How failures can make you smile

Jun 5, 2008 by

Are you feeling like quitting after failure?

Failure happens to all of us, no one is an exception. It’s not a mater of whether you will fail or not, it’s a matter of what you’re going to do with your failure. Quitting is not always the right answer… Here is a post that I write to encourage you facing your failure and soar above them.

What is failure?

Failure is an event, not a person.
~Zig Ziglar

Zig Ziglar got it right, failure is just an event, yet many generalized it as if it is the person. How many times do people say, “I am a failure”, or judging others “he/she is useless”? Looking deeper, failure is only a part of the time you spend on earth. You can choose to look into the successes and great things that have happened in your life. As Joel Osteen’s analogy, we can look at the donut instead of the hole within. We can look at our strengths and successes instead of our weaknesses and failures.

I’m tempted to quit
Juggling personal commitment, work and career, social life and leisure, while continuing this blog is not easy. There are so many things in mind that I have no time to start, not counting the mistakes that I have made. The slowness of how my readership is growing can easily discourage me. Yes, it does tempt me to quit and stop working on this blog.

As I write this post, it encourages me to continue on, to persist, and look beyond the failure. If I want, I can choose to look into 100 over readers that have subscribed and I can be thankful for that. I can consider it as a success instead of failure. Why then giving up? As one saying has ever stated, winners are not those who never fail but those who never quit.

I hope this post will encourage you too, to see what lies beyond failure and more…

Beyond failure…

Brick wall is there to show you one thing, how hard you want it to happen.
~Randy Pausch

Beyond your failure, there are meanings. There are reasons and purposes attached to them. As Randy Pausch mentioned, the brick wall you face is there to show how persistent you are. Joel Osteen also summed up this principle clearer, that… “Everything happens not to you, but for you.” Doesn’t that show a higher perspective that all of us can look into? That beyond failure, there is meaning we can look into.

Beyond meaning…

I do not believe in failure. It is not failure if you enjoyed the process.
~Oprah Winfrey via Confident1 (Fear of Failure)

What is the significance of having the meaning? It helps you to enjoy and to be thankful. Enjoying the failure? That sounds crazy! Nope, it’s not enjoying the failure, it is enjoying the process. If you did enjoy the process, then you will not think that your failure was a wasted time, instead it is a lesson we all can learn from.

Together with the quote above, David shared an article on the fear of failure that I found very helpful. Inside, he also shared an inspiring video. You can watch the video at the end of this post. One statement from the video, “if you never fail, you never live.”

Beyond enjoyment…

I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once,
but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.
~Bruce Lee, American-born Hong Kong Actor, Martial Artist & Instructor

Practicing one kick for 10,000 times!? Imagine what the trouble that may come. First, people are getting bored, getting sick of practicing the kick. Second, people are getting worried and fearful, what if that will never work, what if you are spending your time, money and energy just for one useless “kick.”

One blogger that taught me a lesson on persistence is Raymond Chua. I met him once for dinner. Besides his enthusiasm and his many achievements despite of his young age, I admire his persistence. He shared about his commitment to post an article everyday within a year. I don’t think it is easy to be kept. Along the way, there will be temptation to do other things rather than posting an article everyday. He is tempted to post longer and less frequent post. He might be tempted to spend more time networking or other marketing stuffs. He might even be tempted with many other things, yet he sticks with his commitment. When he found anything extra is necessary; he will get creative and plan it around his commitment. With this kind of persistence, I believe he will be a blogger that many will be “feared” of =).

Beyond persistence…

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
~Winston Churchill

Beyond persistence is enthusiasm. Without them it will be just a routine or regularities. Instead of going through them with passion, you will be doing it with much burden. Without enthusiasm, you may persist for a little while, but you will not be staying long enough.

How do you stay enthusiastic? It is when you do things not just merely for doing it. It is when you have goals behind your action and you stick your eyes on them. With the goals in your mind, you will easily attach meaning to the action you are doing. I guess this is also something that I have forgotten for many times. Ask yourself what is your vision, what do you hope behind every persistence action that you have? Is it just for merely doing things? Is it just merely to gain more money, more fame, or more readers? What will you do when you gain them?

