We all want to succeed, but we don’t always. In fact, many (perhaps most) people go through life feeling like they have not succeeded in any significant way. They feel like their dreams, their big plans and goals go unfulfilled.
There are many reasons for failure. Sometimes we simply don’t try hard enough. Other times we may not really understand what it takes to succeed at a task, so we are not prepared. Many times, we may not even really understand what success looks like.
Those who fail at achieving their goals most often simply give up after a couple of tries. They make up excuses for why they cannot succeed, and conquer themselves. But every one of us has the tools we need to succeed and reach our goals, once we know and internalize the secret.
So what is the secret to succeeding? It’s simple, but not always easy. The secret is to understand that you have not failed until you have stopped trying. Yes, there are many tools and techniques for making success easier, like good planning, solid discipline, clear vision of what success looks like, etc. But the one thing that is absolutely necessary to succeeding is the drive and determination that pulls us through when things seem impossible, and keeps the dream alive. The mindset that there is no failure until there is no longer any effort.
Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin, and Walt Disney are three individuals who failed dozens of times before achieving incredible success. Any of these great men could have given up at any time, but they kept going. Their mind set was not one of failure, but one of vision and continued learning from their setbacks. Instead of giving up each persevered, often in the face of others telling them they should quit, achieving greatness.
So the next time things seem to be too hard remember this: you only fail when you stop trying. All other setbacks are just learning experiences you can use for the next try.
Photo by Mike Baird, who has loads of awesome images on Flickr