Your Relationship With Failure Is Critical To Your Success.
British, and in our culture we have an ingrained fear of failure, it is something that is looked down upon and despised.
the course of my business career I have enjoyed a certain amount of
success, but I have also endured a considerable amount of failure - or deferred success as I prefer to see it.
years ago I was being mentored by a man who had achieved considerable
business and financial success in the oil business - he had closed 9
major fuel contracts and made millions.
I recall once having a conversation one day when I asked him what he thought was the key to his success.
He told me something that has stayed with me through every failure I have experienced since then. He said:
"Stephen, one of the key things that has contributed to my success is
that I am prepared to fail more times than everyone else in this line
The Story Of Walt Disney's Spectacular Failure
The following story was part of an article written by personal development blogger Steve Pavlina who is someone whose work I have considerable respect for, and it is republished here with consent.
July 17, 1955 was the grand opening of Disneyland.
It was restricted attendance press preview day, and it was a spectacular failure.
Here are some of the things that happened that day:
Gate Crashers - Disney was expecting 11,000 guests but 28,000 people showed up. Some wise-guy sold
thousands of counterfeit tickets, and another fixed up a ladder in the
back of the park and charged people $5 to creep in that way.
Horrendous Traffic - So many people tried to reach Disneyland that it caused a 7-mile tail back on the Santa Ana Freeway.
The Asphalt Melted And Women's Shoes Stuck To It - It was a very hot day at 100 degrees (38 C), so hot it melted the
fresh asphalt on Main Street into a sticky tar that ensnared women’s
Guests Got Wet Paint On Their Clothes - Some paint on the attractions wasn’t fully dry, and people were getting it on their clothes.
They Ran Out Of Food - Because the crowds were so large the food stalls and restaurants ran out of food by lunchtime.
They Didn't Have Enough Drinking Water Fountains - A plumbers' strike pre-opening delayed the installation of sufficient fountains.
The Rides Kept Breaking Down - Because of the heat and the unexpectedly large crowds, many of the rides broke down multiple times.
The Riverboat Nearly Sank - The Mark Twain riverboat was so overloaded with guests that it ran
low in the water, and nearly sank.
The park press had a field day and trashed the park in their reviews, referring to it as Black Sunday.
After that disastrous opening Disneyland still had more teething problems in the first few weeks. But they increasingly got a lot of things right as they fixed the problems.
It became a work in progress.
This story is a powerful metaphor for our lives too.
being Walt Disney on Disneyland’s grand opening day:
Tons of press are
The park bears your name.
It’s been a 20-year journey to evolve
your vision for a theme park into a reality.
You’ve struggled endlessly
just to get the financing in place, and then there were even more
struggles to get the place designed and built.
So many people
have doubted you, including your brother and business partner Roy.
You’ve been preparing for and anticipating this glorious day for a long
And then some asshole screws up your plans by making thousands of
counterfeit tickets, and your people can’t tell the real tickets from
the fake ones.
Your plans for a wonderful opening start falling
apart right before your eyes, and all the attention and the cameras are
on you – not to mention all the investors who want to know whether
investing in your vision was a good idea.
How To Overcome Fear Of Failure
Failures happen, it's is a part of life:
While other people may make a
huge deal out of it, is it really that big of a deal?
You needn’t retreat and slink away in shame.
Be proud that you failed.
So many people are too cowardly to even try working on something meaningful.
They talk themselves out of pursuing bold ideas before they begin.
They treat the prospect of failure as a reason to quit before they start.
Many of Walt Disney’s ideas had to be
scrapped and replaced.
But the death of a
project doesn’t have to kill the big picture vision.
You can fail a lot with your projects, but your big
picture goal can remain intact and achievable.
Some ideas and projects
along the way will be dead ends, and you’ll have to let them go.
Don’t equate the failure of your projects with the death of your
It will happen. You’ll rack up plenty of failures if you do anything interesting in life.
