Look at Failure as a Stepping Stone to Success
Today I’m going to be talking to you about failure and success. This is your reward for being a loyal listener. Today I want to talk to you about the ultimate keys to success, the one thing that all successful people have in common.
You see, it doesn’t matter what arena you look in. You can look at business, you can look at parenting, you can look at relationships. We can look at fitness, health – whatever you want to look at, there’s one thing that all successful people have in common. No, my friends, it is not intelligence. It’s not strength. It’s not any of those things. There’s one thing that all successful people have in common and it’s the one thing that they all have a lot of, and that my friends, is failure.
The most successful people in the world are the most successful people in the world because they have failed more than everyone else around them. You see, learning can only come as a result of failure.
Now, in some cases you can learn from other peoples’ failures, but all learning comes from some sort of failure. Sometimes in life, you have to fail yourself to learn the lesson. Now the smartest people in the world, sure, they learn from other peoples’ failures. But guess what? Once you’ve learned from all of their failures, eventually you’re going to push the envelope and you’re going to fail yourself.
You Have to Ask for Failure
So today, what I want to talk to you about is this concept that I’ve coined that is Ask for Failure. See, some people will teach you in these seminars that you go through or a book that you read that you should learn to be okay with failure.
“It’s okay, deal with failure. It’s fine, it’s a part of life.” I say no! I say ask for failure. I say look at failure in the eye and say, “I dare you to enter my life.” Look it in the eye and say, “I dare you to enter my business. I dare you to enter any aspect of what I do, because I will conquer you. I will defeat you, and I will fall flat on my face and I will fall hard.
But guess what? I’m going to get right back up and when I get up, I’m going to be smarter. I’m going to have more experience. I’m going to learn from this. I’m going to grow from this and right behind it is going to be success.”
When you look at the most successful business people, for example, none of them have succeeded consistently. In fact, most of them have failed way more times than they’ve succeeded. But see, that’s why they succeed. Of course, one of my favorite quotes of all time is a quote by Michael Jordan where he talks about failure.
What Have You Learned from Your Mistakes?
It’s something that hangs up on the wall of my office and I look at it just about every single day, and it’s a quote about failure that I think really brings all of this together from one of the most successful human beings of all time. If you think about it, this is a man who conquered the game of basketball and has recently become the first athlete to become a billionaire – yes, that’s right, billionaire with a B. And this is a man who was playing in the NBA when they used to not get paid anywhere near as much as some of these guys get paid today, and yet he’s become a billionaire.
Why? If you ask him, it’s because he fails over and over again. In fact, as I’m here recording my podcast, I can turn around and just look at what hangs up on my all. It says,
“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I failed over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest basketball player to ever play the game, arguably the best athlete to ever play any game, and certainly the most financially successful athlete in the history of the world, and he tells us the reason he succeeds is because he’s a failure. Listen to that: he missed the shot – game-winning shot that people trusted him with.
How many times in your business, in your life, have people trusted you with something and you failed, and what you did is you just gave up? How many times in parenting did you fail and then give up? Think about it. What if in life you stopped giving up every time you had failure? For those of you who are out there looking for the perfect relationship – ladies, gentlemen, whoever is out there – those of you who are waiting for that perfect relationship to come along, I don’t care how old you are.
How Do You Handle Failure?
What if you stopped focusing on your failures and just realized that from every failed relationship or from every failed attempt to meet the man or woman of your dreams, what if that just gave you more strength, it gave you more power, taught you things, and you grew from it, and you learned from it, so you could get to that next level? Eventually, I guarantee you, you will find success.
But if you decide that you’re going to be afraid of failure, that you’re going to stop trying because you failed, guess what? You will never become a Michael Jordan. You will never become successful in anything. I can give you examples of my own life, in business, I have failed over and over again.
I have failed many times. Now, I’ve succeeded many times as well, but there are plenty of examples where I started businesses that failed. And even in my businesses that succeed, many of them succeed because multiple times they failed and during their fail times, I was somehow able to resurrect these businesses when everyone else gave up.
When my employees were looking at me like, “How are we ever going to get out of this one?” and I just decided I was going to be okay with it and I was going to embrace failure, and look at the world in the eye and say, “I dare you to bring me failure,” asking for failure, begging for failure. Because when failure comes into your life or in your business, in your relationship, and whatever, that is your opportunity to decide what you’re going to learn from this. You’re going to grow from this.
Failure is a Crossroad – Which Road Will You Take?
But see, when failure happens, it’s a crossroad and people make one of two decisions. They either decide that they’re going to crawl up in a ball, put their head under a pillow, and go hide somewhere. Or, when failure happens, they decide that that failure is going to be the reason why they’re going to grow. That failure is going to be the reason why they’re going to get to the next level.
That failure is going to be the reason they become better, they become stronger, they become more intelligent, right? And they take that experience and they get out in the world and accomplish things that they could’ve only dreamt of before they had that failure.
But see, it all starts with understanding you have to acknowledge that failure is okay. Now, I’m not telling you it doesn’t hurt. Listen, falling flat on your face hurts. It’s very painful. Missing the game-winning shot hurts. People cry, people lose sleep over it. People get worried.
People get concerned. There’s nothing wrong with that. There’s pain that comes along with failure. But the key is what are you going to do with that pain? Is that pain going to slow you down, or is that pain going to push you forward? Is that pain going to weaken you, or is that pain going to strengthen you?
You look at a muscle when you go to the gym and you work out using weights. Guess what happens? Your muscles hurt the next day.
Why is Personal Growth Important?
