a lot of failure before they became a “success.” Abraham Lincoln lost 8 elections, had two bankruptcies and suffered a nervous breakdown. Yet, he is thought by many to be have been quite successful in his role as President of the United States. So, if the measurement is taken after the defeats, Lincoln is a failure; take the same measure after the presidency and he is a success. Do we measure while we are living or once our life is complete? Mother Theresa spent much of her life working to feed and help the poor. She had very little personal wealth of her own, yet she is thought to be one of the great leaders of our time.
If life is about the lessons, aren’t the failures just part such ultimately inspiring us to reach again for greatness? We all are successes in our own right. Define success for yourself. It is subjective. I think those who view themselves as failures are often doing so based upon someone else’s definition of success. This is your life! Define these concepts for yourself. Know where you want to go and what you want to accomplish. Dare to be purely, unapologetically you and go out and conquer the world. If conquering the world is not your desire, if you aim to make a small ripple in the large pond of life and that is your definition of success, there is no one alive who should be allowed to tell you that is not correct. I suggest, however, that you strive for a deeper creative connective and your purpose will become crystal clear. You may find you are called to do more than you suspected. Sometimes you will fall. When you fall, get back up and keep going. It’s no big deal… just another lesson… another path on your journey. And, life is such a wonderful journey. You are not a failure. You are living and learning and you were made to succeed.
Spread love…peace and blessings.