Re-Defining Failure

The biggest challenge in life is getting over a failure and the journey back up. Heartbreak, getting fired, failing an important test, losing out on opportunities that you had your heart set on. How can you challenge the failure you went through? How can you twist it into something worthwhile, into something other than heartache? How can you ultimately challenge failure?

  • Let yourself sulk. Get emotional and feel hurt. You are entitled to these feelings and these feelings must be felt before you are ready to move on.

Let me give you a great example; I was walking around humming the blues when I dropped my Motorola Atrix (I’m old and cheap) on the cold, hard marble floor. I frantically picked it up to find a one-inch crack going through the middle of the screen. I felt the crack in my heart too, and my wallet. On my way home I stopped by a few of those random phone stores and was told it would cost me £50 to replace the screen.So I sulked a little more. I went home and YouTubed DIY channels to find out how to replace the screen by myself to save me some precious bucks. It looked incredibly easy; I just had to pop a piece of metal into the speaker space and gently nudge the screen out. So I got out a screwdriver which took me forever to find, popped that bugger in and tilted it ever so gently. It was like an elongating spider; the cracks lengthened and expanded through the whole screen and went deeper than before. My phone was now unusable.

  • Think bigger. Take on a bird’s eye view and recognise the actual size of your failure. It is not life changing, life halting or life ending. It is simply part of it.

So for me, I had to step back, understand that the only thing I was truly saddened about was the money it would take to fix it because the damage was more extensive with the whole screwdriver fiasco. The fact was that I was only losing out on money which is replaceable with…well, other money.

  • Recognise your fault. Every single failure, big or small holds a lesson. Look back at the situation and analyse your own steps (and miss-steps) and admit to yourself that you messed up. If you can be mature enough to take responsibility for your own actions, you are already half-way there.

I should not have picked up that screwdriver.

  • Learn from it. No point in a teacher if you aren’t there for the lesson. Ask yourself these questions; how could I have done it better? How would I do it in the future?

I was dumb enough to think that by watching a 2 minute YouTube clip by a professional, that I could replicate it with a massive screwdriver.

  • Let it go. Never hold onto failure longer than necessary. Once you have managed to pull your lesson out of it, let it go and move on.

I bought a new phone and never touched another screwdriver ever again.


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