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Why Failure is Good for Success
Words like ‘failure’ make our hearts sink, whether it’s an exam we haven’t passed or a personal target we haven’t managed to hit. Failure is something which most of us are afraid of, and therefore we seek to do everything possible to avoid it. Failure to some people might mean not winning a race or not quite achieving something they’ve been working towards, but it’s important not to become discouraged by the fact you haven’t met targets or come out on top.
The most successful people in the world have had to go through situations that many others would regard as failures. J. K. Rowling, world-famous author of Harry Potter, was rejected by 12 publishers before she finally got the break she needed from her novels. Thomas Edison was told he was ‘too stupid’ by his teachers while he was at school, and he has become a household name now.
Failure can make you try harder
Depending on how badly you want something, failing can make you try even harder to reach your goal. Whether you’re training to run a 10K and want to surpass your personal best, or you’re studying for an exam and aiming to get the highest mark in the class, falling short can make us try harder next time. While it can be discouraging at first, it’s important to remember that you cannot change what you’ve already done, but you can look forward and change it in the future.
Failure isn’t the end of everything
With a few rare exceptions, there is always the chance to try again at whatever you’ve failed to achieve. Annual competitions will be held next year, exams can usually be re-sat the following exam season and sports can be played again and again. Failing several times can help you to realize that there will always be a second chance, and when you do finally succeed and achieve what you’ve been aiming for, you’ll feel a greater sense of satisfaction.
Failure can give you more confidence
If you’re afraid of failing, this will prevent you from trying new things and seeing what you can achieve. This fear is the main reason that many people are scared of doing certain things, such as going back into education or learning a new sport. Dealing with failure can give you a massive confidence boost and encourage you to try new things. After all, everybody has to start somewhere!
The Difference Between Success and Happiness
Do you know the difference between success and happiness? At first look it would appear that if you have success you’d automatically be happy, but it isn’t necessarily true. There are many very successful people who are not happy. We just need to look towards celebrities – musicians, movie stars etc. to see that this is true. They are insanely rich yet are plagued with self-image, relationship and chemical dependency problems. There is an old saying that money can’t buy happiness; it is so true.
So what is the difference between the two? By one definition “Success is getting what you want; happiness is wanting what you get.” So can you have happiness without being successful? Yes, you can. In most cases, success is measured by the material wealth one has where happiness is measured by purpose and the difference a person makes in the lives of others. That is one reason why volunteering is so rewarding. While one is not paid in money, they are paid in the happiness derived from the work of helping others.
A question commonly asked is “Can you be successful if you are happy?” That answer is yes too. To make it clearer let’s use this scenario. A person wants to be a neo-natal nurse, not just a nurse. Her life’s goal is to save babies’ lives. Her whole life has been driven by this goal. She becomes a nurse first and then goes on to specialize in neo-natal. Once graduated and working as a neo-natal nurse, she is at peace with herself and has achieved success as she views it. Everything she did in between making the decision to be a neo-natal nurse and actually becoming one was her sole focus to achieving happiness and to her, success.
We mentioned purpose, but let’s examine the difference of what it means between one who seeks success and another that seeks happiness. The success seeker views purpose as having wealth, power and fame. The happiness seeker views purpose as being rich in character, having peace of mind and enjoying good health and meaningful relationships.
One problem with success is it is much like an addiction. Once the person achieves it, they must set their goal higher to get even more success. As a result, their goal is a constant moving target of always wanting more. While they may enjoy a fleeting happiness, it soon wears off and they are on to the next goal. The person that achieves happiness on the other hand, is satisfied (and enjoying) what they have – things are not measured in dollars – health, peace of mind and great relationships. There is no reason to seek out more, just maintaining what they have.
So it is possible to have happiness and success, but not necessarily success and happiness. The two are vastly different and in many cases defined in the eyes of the beholder.
5 Ways to Increase Positivity in Your Life
Being positive isn’t always easy, and sometimes it feels like no matter how hard you try, things are still looking negative. You might be trying as hard as possible to be positive, but if the people and circumstances around you remain negative, it can be difficult to push through that and achieve the positivity you need. Here are some of the ways you can increase positivity and become happier and more focused.
1. Read motivating literature
One of the things which influences us the most is the content that we read. This could be the posts that your friends are making on social media, the newspaper that you read on your way to work in the morning or the novels that you buy from the book store and spend time with before you fall asleep. Take a break from the negative content and focus on the positive.
2. Create some goals
Goals don’t have to be long-term. You don’t have to create a goal which pushes you to visit a different continent or become a millionaire. You can set short-term goals for the year, the month, the week or even the same day. Set achievable goals, since it’s the satisfaction of achieving them that will make you feel great.
3. Get rid of negativity
You’ll never find a way to thoroughly eliminate all negativity in your life, and if you get rid of some of it, you will find that more will come along at some point. Unfortunately, it’s not something we can ever escape, but getting rid of the negativity that you don’t need anymore can really help you to feel better. Chat to your friends and offload some of your worries, or make a list of things which are causing you to stress and come up with a plan to solve some of the problems.
4. Focus on the bigger picture
Too many people get taken up with the short-term negativity and bad things which are happening for a short while. If you focus on the bigger picture, you will often see that in order to achieve something better, you have to go through some not-so-great times.
5. Get into good habits
If you have bad habits, this won’t help you to become more positive. You will need to change your habits and create better ones – this could be eating healthier, exercising more, spending quality time with your family or not letting yourself read negative things or get into negative conversations, either online or offline.
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