Can You Really Fail Your Way to Success?

Many gurus tell you than you can fail your way to success. Is that really possible?I see quotes on Facebook all the time about how you can fail your way to success. They have become very popular, but I really don’t understand why.

If you set out to build a house, and you fail at it over and over, how does that get you a house to live in?

Examples of Fail Your Way to Success Quotes

Here are some failure quotes that I found in a quick search on Google.

“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.” – Truman Capote

“I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan

“I failed my way to success.” – Thomas Edison

“Fail harder. You cannot be successful without failure.” – Robert Kiyosaki

“If you want to succeed, double your failure rate.” – Thomas J. Watson

Those are some big names, and they tell you to fail your way to success. Truman Capote was the author of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Michael Jordon is one of the biggest names in basketball. Thomas Edison invented the electric lightbulb. Robert Kiyosaki is a businessman and author. Thomas J. Watson was CEO of IBM.

These are successful people that you should listen to, right?

Can You Fail Your Way to Success?

No, you can’t fail your way to success, at least not directly. Like I said above, if you set out to build a house and continuously fail at it, you don’t have a house.

What you can do is learn from your failures and apply what you have learned to your future ventures.

Let’s say that you’re an author, you write a book, and now you want to get it published. You submit your book to publisher after publisher and they all reject it. You fail to get your book published, so you scrap it. It is a failure.

Hopefully you received some good feedback from some of the people who saw your book though, and you can apply it to your future books and hopefully succeed with them.

I have a question for that author though. Could you have applied what you learned to that first book and turned it into a success instead of declaring it a failure? Did you really need to fail first?

From the Law of Attraction Perspective

Here’s a quote from The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace Wattles. It pretty much sums up my thoughts on this subject.

If you want to become rich, you must not make a study of poverty. Things are not brought into being by thinking about their opposites. Health is never to be attained by studying disease and thinking about disease; righteousness is not to be promoted by studying sin and thinking about sin; and no one ever got rich by studying and thinking about poverty. Medicine as a science of disease has increased disease; religion as a science of sin has promoted sin, and economics as a study of poverty will fill the world with wretchedness and want.

Likewise, success is not to be achieved by studying and thinking about failure.

Are You Driving to Success or Failure

Here’s another way to look at it. When you drive down the road, you watch the road in front of you and think about what’s coming ahead, and ultimately your destination.

What happens when you shift your focus away from the road in front of you? Say that something off to the left catches your eye and your attention. What way does your car go? For most people it starts to drift to the left. Car wrecks can breed more car wrecks this way.

You always go where you attention is, so if you focus on failure, that is what you get. That’s the essence of the Law of Attraction.

What I’ve Read Recently

I spend a lot of time reading now, as I hope you do too. These are the book I read since my last post.

The Tao of Physics by Fritjof Capra

The Tao of Physics is a comparison of modern physics with ancient Eastern mysticism.

Modern physics is the combination of Einstein’s relativity theory along with quantum physics, the study of all of the infinitesimally small particles. Do you remember back in school when they told you that protons, neutrons and electrons make up atoms? Modern physics is the study of those particles and the particles that make them up.

The Eastern mysticism that he references includes Hinduism, Buddhism, Chinese thought (like Confucianism), Taoism and Zen. The book has a very nice introduction to all of these ancient religions and philosophies.

Physicists have broken matter all the way down to the point where it doesn’t really exist anymore. According to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle you cannot know both the speed and the location of an electron. Einstein’s E=mc2 says that mass (matter) is just another manifestation of energy.

In physics, the bottom line is that at the smallest level particles only make sense as probabilities, events and interactions. Our perception can change everything.

Eastern mysticism has been saying pretty much the same thing about nature for thousands of years.

Life and Teaching of the Masters of the Far East – Volume 1 & 2 by Baird T. Spalding

Life and Teaching is one of my favorite books after one of my mentors recommended it several years ago. It seemed like the natural book to read next after reading Tao of Physics.

The book is about an expedition to the northern India, Tibet and Nepal area where a group of people traveled with and studied the masters who lived there. The expedition took place in the 1890’s and lasted for 3.5 years.

They discuss God, Jesus and what a fully developed human should be able to accomplish, which these Masters represent. Jesus performed many miracles during his ministry. Those  same miracles are common, everyday experiences for these masters, as they will be for us if we can turn ourselves to the Christ Consciousness.

Disclosure:¬†The book links above are affiliate links to Amazon. I may earn a small commission when you place an order, but it doesn’t affect your price.

What Do You Think?

Can you fail your way to success? Leave me a comment below and let me know what you think.

My personal feeling is that we should put all thought of failure out of our minds. What’s the point of starting something if you expect to fail? Instead, set out to learn what you need to learn, apply it, and finally succeed. That’s the only path that I see.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. While you’re still here, I’d really appreciate if you would share this with your followers on social media.

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2 Responses to Can You Really Fail Your Way to Success?

  1. I like this post because I think there are too many platitudes about how you an turn a lemon into a lemonade, or how failure can be a precursor to success. I think you have it right that instead of ditching the book that gets rejected, the author should make changes based on feedback she’s gotten. There must be some reason she wrote the book to start with — it had value in her view. The first Harry Potter book was rejected 12 times but the author didn’t give up. Good example for all of us.

    • Ben says:

      Hi Jeannette. I agree. JK Rowling is an excellent example of perseverance. I saw something in the past couple of days that said the first Harry Potter book was published 20 years ago. It’s hard to believe that it’s been so long.

      As far as success goes, I believe that you need to focus on the success, the things that can go right. Anything else will just get in your way and slow you down. Those platitudes you mentioned serve just to condition people into accepting a mediocre life. Who wants that?

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