The Positive Power of Failure

By Sid Mouk, D.C.

(The Sure Road To Success)

I sat one evening in his office chatting with Dr. Joe (the wise old DC from Chicago with 50+ years of practice experience) when he turned and asked me “How many times have you failed at something this month”? This totally caught me by surprise and, finally, I muttered something about “none that I know of.”

“Too bad”, he answered, “that means you’re just staying within your comfort zone and not growing…too bad.” Then he turned and pointed to a poster on his wall that said in big bold letters “You’ll Never Know How Far You Can Go Until You’re Willing To Risk Going Too Far.” Dr. Joe, a born teacher, then instructed me “If you are not failing at something every week, you’re not doing enough. You’re not trying new things in your life; you’re not growing into the full potential that you came to this planet to express. If you don’t fail at something on a regular basis, you’re not really testing your true potential and abilities… and that is sad! None of us know how much we can accomplish in this life until we try enough new things to find out just how far we can go… and if we do that, we’re going to fail at some of the things we attempt to do. Of course, that doesn’t mean we should stop when we fail, it simply means that we need to learn more and then try again This is how we grow in life Eventually we may find a point beyond which we can’t go but that will generally be incredibly far beyond anything we could imagine… our individual potential is enormously greater than we can possibly realize!”

We’ve all been taught that failure is a bad thing and is something to be avoided at all costs, when the real truth is just the opposite. Failure is often our best teacher. Thomas Edison experienced thousands of “failures” before he succeeded in inventing the electric light bulb. A reporter once spoke with Edison while he was in the midst of working on one of his newest projects. He asked him “How does it feel, Mr. Edison, a man of your stature, to have failed so many times in this latest project?” Edison turned to this obviously novice reporter and snapped “I don’t know what you’re talking about, failed. I now know 1,346 things that won’t work which means that I’m 1,346 times closer to success!” Edison viewed failure as what it actually is, simply a good teacher.

Dr. Joe went on to give me an example from the world of marketing. A friend of his was considered to be one of the top direct marketing experts in this country… he sold more insurance over the phone than anyone else in the US. He found that he would receive 28 “Nos” for every “Yes” he received when calling potential customers. So he figured out that every time he got a “No” from a customer it meant he was 1/28th of the way to a “Yes” …he therefore became very enthusiastic and upbeat when a customer told him “No”, which sometimes actually turned a “No” into a “Yes” and even further increased his sales. He simply realized that every “failure” he experienced meant he was that much closer to success, and so it is in our lives.

Dr. Joe continued, “We all know Babe Ruth as the greatest home run hitter of his day in baseball. What we may not realize is that he also holds the record for the most strike-outs by any player in baseball. He was willing to “swing for the fences” every time he came up to bat in spite of the possibility of failing (striking out) which he did, often. This is the thing I remember and appreciate most about him, not just his incredible home runs.”

Dr. Greg Cheatwood who taught excellent Chiropractic NLP seminars always said “If you can’t, you must… and if you must, you can.” Often, to succeed we need the help of failure to give us feedback about what won’t work at that time in our lives. Greg told us that failure means nothing more than that we don’t have enough resources or knowledge to accomplish the task at this time so we need to “go back to school” and learn what we need to know in order to succeed the next time we make the attempt.

The most successful people in all areas of life are the ones who had the courage to go out and fail over and over and over again in order to learn how to succeed. The word “Failure” is simply another concept that we all have to figure out for ourselves. How well we learn to accept it and how creatively we use it in our lives will determine how much of our enormous individual potential we’ll express in our short time on Earth.

“Happy Failing” in your life, and “Happy Success!”

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Sid L. Mouk, DC practices in Baton Rouge, LA
He can be reached via email at: [email protected] @ 10:15 am | Article ID: 1022865304