One article that inspired me again is taken from Scott H. Young, What’s Your Exit Strategy? Without the exit strategy, without any plan after your plan is finished, you will easily make many mistakes. Do read the article to learn more. One important point I want to reiterate, begin with the end in mind!

Beyond enthusiasm…

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.
~Thomas Alva Edison

Isn’t that an amazing perspective towards failure? Despite of all our persistence and enthusiast to pursue our goal again and again, there has to be a process of evaluation. When you fail, it is important to check yourself, what have you learn from the experience? How can you do it differently? How can you grow from this point? What you can do now with all that you have to fix it? Those are the evaluations you need to do.

One article shared a thought-provoking insight. It shared that, instead of enthusiasm, boredom can be more useful in helping you to grow, to be creative and getting better. Check out the article… Boredom Can Be Good for You. And I really have to thank Derrick Kwa for sharing the article via Google Reader.

Beyond competence…

We… rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character and character, hope.
~Apostle Paul in his letter to Romans (Romans 2:2b-4)

Beyond competence, there is another side of growth that you must have, that is the character. While competence can be learned, character needs to be developed. While competence is what the tip of the iceberg is, character is the unseen huge part below. It does not come naturally; it comes when you are willing to change. Sometimes you have to get rid your old habit, old mindset and ego, your belief and many other things. It is the price that you pay, and often we can only realize that through our failures, our suffering and perseverance.

And there is hope…

What oxygen is to the lungs, such is hope to the meaning of life.
~Emil Brunner

And the last but not the least, keep on reminded that we have hope. And that hope will not disappoint us!
Remember, winners are not those who never fail but those who never quit!

If you have any experience with failure and how it changes you, please share in the comments.
Subscribe to RSS or email to get more articles that will encourage you in your success journey.

For your success,

And here is a very inspiring video on failure…

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  1. You’re more than welcome. Glad you liked the article. I’ve actually been wondering whether people actually read my Shared Items. I guess they do. =).

    Great article (articles if you include your past ones) on failure, by the way. Keep up the great content.

    Derrick Kwas last blog post..The Right Connections

  2. Hey Robert I saw you over at Tim Brownson’s blog. Failures make me smile when I remember that even a failure is just one perspective. It’s just one way of looking at things. We make it all up including how we see things. It really helps to just laugh it off and decide what you need to adjust the next time. I enjoyed your post and all the inspirational posts. Particularly, “Brick wall is there to show you one thing, how hard you want it to happen.” Randy Pausch

  3. Robert A.

    Hi Derrick, yeah I do read them! You really shared lots of great content.. I like your interest as well. In fact, your shared items is one of the top in the list that I read, together with dosh dosh and scott h young.
    Keep up the good work!
    Thanks a lot!

  4. Robert A.

    Hi Tom, thanks and welcome to!
    And that “laugh it off” statement is what I agree very much… it’s a skill that we all need to learn and be comfortable with!
    Thanks for your comments

  5. Hi Robert, Thanks for the praises.

    I’m flattered. 🙂

    Personally, I accept failure as it is but I do not attract it consciously and directly.

    Don’t be afraid to make mistake when you want to try out something new but don’t purposely fail yourself just because people tell you that failure is good.

    Those are 2 very different things.

    Raymond Chuas last blog post..A Lesson From A Zen Master

  6. Robert A.

    Thanks Raymond, that is a real message that many people miss about the failure!

  7. Don’t get hung up on your failure, just learn from it.

    That’s really the most important lesson here.

    Nice post Robert!

  8. Robert,

    I enjoyed this article. Joel Olsteen has it right when he asked us to focus on the donut and not on the hole. With every failure comes the seeds of new opportunities.


    Shilpan | successsoul.coms last blog post..3 Ways to Identify and Master the Bug of Creative Procrastination

  9. Persevere! I’m learning to do things wrong QUICKLY… and then to move on. I like your statement here…While competence can be learned, character needs to be developed. While competence is what the tip of the iceberg is, character is the unseen huge part below. It does not come naturally!

