Monday, August 22, 2011

If You’ve Never Failed, You’ve Never Lived

One of the great anthems of my youth was the Rolling Stones’ song: “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” Truer words were never sung.

Setbacks are a normal part of life. What matters is how you respond to them.

Napoleon Hill, one of America’s first and greatest writers on the topic of success, said: “One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat.”

The antidote? Patience and perseverance … regardless of the obstacles in your path.

Let me share a snippet from my very own first job.

My first assignment was to write a press release. I gave the initial draft to my boss, who took up a pencil and — with two vicious slashes — cut the paper to ribbons, while shouting: “This is awful! Garbage! Do it over! Do it right!” I rewrote the draft and brought it back to him. Five more times. Each time he tore it to bits, excoriating me for my “ineptitude.” I was near tears — and close to quitting — when a co-worker suggested I give the boss my first draft. “Maybe he’ll approve it this time,” she said. I took her up on her suggestion … and he did!

There is a GREAT little inspirational video on YouTube whose theme is “If you’ve never failed, you’ve never lived.” It features a number of immensely accomplished people who, at some stage in their careers, found themselves — as Napoleon Hill puts it — “with at least one foot hanging well over the brink of failure.”

They ultimately achieved great success by viewing defeat as a temporary state and responding with tenacity, hard work and an abiding faith in themselves.

It may be trite, but the old adage is true: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again

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