While looking for a document in my saved files, I came across some notes that I’d written down after reading John Maxwell’s book Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success. The notes are from Chapter 2 and I took the time to write these down on a separate piece of paper so I could keep them in front of me.

I’ve failed many times in my life, but I like to think that I’ve learned from my failures. Failure is inevitable, but one of my favorite quotes by Henry Ford says it all. “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

Chapter 2: Learn a new definition of failure and success. People are too quick to isolate events in their life and label them as failure – need to see them in the context of the bigger picture.

7 things failure is not:

  1. Failure is not avoidable – humans are bound to fail sooner or later.
  2. Failure is not an event, but a process. Success is not a destination, it is the journey you take and what you do day to day. Success is a process, and so is failure.
  3. Failure is not objective. You are the only person who can label your actions a failure.
  4. Failure is not the enemy – it takes adversity to achieve success. It is fertilizer.
  5. Failure is not irreversible.
  6. Failure is not a stigma – they are not permanent markers. Make each failure a step to success
  7. Failure is not final – failure is simply a price we pay to achieve success and if we learn to embrace that new definition of failure, then we can move ahead. It’s the price you pay for success.