Today I’ve failed my driving test for the second time. So no full driving license for me this time, not for another half a year anyway.
Obviously, this failure makes me feel sad, but only a little – luckily, I’m conscious enough about the scale of this failure, and I intentionally choose not to feel miserable and depressed about this, but instead learn a few more valuable lessons and proclaim this day yet another successful failure in my life.
Successful failure? Is there such a thing?!
In case you’re asking yourself the same question, let me assure you right away: of course there is! The truth is, you should treat most of your failures as successes! I do, anyway.
I remember the first time I’ve made a comment about successful failures. It happened earlier this year, and I had just arrived to work. With a visible smile on my face, I announced to my immediate colleague that I had just successfully failed my driving test the other day. He looked both surprised and confused by the controversial terminology and my inadequate positiveness about the whole thing. We then laughed a bit and agreed that I’d probably have a better luck next time around.
I happen to believe that each failure teaches us invaluable lessons, and also – inevitably so – brings us closer to the success. I therefore consider all my failures to be a great source of useful lessons to be learned and applied next time I’m in a similar situation.
Failure to achieve your goal does not have to be depressive. You just have to look for the right signs, and you’ll see for yourself how positive it really is. Well, obviously not as positive as the successful outcome of the situation, but much more useful and positive than you might initially think.
Any failure is a measure of a progress. If you can say you’ve failed in something, this usually means you’ve actually tried some things out and worked rather hard to do your best. And so, your efforts were not futile, albeit not enough to make you absolutely successful this time. It doesn’t mean you didn’t make any progress though!
The more you fail, the less options to fail are left
You see, when you’re working consistently on reaching some goal, and you decide to give it a shot one day and you don’t quite make it, you’re still learning so much in a progress that it brings you one step closer to be truly successful one day.
Apply yourself, make sure you learn from your mistakes – and you’ve got yourself one of the best recipes for success in the long term. Do this consistently, use some planning in addition to it, and you’ll be doing better than 90% of all the people around you!
Once you have a rough idea of how many things could go wrong in achieving something, and you start marking each possible option off by trying it, failing and learning the lessons associated with each failure, you’ll realize that every single failure brings you closer to the top.
Why fail miserably, when you can fail successfully?
Let’s just be honest here. Any kind of failure is tough. And the harder you tried, the bitter it will feel to lose. But it is really important to stop yourself from self-punishment and self-destruction, and instead make an effort and learn all the useful information you possibly can in the view of the outcome you’re left with.
Take me for example: preparing for the driving test, I’ve taken numerous driving lessons over the past few month. I’ve studied the necessary theory, and have become quite confident by consistently making small improvements in my driving technique.
Was it enough? No. What does it tell me? I should probably raise my standards and try harder next time. But how does it make me feel? Immediately, it feels really sad. It is depressing to look back at all this time and money spent to improve my driving to only realize I wasn’t good enough.
So now that I know I’ve failed, where does it leave me? I’ve got two options: fail miserably, or fail successfully. They’re not quite the opposites, but they hopefully show you the difference your point of view can make.
Having failed in anything, a person is naturally depressed. What many of us don’t understand (not for another few days, or sometimes even months of self-punishment) is that there is nothing we can gain from self-tormenting talks and blaming ourselves for not being good, strong or smart enough to accomplish something. All this will do is simply make you feel even worse.
Instead, why not make an effort and learn something useful? Extract some positive and valuable lessons from your situation?
You’ve tried your best and you still failed. Does it mean you won’t be much better next time? Of course it doesn’t. Does it mean you will be absolutely successful? There’s not way to tell. You’ll have to try again to find out.
But what it means for certain is this: you’ve learned one more of your weaknesses, and you’ve got a strong and positive signal that it’s really important for you to improve and get rid of this weakness.
That’s what you should concentrate on! That where all you energy should go instead of being wasted for blaming yourself.
You may not be able to get rid of such a weakness in an overnight, but stay positive and be realistic! Focus on the area for an improvement, and make it your daily routine to improve it by at least a tiny bit. Constantly doing so, you will reach your personal best.
The lesson I want you to learn from today is this: if you fail in anything, fail successfully. There’s no point in doing it any other way.