If you are reading this, you must know that:
You. Can. Never. Fail.
You are probably wondering right now, thinking to yourself about all the times you messed something up, that test you did badly on or perhaps that one time you completely botched an important presentation.
Guess what, that does not equate to failure. It is true that you did not achieve the results you were hoping for, but is that really failure?
Challenging the idea of what ‘failure’ truly means.
Let’s say you wanted a very specific type of cake – a very special cake that cannot be found anywhere in Singapore. You are craving for this cake and the only way to get what you want is to actually bake it. You took action. You got all the ingredients, mixed it, stuck it in the oven and the end result was an absolute disaster. Even your dog won’t go near it! Many would go on to say that you ‘failed’ at baking a cake, but in reality you got closer than anyone who just sat there wishing & craving for cake. That burnt monstrosity sitting in your oven was merely your first step towards your intended outcome,to bake an amazing cake.
Some people may have given up (in fact, that is how most people deal with failure) but you decided to give it another shot. This time, you were a little more careful. You researched the recipe and procedures again, you mixed the ingredients gingerly, you double checked the temperature before preheating the oven and you even kept your fingers crossed. Fifty minutes later, it didn’t turn out as expected. But it was better than your previous attempt. Plus, this time your dog doesn’t seem to mind. Maybe you are onto something.
With great determination and perseverance, you decided to give it another go. Triple checking everything along the way, you even consulted a friend of a friend that has a reputation of being an amazing baker. You reflected and avoided all the mistakes you did from all the previous attempts and your cross your fingers and your toes. Finally, the cake you have been dreaming of emerges from the oven. You take your bow and your dog loves you for it!
Here comes the question: at which point, did you achieve success?
While most people will celebrate success when the cake emerges and you finally got the results you have hoped and worked hard for, we don’t. We feel that success is the fact that you got up and attempted the daunting task in the first place, and not just once, you did it over and over again until you got your intended outcome.
Success is a journey, not a destination.
By the same logic, failure is not an outcome. Failure is you wanting something but refusing to lift a finger about it, wishing for something but not taking action to make that wish come true – craving for that cake and just hoping a magical fairy godmother will appear to grant you your wish.
True failure is knowing what you want but not taking any action to achieve it.
Some action, no matter how small, is better than no action.
If you did not achieve your ideal outcome on the first attempt or even your fifth attempt, know that this is not failure. You just hit a few humps on the road. As long as you are taking action, moving towards your goals and continuing your journey, you are successful.
Perhaps it’s time for all of us to revisit some of our inspirations or set new goals. Wish to improve the relationship at home? Why not take the initiative to set aside some time this weekend and do something meaningful together as a family. Want to score well in your next exams and not sure what else to do apart from your usual revision? Consider signing up for a school holiday programme that will allow you to learn and have fun at the same time. Or if you have always wanted to start baking, call that baker friend now or go search online for some baking tutorials to begin your journey today.
Success is taking action to move closer to our goals every day.
Aman Alhamid, Trainer (I Am Gifted!TM Programmes)