Failing is a Pathway to Success

Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.

~Henry Ford

FailureI was looking at expensive rings with a variety of brilliant gems that sparkle in the light. They sparkle because they are highly polished and engraved for excellence. Gems cannot be polished without friction. I remembered at that moment that there were times in my life with friction. At the time, I did not appreciate the value of that friction to the ultimate value it created for me in my leadership skills. People would say encouraging things to me, to help me deal with the disappointment and to help me get refocused.

At the time of the stress, I could not fully embrace those helpful comments. After that stress is gone and I am in a better place emotionally, it’s easier to understand that I have grown in my skills. The experience is valuable, looking in the rear view mirror. The value of evaluation can be powerful in developing leadership skills. Perspective provides wisdom that we otherwise would not have.

Failure is a welcomed experience if put in the right perspective. Those who succeed get up one more time than they fall down. Failure is a step toward growth. Growth is a journey and not an event. Henry Ford also said, “Obstacles are things you see when you take your eyes off your goals.” The wisdom in that statement is that having specific goals is a key element for success.

Your goals may be bold. Actually, that’s good. It’s better to have high goals and fail, rather than have mediocre goals and succeed. Bold goals stretch skills and empower personal growth. Skilled leaders can share stories of how those skills were strengthened over time. Usually, the journey to excellence is punctuated with challenges. Welcome challenges as teachers. Embrace the teaching moments and look for the value those teaching moments bring to you. You, and only you, are in charge of your attitude. You will not grow without trials. Learn to discipline your disappointment.

Keeping a positive mental attitude is one of the definitions of true wealth, as listed by Napoleon Hill in his bookThink and Grow Rich. This book is full of examples of great leaders who overcame what some would classify as insurmountable obstacles. You are in charge of you. What attitude will you choose today?

Check out Seth Godin’s blog post: Good at the beginning.

Hugh Ballou The Transformational Leadership Strategist

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(c) 2014 Hugh Ballou. All rights reserved.



Hugh Ballou (Author)

  • Very good.

    I’ll translate and post some text after its in my blog.


  • Hugh,
    Good blog. I’m going to use this point for a fb post- It’s better to have high goals and fail rather than have mediocre goals and succeed.

    Wed site is soon to come.

  • This is the most important concept in all of self improvement. Failing is our teacher and guide, we musn’t be afraid of it, but embrace it. When we fail, it is a good sign that we are pushing ourselves to reach new plateaus.

    Great post!

  • nice

  • accept failure and keep going on to be succeed.

  • accept failure and keep going on to be succeed.

  • An inspiring bunch of words to people who are yet to recover from the impact of failure.

  • Plantown

    I agree that bold goals are Good for strengthening your knowledge and skills, but one should not focus on adaptable goals. I am doing the same thing now. I have one goal which I am seeking to achieve, but should I fail I have alternative goals which can utilize those skills and knowledge that I have developed. So in my opinion adaptability is the key to success.

  • Nice piece – as the Chinese purportedly say – “fall over nine times – stand up ten”

  • Adrianna Guillot

    Thanks for following me on Twitter.