I Fail Therefore I Am
“I Fail, Therefore I Am”, a phrase coined by business humorist and mindset mentor, Zandra Bell, is obviously, a play on the famous quote by philosopher, Rene Descartes, “I Think, Therefore I Am”.
The point being that, as humans, failing is as natural to our earthly condition as thinking, in fact, even BREATHING for that matter! Failure is how we learn and move forward, just like a baby masters the ability to walk; try, fall down, get up and try again.
In his book, Failing Forward, leadership expert, John Maxwell points out that Vincent Van Gogh ostensibly failed at being an artist in his time. Today a single Van Gogh painting would fetch in excess of $100 million, yet the now famous genius sold only one painting in his lifetime, four months prior to his death.
Before developing his theory of relativity, Albert Einstein experienced academic failure, even expulsion from school. In fact, one of his teachers predicted that he would never amount to anything.
Basketball great, Michael Jordan was cut from his high school sophomore team, but he went on to capture six championships in the sport, during his professional career.
Failure didn’t stop any of these amazing individuals from following their passion, doing what they felt compelled to do, but, conversely, it has paralyzed countless leaders, causing them to self-sabotage and fall short of reaching their potential.
At some point, everyone believes they are failures, but the real leaders of this world, in spite of adversity, short-comings, and rejection, they persevere. They hold onto self-belief and refuse to give up.
Had Winston Churchill given into his darkest fears during the 2nd World War, our lives would be very different now. This great leader, however, viewed “winning” as never giving up, as is exemplified in his famous quote, “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”
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