“Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure.”
— Thomas J. Watson – Former President of IBM
The secret to overcoming failure is to divide your circumstances into two groups: situations you can change and situations you can’t. I believe nearly everything can be changed or at least approached in a different way, but sometimes they can’t be changed right now.
Start with the situations that you can’t change (at least right now): physical handicaps, financial situations, geographic locations, family issues, age, etc…
Second, make a list of situations you can change. Your job, your schedule, your location, education, skills, friends or associates, etc…
If you’re fifty with an impressive gut and want to be a pro baseball player, short of a miracle, that’s not going to happen. Or if you’re past the legal draft age and want to be a soldier, then we need to explore other possibilities. Far too many people fail (and continue to fail) because they’re trying to change a situation that simply can’t be altered. Stop banging your head against a wall and start practicing realistic thinking.
The bottom line? Change your thinking about failure. Failure is simply a potential result. You are not a failure – you are part of the process, and every outcome is another step on the road to eventual success. Without failure, change is never possible, and success can never be achieved.