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Success Advice

Here’s What You Need to Know About Failure

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Most people love success and hate failure. It is rightly said that success has many fathers, while failure has none. However, very few realize that success comes only after successive setbacks and failures. Success comes only when people realize their mistakes and learn their lessons. Success comes when people fail differently instead of failing similarly.

Is Success Without Failure Impossible?

Success without failure is a mere impossibility. That means that true success comes out of several successive setbacks and shortcomings. Success comes from sacrifices and struggles. It comes out of hard lessons learned from failures. When we look at the top global companies like Microsoft and Apple Computers, we see that they had intermittent failures in their entrepreneurial journey. However, they learned what did not work for them and moved forward successfully. Hence, success without failures is impossible.

Success is not counted by the size of one’s initial splash. When you look at start-up companies, you see that most of them have initial failures. The failure rate among first-generation entrepreneurs is high. 

Do You Act or React to Failures?

Life is full of highs and lows. When faced with lows, people often react to external distractions rather than act. If you react to distractions, it becomes a negative approach, and if you act, it is a positive approach. When faced with frequent failures, it is essential to lie low for a while, take feedback and then move on. An inability to do so results in further, frequent failures. Hence, be cool for some time and think things through, and then move on to avoid further disasters. Above all, never react to failures. 

Is Failure a Friend or a Foe?

Like a good friend who corrects you and ensures your progress and prosperity, failure, if handled well, will serve you as a good friend in distress. Failures make you tougher, stronger, and wiser. When you face frequent failures, you will be able to handle them well, as you will develop an inbuilt mechanism to bounce back. Besides, failures prevent you from further falls as you tend to be more careful in your approaches and endeavors. 

Do Leaders Often Fail?

Warren Bennis once said, ‘Around the globe humanity currently faces three extraordinary threats: the threat of annihilation as a result of nuclear accident or war; the threat of a worldwide plague or ecological catastrophe; and a deepening leadership crisis in most of our institutions.’ In addition, it is rightly said that leaders fail due to four reasons: lack of vision, poor communication, tolerance for organizational fragmentation, and character flaws. 

Leaders often face more failures than followers, as they take more risks in their lives. They are more involved in decision-making and are meant to take decisions. As all decisions don’t result in fruitful outcomes, there is greater scope for failure. However, they know that failure is part of their business, and they take in their stride and move on. The followers, on the other hand, are more concerned about failures as they are not habituated to regular decision-making, as most of their time is spent in execution than in decision-making.

“Successful people don’t fear failure but understand that it’s necessary to learn and grow from.” -Robert Kiyosaki

Reagan’s Resilience

Ronald Reagan rose from humble origins. He was a symbol of hard work, whose success was the result of having overcome hardships and challenges. In 1948 he was divorced from his first wife, Jane Wyman. He was not depressed. He failed in his film career. He did not lose heart. His contract with General Electric was terminated. He was unperturbed. He lost to President Gerald Ford in the 1976 primary campaign. It did not break his spirit. But Reagan learned several lessons from these failures and setbacks. Each failure made him tougher, stronger, and wiser and enhanced his determination to fight the odds that were stacked against him. 

Reagan bounced back from each failure with tenacity and resilience. He was firm and determined to one day be the President of the United States. Most people know only about the cozy life that Reagan led, but they should learn that Reagan faced several hardships, challenges, and failures too. But he learned from each failure and bounced back like the Phoenix. 

Hence, to be successful in your life, never say ‘No’ to opportunities. Always be prepared as opportunity may often come in disguise. Find out your core strengths and talents and develop skills and abilities around them. Set strong goals and face challenges head-on. Develop your own network and grow within the available opportunities, rather than blaming destiny or circumstance. 

Lincoln’s Lessons

Here is a man who had seen only lows, not highs throughout his life. Here is a man who failed in all his endeavors. Here is a man who received formal education for only one year. He failed in his personal, professional, and social life initially. He was none other than Abraham Lincoln, who is a symbol of hope for people from humble origins. 

Abraham Lincoln failed several times. He had failed as a storekeeper, postmaster, and lawyer, and ultimately succeeded as a politician. Of course, he faced innumerable initial failures in politics too. However, he learned his lessons from time to time, reinvented himself, and grew.