Create The Environment Where They Want To Buyin to Your Proposal In order to build the win-win you have to uncover what it is that the other person really wants or needs, and to do that you have to as…
The art of persuasion is based on the simple idea that you get what you want by enabling the other party to get what they want. Being a nice friendly person with good inter-personal skills may be a go…
It's not the strongest that survive, nor the most intelligent, but those who are most responsive to change, the most persuasive, and the best communicators. We are living in an age of unprecedented ch…
What Is Important Is Seldom Urgent And What Is Urgent Is Seldom Important. The Eisenhower Box is a time management and decision-making model devised by President Dwight Eisenhower to help him prioriti…
Lost In Our Delusions About Enlightenment. There is something in human nature - a desire to glamorise, sanctify, objectify and idolise – that elevates people who have offered deep insights to the huma…
The Wisdom Of A Person Who Masters In Any Art Is Reflected In Their Every Attitude. The state and quality of your mind has a very large bearing on the quality of your performance in any area of life t…
Toxicity Is The Price Tag Of Accessibility. In the early days of online dating, users were vetted and had to go through a registration process and agree to comply with a code of conduct designed to en…
How Not To Be Fooled By Randomness. Ergodicity is an ugly word from the world of mathematics. It is an umbrella term for two sets of conditions of probability and outcome. These two conditions form th…
How You Frame A Situation Has A Profound Impact On How You Respond To It Emotionally. Imposter syndrome is a psycho-emotional experience of a fear of being found out as incompetent despite ongoing evi…
Issues You'll Face When Playing The Long Game. The challenges of the road less traveled is loosely based around the phrase popularised by M.Scott Peck with his book "The Road Less Traveled". This arti…
3 Key Tips The art of thinking clearly starts with the sobering realisation that our brains are designed to achieve two things: Survival and Reproduction! 98% of our thinking is unconscious, automatic…
5 Useful Heuristics From Algorithms To Live By The thesis of the book "Algorithms to Live By" is that algorithms developed for computers can be used by people in everyday life in a wide range of situa…
The Art Of Being Wise Is The Art Of Knowing What To Overlook. We are blessed and cursed to live in the digital age. We have access to more information than we can possibly handle yet we struggle to fi…
A Checklist Is A Safety Net That Encourages Better Results And Prevents Avoidable Mistakes. The volume and complexity of what we know has exceeded our individual ability to deliver its benefits correc…
How To Avoid The 7 Causes Of Everyday Stupidity. We are all capable of everyday stupidity as we undertake routine tasks in our business and working lives and also in our personal lives. This is not ab…
Let's Make Today A Good Day. You may not have chosen the condition of being alone, and it may have been imposed upon you by circumstances beyond your control, but your response to the situation is wit…
How To Tell The Difference Between Intuition and Anxiety. How do you know whether the voice of your intuition is real or just the product of your inner anxiety? We all struggle with these inner voices…
It Isn't The Process Of Prayer That’s The Problem, It’s The Way It’s Framed. Regardless of what we feel about Madonna or her song the topic of prayer often arouses strong reactions. Usually, it is som…
We Follow The Herd - We Mimic Other People's Choices. Fear of missing out - or FOMO as it is popularly referred to - is the feeling that everyone else in your peer group is having much more fun than y…
This Is The You That Is Beyond Your Thinking Mind. This is the big you, the transcendent you, the you that is often referred to as your higher consciousness or higher self. This is the you that acts a…
Gratitude And Attitude Are Not Challenges, They Are Choices. The power of gratitude quite simply is that it is good for you! Many of us were raised by parents who instilled in us the social niceties o…
Develop A Good Working Relationship With Your Mind. The first step in living with your thoughts is to understand and develop a good working relationship with all areas of your mind. The key to develop…
4 Key Tips To Help You Finish What You Start. So why do you fail to finish what you start? Or in my case, why do I fail to even get started? There is a wealth of information out there about how to avo…
Life Is Non-Linear, Which Makes The Rewards Of Continued Effort Disproportionately Big. In the pursuit of a long term goal you have to go countless extra miles to set yourself up for a big success. Go…