  10. Robert, this is my first visit to your blog and I am impressed. Please accept my compliments on a well presented blog. The subject matter is of great importance to me as you will find as I comment more on my future visits.

    Nicole Prices last blog post..Home Decorating? Here are some Ideas

  11. Robert A.

    @Alex & Shilpan
    Thanks for your comments. Don’t stop at the failure, as you said look at the good things and learn from it.

    Welcome to Hope to see you again. I agree with you on doing things wrong quickly. not to be afraid of making failures. Glad you enjoy the article! Character is indeed important.

    Thank you so much for the compliment, and welcome to Really happy to know that you’re going to be visiting again!

    Thank you guys, and all the best for all of you!

  12. Perhaps the only real failure is never having tried in the first place.

    Indeed, I would say that failure can be a blessing. Here may be an odd twist, but what if I have a crush on a girl? If I never ask her out – I will be eternally unknowing of whether she would have said yes. Not asking her out was the failure.

    But, for me to ask her out, and for her to say no — that is victory! I did what I could. Sure, the answer wasn’t what I wanted, but I can guarantee you that I will have no regrets, because I tried. One must be careful when they define failure and victory. It isn’t always as obvious as it seems.

    Bamboo Forests last blog post..7 Great Ways To be Insane

  13. My pleasure all the way.

    Nicole Prices last blog post..Home Decorating? Here are some Ideas

  14. Robert A.

    Hi Bamboo, thank you for your comment. You’re right indeed! The real failure is when you’re not trying. “One must be careful when they define failure and victory.” This is a very interesting statement.

  15. Lovely post, Robert

    Whenever something goes wrong I remind myself that if I’m not ‘failing’, I’m not actually learning. It’s only when we go to the edge and beyond of our capability that we can grow.

    Babies know that well, but we forget..

    I have subscribed to your lovely blog


  16. Robert A.

    Hi Mary…
    thanks for reminding us about our baby-hood =), with all the knowledge we have gained across the years, sometimes those made us more afraid of taking risks in growing.

    Thanks for subscribing too!

  17. i love this post ! I’m digging this quote : Failure is an event, not a person. actually, they are all pretty sweet.

  18. Hi Robert,
    This is indeed an amazing article. It is a must read for anyone who wants to be successful in life. Usually we have a bad mindset towards handling failure. But many of us do not know this ; failure is a prerequisite for success!

    Jephthah @

  19. Robert A.

    Hi Jephthah,
    Thanks for your comment, glad to know that you enjoy the article. Failures are really able to make us smile =)

  20. soo many people do not know how to deal with failure, once it happens, they just sink down, and do not know how to recover …

  21. Ruth

    Hi Im thinking about a wordpress blog myself, I’m only less than a week old looking at Its fab for social marketing insights. I found you on stumble upon…
    I recommend the above free course. what I understand is that its beaut to promote a business you or someone you know already has on the ground in the brick mortar world. And or just blog a topic for your passionate self fulfillment…I dont think it can start off with audience too much just because its really for you. Its not for us first it’s for you, your flavour then inspires others as it inspires and depresses you etc. Keep going, but maybe do thirty day challenge and reassess focus? XRuth

  22. Great article of Failure.
    Also see this interesting link on happiness.

    shabbars last blog post..Nick Vujicic, No Arms, No Legs, No Worries

  23. I found this blog while stumbling. Good work. You stated that continuing this blog and the slow development of readership is discouraging. Glad you didn’t give up because you have helped me re-comit to a goal.Thank David

  24. Hi David,
    thank you so much for your comment. It’s really encouraging.
    I like what you put in your site. Goal setting is indeed for all of us.

  25. Hope is important, especially if you are in a hole and can’t find a way out. Without hope, struggle has no meaning. Great post

    Best Regards,
    .-= jay @ work at home´s last blog ..Need Help With Google Adsense? Ask Lisa! =-.


  1. IQ Matrix Blog » Blog Archive » Never Give Up, Never Quit! | IQ Matrix - [...] How Failure Can Make You Smile @ Reason 4 Smile [...]
  2. Law of Attraction - [...] mine, Robert A Henru wrote an awesome article about the bright side of failure. I recommend you to read…

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