A friend who knew a thing or two about failure and success – who grew up in Singapore once recounted how the local people used to capture monkeys. A hole would be drilled in a coconut, the milk would be drained and a stone of just the right size inserted through the hole. The coconut would then be hung from a tree and the noise of the stone rattling around in the coconut by the blowing wind would attract the monkeys. The monkeys would put their hand in the hole, grab the stone and not be able to remove it because the size of their clenched fist holding the stone was now too big for the hole. The monkey would not let go and so would be caught by the locals who found the monkeys a nuisance.
The third step to achieving success is to choose how we fail. We cannot choose whether we fail, failure and success happen to us all. However, we can choose how we fail.
If we choose to fail backwards, we end up holding onto frustration and anger just like the monkey who holds onto the stone in the coconut; we feel trapped! Alternatively we can choose to fail forwards, to see the failure as feedback for self-development and to come back stronger as a result.
So what helps us fail in the right direction?
Feedback provided by someone who you know is for you
Teachability and openness to self-improvement
Personal and professional confidence and self-belief
Appropriate perspective on failure and success
Being in relationship with people who encourage you to be the best you can
My 10-year-old son loves badminton and currently plays about 9 hours every week. From time to time he will be moved into the next performance group and he goes through a period of losing every game. During these times he battles with failing and sometimes wants to give up. At each stage we have encouraged him to dig deep and eventually he has come back stronger than he was. It’s not easy but resilience is one of the greatest determinators of failure and success.
Failure and success question: How could you be more likely to become better rather bitter as a result of failure?
Author: Matt Bird is the creator of Relationology a unique approach to achieving business growth through the power of relationships. He is an international keynote speaker and author of Relationology 101.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / Tel: +44 7971 489768