Recently I saw a video in which Peter Dinklage spoke about his life and about decisions he had to take in order to give his acting career a real change. In short, it’s about following your passion, taking risks and embracing failure. The video of further below. Watch it, I found it very inspirational. Shortly after I wrote about my thoughts about this on my Facebook page. But I wanted to but a more visibility and emphasis on this important topic. That is the reason I wrote this article which is mainly about failure.
The Big Taboo: Failure
In today’s world, it seems that failure is a taboo topic. People, not only online, tend to hide their failures from people and put all the emphasis success if they had some, or on making sure no one finds out. This is a very negative trend. I understand where those people are coming from. Our society doesn’t reward failure in the same way it rewards looking great on the outside. It’s more rewarding to fake success than to portrait failure.
Yet failure is a very important path on anyone’s journey. In science, it’s a key aspect of the trade. Scientists set a framework and test it. More often than not their results are a failure. That’s not only ok, it’s important. Now we know that something doesn’t work. We gained knowledge, know-how and experience.
In life, around family and friends, failure becomes more of a stigma than ever. At least that’s how it seems to me. When you have big goals or dreams that are likely to fail, your people will tend to stop you and tell you that you should not because you might fail at the task at hand.They’re scared and project their feelings towards you.
They’re scared and project their feelings towards you.
Don’t let ever let anyone tell you what you are capable of or aren’t. Don’t wait until anyone says that now you are ready. Go out there and do it. Go for it. Don’t be afraid to fail. Failure is a process and you pick yourself up after failure, learn from it and move on.
Don’t Let Failure Hold You Back
Almost anything I ever achieved, I achieved despite people telling me I couldn’t or I shouldn’t or that I wasn’t ready.
I stumbled often during those decades. Very often without people realising it. I failed at school, at football, in martial arts, in relationships, during recipes I tried, at meditational practice, at yoga, I injured myself in the gym, at home, on the training pitch.
The one thing I never did is to let this hold me back. No matter how hard the setback, how much people tried to put me down, I reassemble myself, learned from what happened and followed my path.
Failure: The Key To Success
I don’t remember where I heard the following few sentences, but they stuck. If you know who to credit for this insight, please let me know. The person, I think it was a businessman, replied to a question about how to be successful:
The road to success is made out of two words: right decisions.
The road to right decisions is made out of one word: experience.
The road to experience is made out of two words: wrong decisions.
It’s only 5 words but they make all the difference. If you see it out of this lens failure suddenly becomes a very important metric on your path. It is probably the single most important tool to gain experience. Only with real experience and the willingness to reflect on failure you can make decisions that bring you a step ahead, in life, business, romance, fitness or whatever you are working on. I created a free seminar that helps you to create routines and forms habits that will guide you to make the most of your experiences.
Making Failure Part Of Your Journey
I’ve been on that road since I was a small boy. Whatever natural skill or talent I didn’t have I made up for it multiple times with dedication, will, mental strength and true intrinsic motivation.
In the end, I’m prove of a successful life of failure. I achieved a lot and I am proud of it. I am proud of it because I know what I sacrificed to get there:
My Journey Of Failure
Here’s my journey:
- The amount of time I invested in learning languages, something I still struggle with a lot. Yet I am working on learning my 5th now.
- The time and dedication I invested in becoming a Shotokan karate brown belt in 4 years. I was overweight back then, in terrible shape, felt depressed and alone. In karate I found a place to both express myself and tame myself. And I made friends 15 years ago that I still am in touch with.
- The same goes for BJJ. I picked a martial art that was the exact opposite of how I feel comfortable moving. It was a long, hard, bumpy and at times frustrating path. Still, I managed to win tournaments, compete at many others, met people and became after 3 years of training a blue belt too.
- I had my ups and downs at university and at work. Every time I stood up again and made a step forward.
- At the gym, I made my fair share of mistakes and learned from them. It made me stronger in the end. I gained more knowledge and experience. And again I met great people there.
- Thanks to several circumstances in and around my life, I became a great chef, nutritionist and coach. This was an amazing experience and it changed me for good and for the better. But I got put down often because people didn’t understand what I was going with this. My way of living challenged their views and beliefs. I showed them that what I did was feasible, efficient and effective. At the same time, I wasn’t depriving myself of the things I like and enjoy neither.
People tend to dislike such actions. That is fine with me. It shows me that I am on a good path and it tells me to question myself just to be sure that what I am doing is still the right thing.
Find What Works For You
While all of the above have had a tremendous impact in my life, the biggest changed occurred when I integrated both yoga and meditation into my daily routine. It transformed me physically and spiritually.
Yoga made me physically and mentally humble. It also showed me new ideas and ways. I went way beyond my comfort zone to attend seminars and workshops. Not only did my yoga and breath work improve, I became a better person and I met great people on the way.
It’s hard to find your passion in the world and even harder to make it your living. It took me longer than Peter Dinklage to find my calling, but I found it. All that it takes now is what I do best:
It’s a never-ending story of successful failure. My goal is to fail as often as I have to in order to achieve my goal.
Don’t wait until anyone gives you permission to live your life. It is your life, you have all the permission you need. You have the skills you need and if not, get them.
Go after it and become the most successful failure out there! In case you need some inspiration, watch the video, read about Jack Ma, J.K. Rowling, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Albert Einstein, Michael Jordan or Steven Spielberg. All of them are successful failures.
I truly hope this article resonated with you. If it was of any help, it would be great to get your feedback. To make this available to more people, please share this with your friends. It might help them along their way.
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