There’s no denying that everyone will experience some type of setback. It’s just a function of time or action (our own or from others).
All of us recognize the pattern. We set a course to achieve some goal and begin the journey, but then we find ourselves at a point where we can’t move forward. Maybe we lose a job, the death of a friend or loved one, our spouse leaves suddenly or resources needed to finish a project don't materialize. But what does it take to turn a setback into a failure? Well, there is a relatively simple answer. The only thing it takes is your attitude.
In many cases we don’t cause the obstacle that gets in our way seemingly to prevent achieving our goal but, regardless, it’s an obstacle that has to be addressed. The question is how it should be addressed.
You see, failure, like success, is always a matter of choice. Sometimes it's a perfectly acceptable choice. For example, many people are good (but only a few are great) golfers, but the majority have chosen to be a failure at the game because they prefer to use their time and energy to devote to other endeavors. However, when we choose to succeed and we're willing to do what it takes, no matter what it takes, we may experience disappoint and setbacks, but we just won't allow ourselves to fail.
Even if things go wrong (and they will occasionally), even if outside influences force us to adjust our goals, even if others see us as a failure, they're absolutely dead wrong but only if we are determined to learn and grow from our mistakes.
Sometimes, we learn more from our mistakes than from our successes. One of the more astonishing "successful failures" was the 1970 Apollo 13 moon mission that went awry when the oxygen tank exploded. Despite all the challenges, the three astronauts were brought home safely. The mission was a failure, but the recovery was a spectacular success. And much was learned from that failure which benefited future flights.
We didn't land humans on the moon immediately after President Kennedy presented the challenge of landing people on the moon and returning them safely to earth. It took about nine years to study, research, and perform tests. Many mistakes were made resulting in numerous failures, some deadly. However, we did make it to the moon, because we had learned from those mistakes to create success. More than anything else, it was the attitude toward failure that ensured success.
Think about it…
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