Leveling Up Your Life

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“If you have learned from defeat, you haven’t really lost.”

As humans, we are prone to defeat – to failure. Accepting this as normal is a tough pill to swallow. Nobody WANTS to fail. We work hard every single day to be better and do better. Our entire lives are based around goals that don’t have failure written in the fine print.

I have failed more times than I’d like to admit. I’ll probably fail a few more times in the future! What’s great about failure is that it is the greatest teacher the world has to offer. Failure requires a bit of risk and taking risks makes life worthwhile.

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “Fall down seven, stand up eight.” When you were learning to walk, you fell down, right? That’s what happens when you are learning something for the very first time. At no point in time did your parents think you would never walk just because you fell time and time again. Falling (and failing) are a part of life.

Society often highlights success and places failure in such a negative light. However, how can we promote success without first understanding the journey of how they got there? I mean, Bill Gates dropped out of college and started his very first company at 17 years old. But guess what? That first company failed.

“Defeat” as a word has a negative connotation attached to it. But what if we changed every “defeat” to “lesson”? Every time we have failed, we learn something from it. These defeats are just opportunities to learn (yes, sometimes the hard way) and grow as a professional.

So what do we learn from failure? I’m glad you asked. Notice that all these are positive words:

1. Opportunity

When something goes wrong, it is easy to put the blame on someone else. Sometimes it’s hard to look in the mirror and admit we were wrong. Cleaning up a mess (hey, failure) is never fun. But it is necessary. Fixing and admitting a mistake is a crucial skill to own.

Failure allows you the opportunity to reevaluate. Why did this particular event end differently than you had expected? Upon reflection, you can revisit the topic and be stronger than ever.

2. Redefinition

When everything is going right, you’re flying high. Nothing could go wrong. Everything is great! It starts to feel normal, this “greatness.” It is easy to forget about all the things going on, professionally or otherwise. We start to slip. We become careless.

There are millions of ways you could make a mistake – every day. Making a mistake allows you to reflect. Failure allows you to redefine and adjust your priorities. Ask yourself – what is the most important thing(s) in your life?

3. Value

Tell me. Do you value the same things you did 10 years ago? When you do not value the right things, success is nowhere to be found. Your focus should never lie in taking something from people. Create and spread value instead.

Success is often measured in value. A lack of value will certainly put you on the road to failure. How can you do better and add value to your life, your team, your career?

You will also understand the value of failure. Taking a risk (again and again) will suddenly no longer look like failure.

It will look a lot like learning.


Keep Living the Dream…