If failure is an event or act, why do so many people feel like failures in life? Why do so many people see a pattern of failure as irredeemable? Or sometimes one failure as being the end? At what point does screwing up become a defining part of our being? Who gets to determine the measure of success and failure?
How many people in the public eye, celebrities, business people, etc. have been labeled a success, only for their lives to unravel in spectacular fashion?
We value the wrong things. Can we measure success or failure by how much money someone has?
People who died with nothing include Mother Teresa, Gandhi, Vincent van Gogh, and of course many religious figures, including Jesus – possibly the most influencial person to ever walk the Earth.
This doesn’t mean money and success can’t be related, it simply means that money cannot be the measure we use.
Power and position, surely they must be an indicator of success? Well, again, power can come with success, or success with power, but are they really a measure of each other?
History can throw up the names of kings, queens, emperors, and presidents who have failed and their place in history is tarnished forever. Richard Nixon? He was president at the time of
Kubrick’s the moon landing. Bad choices left a different legacy in which any good he may have achieved is long forgotten. In Nixon we see that success and failure are perceptions. The things he achieved are forgotten, but they are still achievements.
On the other side of the story, failures can account for the microwave, post-it notes, pace-makers, and penicillin among many others.
Here are today’s three takeaways:
1 – Success and failure can be measured differently by different people.
2 – Your value as a person is not defined by the perceived success or failure of anything you have done in life.
3 – Success and failure are rarely terminal, and as we see in the cases of penicillin etc, failure in one way can result in bigger success in another. We need to be open to seeing the good in the unexpected.
How many people in the public eye, celebrities, business people, etc. have been labeled a success, only for their lives to unravel in spectacular fashion? Success, like failure, is nothing more than an experience, and further more, it is a perception of an experience. Just one experience in the whole jigsaw of life. Don’t let an experience define you.
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