Consider this: Angry Birds, the incredibly popular game, was software maker Rovio’s 52nd attempt. They spent eight years and nearly went bankrupt before finally creating their massive hit. James Dyson failed in 5,126 prototypes before perfecting his revolutionary vacuum cleaner. Groupon was put on life support and nearly shut down at one point in its meteoric rise.
When looking at the most successful people and organisations, we often imagine geniuses with a smooth journey straight to the promised land. But when you really examine nearly every success story, they are filled with crushing defeats, near-death experiences, and countless setbacks.
We often celebrate companies and individuals once they’ve achieved undeniable success, but shun their disruptive thinking before reaching such a pinnacle. Before Oprah was Oprah, before Jobs was Jobs, they were labelled as misguided dreamers rather than future captains of industry.
In your life, you’ve probably had a setback or two. When you stumble, it’s tempting to throw in the towel and accept defeat. There’s always an attractive excuse waiting eagerly, hoping you’ll take the easy way out. But the most successful people forge ahead. They realise that mistakes are simply data, providing new information to adjust your approach going forward.
You have a mission to accomplish and an enormous impact to make. You will inevitably endure some “failures” along your journey, but persistence and determination have always been the primary ingredients in accomplishment.
Don’t cave to your mistakes, embrace them. In fact, mistakes are simply to the portals of discovery. So the next time you feel the sting of failure, just realise you’re likely one shot closer to hitting your target.