Failure ≡ Success
So it’s time that I address an issue that a lot of people have pointed out to me (especially after my Steve Jobs post) about the one thing everyone is afraid of: failure. Before I can really speak to this topic of failure though, I would like to start by addressing what it means to be successful.
Success is something that is measured VERY differently by every individual. Unfortunately, society has seemed to define it in an extremely monetarily way. As a result, most of us think that “Success = Money.” In reality, I would say that the idea of success if very much the same as the concept of “rich.”
Is someone rich if they make $100,000 a year? How about $1,000,000? Most people would agree so, but then again we all know that there are plenty of people who may make six figure salaries who are perfectly miserable and even in debt. So in the end, isn’t richness the same as success? With this in mind, let’s speak about this thing people keep calling “failure.”
I know that the idea of failure is something that scares a lot of people. “What if I lose everything?” “What if people will ridicule and think less of me?” And to that, I implore that you stop worrying. It’s true. You are the driver in life. The decisions that you make will impact you irregardless of whether it is good or bad. So in light of this, what is failure?
When Thomas Edison was asked about his many failures at inventing the light bulb, he responded, “I did not fail. I simply found 1,000 ways not to make a light bulb.” Think about this. Could failure not be viewed as one of the routes to success? How many of you could say that you’ve played an entire game of Mario or Tetris without ever making a mistake?
It’s true. Some people pour their life savings and destroy their families in the pursuit of get rich quick schemes. I understand why this may be labelled purely as failure, but you cannot forget the fact that to pursue something without a true motivator and willingness to work hard makes this scenario different from the other failures that others speak of.
In the end, everyone says Steve Jobs was the exception. They are wrong. The only thing that was an exception about Steve Jobs was he was willing to defy the conventional mindset of approaching life and live life as he saw fit. This is the very same man who was fired from the company he built. Would you not say that being fired is a failure? Yet, as Steve Jobs said in his commencement speech, that failure would play a major impact in his growth for future success.
The ability to draw upon inner strength when the world attempts to ho ld you down is what differentiates people from the mold. Do not simply pursue what everyone else does simply because it is the norm. Find your vision, motivation, and drive to fulfill the person that you are. Once you do so, failure and success will blur together since the journey has brought you to true self-actualization.