Ok so failure is not something anyone actively seeks out, but failure is often a springboard to greater success – if you pay attention to what’s going on. And success can lead to misery. I’ve known several millionaires personally who were utterly despondent about their life. The money gave them the ability to pay for pretty much whatever they might want. It did not give them the capacity to enjoy it.
Money, on its own, is no more than a screwdriver or hammer. In other words it’s a tool, to be used. It’s not a goal in and of itself.
Sitting in a box it does you no good at all (money or hammer). If you have a leaky roof, take out the hammer and hammer down the loose rooftile. Don’t sit complaining about it!
Of course if you have neither hammer nor money, life can be difficult. Let’s not be too naive about this. You need a certain amount of money to have some comfort in your life.
But true success is not just earning a big chunk of money. Once you have that, you’re not guaranteed to be happy. You’re just guaranteed to be able to pay your bills and have some money left over.
Success and failure are impostors. If you can treat failure as a reason to pick yourself up and try again (perhaps differently, with hindsight) and treat success as no more than one step in your journey, good for you. Most people can’t do that and the average person in the average country in this world is unfulfilled, dissatisfied and constantly seeking more or different.
When does that stop? For me it stops when you realize that how much you earn is not a measure of how well you have done.
Don’t be afraid of failure – every day you wake up you get another chance to change what happens next.
And don’t be afraid of success – yes, many people truly are terrified of success. It sounds an odd thing to say, that people are afraid of success. If you Google it you’ll find that what I’m saying is true. I’ve seen it so many times personally. Some of the people I’ve mentored, taught or just communicated with over the last several years have proved it to me.
They get close to achieving something and then they self-explode. You can see it coming a mile off. They can’t, but observers can. The fear of success is just as powerful as the fear of failure.
It carries with it so many expectations and possible implications with friends and family. Fear can trap you from moving, whether it’s fear of failure (so you never start) or fear of success (so you never finish).
It’s a bit like a startled rabbit not moving, just staring into the headlights of an oncoming vehicle. There’s an old joke about what fear means. Actually there are a couple, one of which is crude. Here’s the more useful one, I think:
False Evidence (or Expectations) Appearing Real
Just remember that whether what you do works or does not work, the next step should always be about improving what happens.
It’s truly one of life’s great joys to be seeking the next level of accomplishment. It’s hard work, but the reward is commensurate with the work you put in.
Please let me know in the comments. Are you happy with your life? Is it really money (too much or too little) that makes you feel however you feel? Do you treat success and failure the same? Do you feel down about “failure” and elated about “success”? What would your life’s purpose be if you knew there were no limits to it? What would you do if nothing prevented you from doing it?
Let me know. I’d love to hear from you.