But that pain is pain that’s caused by your muscles expanding and growing, and it’s the tearing of those muscle fibers and stressing those muscle fibers that allow them to get bigger. And when you look at these bodybuilders, what they’ve done is repeatedly done this until their muscles get bigger and bigger and bigger, and now if you take that same bodybuilder, put him or her in a gym where they used to life 55-pound weights and get sore.
You give them 55-pound weights and their muscles don’t even feel it anymore, right? Because they took that thing that was failure – the muscle – took that thing called failure and turned it into success.
In fact, you look at anything that you do in life – you look at a child who walks. Why does a child walk? Because he or she fails at walking, literally tens of thousands of times before he or she takes their first step. And what happens as soon as they finally succeed in taking their first step? And see, this is what I want you to understand because this is what is happening to you in life every single day. Yet some of us don’t understand that everything in life is like walking. See, a child trying to learn how to walk fails tens of thousands of times and then finally one magical day, he or she takes their first step.
But what happens right after they take their first step? They fail. They fail at taking a second or third step and they fall flat on their face. And here’s the thing – listen to this, because this is the most important lesson in this entire audio program here. The time they fail right after taking their first step, if you think about it, they are guaranteed to fall harder than they’ve ever fallen before.
Isn’t that interesting? Because see, when you’re crawling and you’re learning how to walk, you fall and you fall only a little bit. But now that you’ve taken that first step, you’re moving faster, your body’s up higher, right? And guess what? That momentum ensures that you have a harder fall than you’ve ever had before.
Isn’t that amazing? Isn’t it amazing that the world works that way, where right after your biggest success comes your biggest failure? But see with babies, we get this. We understand this because we’ve seen it, and we keep pushing the baby, right? And the baby keeps going. Why? Because the baby doesn’t know any better.
Our Best Relationship With Failure is When We’re Babies
But something happens – something happens in our brains as human beings as we get older, and it happens at some point. I don’t know, maybe somewhere around between the age of five and the age of 18, where we start to understand they hey, we’re okay the way we are. “Yeah, I’m good. I don’t need to grow.
Yeah, this is fine. I’d rather just stay the way I am, and if I can’t walk, then I can’t walk,” right? Something changes inside of us and we start to settle. We start to settle for whatever we have and as part of this, we’re no longer able to embrace failure. We’re no longer able to be okay with failure. Yet as a kid, as a two-year-old, we understood this. As a three-year-old, we understood this. We kept going until we got results, right?
But somehow as adults we forget this, so we get into our twenties and our thirties, and once we’re in our forties and fifties and beyond, we’re so afraid of failure we’re not taking any action anymore. So whatever we’re doing, wherever we’re at, we’ve learned to crawl and we’ve learned to walk, but that’s all we’re ever going to do.
And so today I want to inspire you to look at the universe in the eye and dare the universe to let you fail, because I can tell you, if you’re listening to this podcast and you are a more successful business person than I am, I guarantee you you have failed in business more than I have, and you know who you are. And as you’re listening to this, you’re thinking to yourself, “Yes, Arman, you’re right.”
Big Wins Come With Big Losses
If you fall under that category, I guarantee you you’re more successful in business than I am. Now some of you are not quite as successful as I am in business, and I guarantee you you’ve failed nowhere near as many times as me. I can guarantee you. You haven’t lost anywhere near as much money as I’ve lost.
I remember when something happened in my recycling company and in a single day we lost a half a million dollars. That was a big day for me because guess what? How many people do you know that can lose half a million dollars?
Well since then, I’ve learned to lose a million dollars in a single month. Hey, how many people do you know that could lose a million dollars in a month? I know people who’ve lost a billion dollars – with a B – in a single day, right? People who are traders.
So when you look at this and you start to realize hey, with big wins come huge losses and you have to have a lot of losses that you have under your belt before you start getting those big wins – unless you decide you want to play small.
Can you avoid failure? Of course, you can. In relationships, can you avoid failure? Sure, play small. Don’t do your best. Don’t try your best. Don’t push yourself to the limit.
But if you’re always pushing yourself to the limit, if you’re trying to grow, you are going to fail, and that’s what happens. But let me tell you the order. There’s an order of operations to everything in life, and the way that the world works is this: you try, you push the envelope, and guess what?
You fail at first. But you get up and you learn from it, and you grow, and you invest in learning more and growing more. Now that’s the key. It’s not about getting up and then falling flat on your face again without any learning. That doesn’t make sense because you’ll fail over and over and over again for the rest of your life.
Some of the most successful people are those who when they fail, they learn from it, they grow from it, they say, “How can I avoid this from ever happening again?” But then when it happens again – and oh, it will – they just dig deeper. They learn even more and they grow even more.
Today I challenge you to join me on this journey of embracing failure and asking for failure and let’s have a group of people who are out in the universe asking for failure. And when you become that way, watch what’s going to happen to you in every aspect of your life?
So if it’s the gym you’re afraid of, go to the gym and fail. Let me see how badly you can fail. If it’s relationships, I want to see you fail over and over again. If you’re looking for an incredible man to get married to or an incredible woman to get married to, I want you to go out there and see how many times you can fail at finding that amazing person.
But every time, learn from it, grow from it, and embrace that failure. And remember, one of the most successful human beings of all time in the game of basketball, Michael Jordan, says he is successful because he fails over and over again.
Not in spite of the fact that he has failed, but because of the fact. I want you to understand that causation there, what this man is saying, and I want you to get out there. I want you to embrace failure and I want you ask for failure.
Hey, I love you all and I want to tell you to go out there every day and in addition to asking for failure, make sure that you’re out there in every part of your life, always lead with your heart.