Sir Edmund Hillary was the first man to climb Mount Everest. On May 29, 1953 he scaled the highest mountain then known to man -29,000 feet straight up. He was knighted for his efforts. He even made American Express card commercials because of it! However, until we read his book, High Adventure, we don't understand that Hillary had to grow into this success.
You see, in 1952 he attempted to climb Mount Everest, but failed. A few weeks later a group in England asked him to address its members. Hillary walked on stage to a thunderous applause. The audience was recognizing an attempt at greatness, but Edmund Hillary saw himself as a failure. He moved away from the microphone and walked to the edge of the platform. He made a fist and pointed at a picture of the mountain. He said in a loud voice, "Mount Everest, you beat me the first time, but I'll beat you the next time because you've grown all you are going to grow... but I'm still growing!" He failed to accept failure and never gave up on his dreams.
One of my speaking mentors, Les Brown, gave an advice “When life knocks you down, make sure you land on your back. If you can look up, you can get up!” Failure need not be final in your life.
As we go through life, it is important that we realize that we will have some setbacks. We will have some seeming “failures”. Things will not always work out the way we expect. The key to being a success is to never give up! It is making a commitment to get up as many times as you fall. A wise man puts it this way. “Success is moving from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.”
It is also very important to note that failure is an event. It is not a person. When you view failure as a person, you will certainly not progress. Did you fail the exam or job interview? Did you fail in business? See it as an event and not a person. You did not fail! You are not a failure! Yes, you didn’t pass the exam. Yes, you didn’t get the job! So what? Go take the exam again. Apply for another job! It’s an event. Don’t make it a person. Don’t take it personal.
One key thing about overcoming failures is growing. Are you growing? Are you improving your skills to overcome your present challenges? The greatest definition of insanity is “doing the same thing the same way and expecting a different result!” If you approach that same obstacle exactly the same way you did before, you are still likely to fail! Something has got to change – your skill level, your attitude, your commitment, and your relationships, just to mention a few. In order words, you’ve got to grow above your present challenges. You’ve got to grow to success. So, keep growing. Keep improving. In no time, you will be taller than your “failures.”
Let me close by saying this. You are not a failure when you fail. You are a failure only when you give up! Don’t give up. Keep on keeping on!
You will succeed!