A conversation I had this week reminded me of a “The Way I See It” from a Starbuck’s coffee cup that really stuck with me: “Failure is hard, but success is harder”. Basically if you are successful at the wrong “thing” (something that is not your passion, what you really want to be doing), you can get sucked in by a great wage, comfortable lifestyle or the security and comfort of your environment.
It seems that failure is something to be feared by society. As though taking a risk could equal failure and that’s scary, bad, wrong, shameful, whatever one may wish to call it.
Imagine if no one took a risk and just lived their life status quo. What would we aspired to be? Who would be our role models? Or even leaders in society?
We would have no innovation. Society would not progress. We would not solve any of the challenges facing us today. Taking the risk of failure provides many lessons learned. A scientist often has many “failed” experiments before discovering a medical cure, but at least he/she is willing to risk a so-called failed hypothesis.
(If Apple never took the risk of developing the iPod, we’d all still be walking around with our five-pound walkmans and mixed tapes. Just sayin’.)
But why are we afraid of failure? The tabloids love it. It sells magazines, television shows and newspapers. But in a shameful, embarrassing or humiliating way.
So who defines success or failure? What’s considered a success to one, may be a failure to another and vice versa. More and more it seems success is based on monetary value or materialistic possessions. But what if success were based on happiness in one’s life, a caring community, or a passion for the work we do?
Taking a risk, following a dream, entering into the unknown simply cannot end in failure. We may not always be happy with the risks we take, but they are not failures.
We must change our views of failure, stop associating it with a negative connotation. After all, to get to our supposed success we all had to take the risk of failing.
See you soon Morocco! I’m anxiously awaiting what you may have in store for me.