At last, the lessons he had learned throughout his life helped him become the President of America and evolve as a great leader who went on to win the Civil War, abolish slavery and restore America’s morale. 

Lincoln is certainly one of the best American Presidents, who was emulated by successive American Presidents. Whenever the Presidents of America faced challenges, they would look towards Abraham Lincoln’s life for inspiration and leadership nuggets. If Lincoln had taken failures personally, he would not have grown as a great leader. 

Failure is a Feedback

Failure gives you feedback. It helps you to take stock of the situation and realize where and why you failed. What are the reasons behind and causes of failure? Was it due to external or internal reasons? It makes you more humble as you learn to empathize from others’ perspectives. That is why God places challenges before people. Nobody can have consistent growth in life. There will be peaks and valleys in one’s life. This is what enables people to have excitement in their lives. Otherwise, life will remain boring forever. 

God and Challenges

Challenges do not weaken us, but they do strengthen our willpower. Challenges do not keep us down forever, but bring out the best in us, as it is rightly said that adversity brings the best out of individuals. God helps us to grow through failures. God provides obstacles in our way so that we can overcome them. God tests our true characters by throwing several challenges along the way, as the true character of people is revealed only when they fail and fall. When things go well, any Tom, Dick, and Harry can blow his trumpet. However, real inner strength is revealed only when a man fails and falls. 

Albert Einstein said, ‘I think and think for months and years, ninety-nine times, the conclusion is false. The hundredth time I am right. It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.’ Failure indeed delays progress, but it teaches several hard lessons that people fail to learn from others. Failures are opportunities in disguise. It is unfortunate that modern society is intolerant of failure and does not provide another opportunity to prove oneself and succeed. Therefore, people must be careful to avoid failure and if it is thrust upon them, they must face it head-on and bounce back with tenacity and resilience by learning valuable lessons. 

Professor M.S. Rao, Ph.D. is the Father of “Soft Leadership” and the Founder of MSR Leadership Consultants, India. He is an International Leadership Guru with forty years of experience and the author of fifty books including the award-winning ‘See the Light in You’ URL: https://www.amazon.com/See-Light-You-Spiritual-Mindfulness/dp/1949003132. He is a C-Suite advisor and global keynote speaker. He brings a strategic eye and long-range vision given his multifaceted professional experience including military, teaching, training, research, consultancy, and philosophy. He is passionate about serving and making a difference in the lives of others. He is a regular contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine. He trains a new generation of leaders through leadership education and publications.

Success Advice

Can Organic Marketing on Facebook Be Effective in 2022?

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As another cat video is served to me in my Reels on Facebook, I am beginning to wonder if this platform can still serve to attract clients to my coaching business. And as the wondering turns into worrying, I feel a pressing need to make some vital changes to what worked for my solopreneur business for half a decade. (more…)

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How to Leverage Your Leadership Style for Business Success

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When we hear that leaders should operate within their zone(s) of genius, it’s easy to think that this only applies to tasks that they excel at. Whilst this is true, the piece of the puzzle that is often overlooked is the positive correlation between a leader’s zone of genius and their leadership style. (more…)

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Success Advice

5 Simple Habits to Live A Less Chaotic, Happier Life

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Many of us spend our daily lives searching for happiness. We jump from one job to another, from one hobby to another, hoping to spark a sense of joy and purpose.

But it’s hard pursuing happiness. After all, life is full of frustration and can put a stopper to our feel-good days.

And it’s challenging to be happy when we are juggling the responsibilities of everyday life like work and relationships. While achieving happiness is arduous, it’s not impossible. Try out these 5 habits to enjoy life more and be happier.

1. Walk in Nature

Spending time in nature has always improved my mood. Taking a walk around my neighborhood park, surrounded by trees and vegetation, I enter a peaceful state of mind.

The worries previously weighing on my mind are suddenly lifted, and I feel an indescribable sense of joy.

Taking just 20 minutes out of my day to get a fresh breath of air is extremely relaxing. 

