February 6, 2023
“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
— Winston S. Churchill
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
― Maya Angelou
In 1832, he lost his job and was defeated in an election for the state legislature. In 1833, he failed in business. His sweetheart died in 1835 and in 1836 he had a nervous breakdown. In 1838 he was defeated for speaker of the Illinois house of representatives. He failed in his nomination for Congress in 1843 and in 1848 lost his renomination for Congress. He was rejected for an appointment to be land officer in 1849. 1854 brought another failure as he was defeated in his run for Senate. 1856 and 1858 were also disappointments as he lost the nomination for Vice President and was again defeated for the Senate. Finally, in 1860 Abraham Lincoln was elected President of the United States.
President Lincoln could have let any one of those many failures become a tombstone, but he didn’t. Instead, he let them be a steppingstone to success. Legendary Leaders look at failure differently. They evaluate what happened, learn from it, and move on.
In his quest to invent the light bulb, Thomas Edison reportedly failed 1000 times. One day a reporter sarcastically asked him, “How did it feel to fail 1000 times?” Edison replied, “I didn't fail 1000 times, the light bulb was an invention with 1000 steps.”
Legendary leaders view defeat and failure as some of life’s greatest teachers. They are not afraid to take risks or stick their neck out, because they understand no matter what happens they will learn and get better.
My recommendation to you, is that you treat failure like you treat chewing gum:
- Chew it for whatever you can get out of it.
- Spit it out.
- Forget it so you can go on to a new thing.
Remember that Proverbs 24:16 (NIV) says, “for though a righteous fall seven times, they rise again,”. So don’t get discouraged when you make mistakes. Learn the lesson, pick yourself right back up, and get back in the race!
Failing Forward by John C. Maxwell
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God is for you!