In our work culture that favors busyness, there is little room for calmness. We associate a busy schedule with how successful we are, which isn’t entirely true at all.

In fact, it might be a disaster in the making. All that stress and anxiety bottled up without an outlet—the outcome is obvious.

So getting in touch with nature is my go-to way of maintaining a proper work-life balance. It makes me energized and ready to blast through the rest of my day with optimism.

2. Smile More Often

I make it a habit to smile every day; they aren’t fake smiles but genuine ones. And they have become a regular part of my life.

What am I smiling at, exactly? It can be the night sky covered with shining stars, like fine quicksand. Or, it can be the flowers sprouting new leaves in spring.

I embrace everything with open arms. Even when I have a rainy day, I don’t let it ruin my momentum.

Regardless of what happens, a simple smile can brighten my day; and best yet, it’s completely free.

At some point, everyone can have a stressful day and feel burned out. So put up a smile. Even if you’re not a positive person, take a firm stance against negativity. Your daily life will surely burst with joy.

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” – Dalai Lama

3. Find Your Passion

Many people dive headfirst into a day job that doesn’t interest them. They do it just for the money, which only makes them more miserable.

People who aren’t attached to their work will find difficulty achieving happiness. They live in a gray and stale world devoid of positivity.

Listen to your heart. Ask yourself: What makes me feel enthusiastic and excited? This is a time to discover your hopes and dreams.

You have endless opportunities in this world. Start a business. Volunteer at a charity drive. Figure out your reason why.

Personally, I used to turn to real estate to earn dependable rental income. But there was no sense of fulfillment. That feeling soon reached a tipping point, which pushed me to re-prioritize everything.

I wanted to make a positive impact on people’s lives. Combining my interest in business and self-improvement, I pursued my passion for blogging. And I can’t be any happier about it.

Everyone needs something that keeps their life meaningful. It can be a source of light that helps us walk in the right direction.

So having goals and dreams makes us genuinely happy. Without them, it will be a long, treacherous journey.

4. Practice Gratitude

Some days we may not feel a shred of gratitude. We are overwhelmed with the hustle and bustle of life where we seek perfection, one that is only full of success and wins.

However, that will only put you further away from happiness.

Take the time every day to pause and appreciate something in your life. What I find helpful is sitting down with a pen and paper.

I start with “I am grateful for…” It can be the appreciation for my afternoon cup of herbal tea. It can be the clear blue sky on a sunny day.

This routine sets up a support system that reinforces positive emotions. It reminds me that there are many things I’ve experienced in life and even more things that I’m grateful for.

Even if I have a bad day, I try my best to be grateful and encourage lasting joy.

So appreciate everything that enters your life—all the good and bad. You will see your mood elevate to an entirely new level.

5. Create Memories With Loved Ones

It can be tempting to focus all our time and energy on reaching valued goals. We say, “I’ll take it easy and spend time with loved ones after I’m successful.”

But what if that time never comes? What if, at some point, your loved ones are suddenly gone?

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Prioritize your loved ones today, not next year. After all, you wouldn’t want to leave any room for regret.

The cherished memories you make now will be a spark of joy. They can even be a source of motivation when shooting for goals.

As social creatures, sharing stories, feelings, and dreams can make us happy and fulfilled.

Living a solitary life is not for everyone. Although having some alone time is perfectly fine, you should still make memorable experiences with those close to you. They will be cherished within your heart for as long as you live.

The quest for lasting happiness can be daunting at times. We spend much of our time searching for it, almost giving up along the way.

But you need to see the bright side. Living a better and happier life isn’t a far-fetched dream; it’s within reach. Remember that happiness can come from the small habits and things you do daily.

If you want to lead the life you truly want, practice these 5 habits and be consistent every day. Don’t give up halfway. Once you do so, there will be nothing stopping you from enjoying life to the fullest.

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Success Advice

Avoid These 12 Mistakes on the Way to Success

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One day when I was writing an interesting article my wife asked me, “Why did you achieve success so late, during the late forties?  Did you ever find out the reasons for your late success?” The question was an interesting one as I seldom thought about why I achieved success so late in my life until then. I thought about this for a while; here are the reasons that come to my mind: (more…)

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