He who has never failed somewhere, that man cannot be great. Failure is the test of greatness.


He who has never failed somewhere, that man cannot be great. Failure is the test of greatness. – Herman Melville

How many times could you fail before you gave up? What if you redefined what the word ‘failure’ to something more useful?

What does that mean?
This is an interesting quote, but it does make sense. It’s not put the way I am used to thinking about it, how about you? It says that failure is a requirement for greatness. Normally, greatness is measured relative to the successes of the person.

That said, successes rarely come without a few failures. Those failures help to improve your aim, as you close in on your own personal greatness. Just like throwing stones at a can, if you pay attention, you know how to adjust your aim after each toss, using your failures as feedback.

Failure also takes it’s toll on those for whom the desire for greatness cannot withstand the pain of failure. In these two manners, by thinning the herd and improving your aim, failure truly is a test of the greatness of a person.

Why is failing important?  
what? Failing is important? Yes, I believe it is. Without failing, how would you know if you’re on the best path? You try something, and it doesn’t work out as well as you hoped. You failed. Shake it off, and get on with your life.

Learn what you can, adjust your strategy, and try again.In this way, failure helps to shape your course. It helps you find your way to your destination. It helps you find the greatness within you. It is the crucible for your greatness.

The pain, the anguish, the disappointment, they are all motivating factors. Or you can let them destroy you. If you are set on greatness, you will chose the former. If you are too fragile or aren’t truly committed to do all that it takes to achieve greatness, you will fall by the wayside.

Where can I apply this in my life?
There are many paths to greatness. Not everyone will win an Olympic medal, but we can all become the greatest possible version of ourselves. If the failures are getting to you, perhaps it is time for you to try something else. Sports, relationships, work, family, and so many other aspects of our lives are available for us to achieve greatness.

To me, the turning point came when I redefined failure. Before that point in time, failure was any time something didn’t turn out great. As you can imagine, that resulted in a lot of failure, as well as a lot of pain and disappointment.

Then I changed my attitude towards failure, and redefined it. Now, the only way I fail is if I am unable to learn something from a less than stellar result. As long as I learn something, I can try again with a little better plan, with a better chance of getting the result I desire.

Is your attitude towards failure holding you back? Do you chose to not try because you are afraid of failing? I would recommend you try my definition of failure, and get busy trying things. Every time you do something, learn from the results you achieve, then adjust your approach, adjust your plan, and try again.

You can be unstoppable, if you are willing to keep getting up, make some adjustments, and try again. How many “failures” would you have been able to endure to make an electric light bulb? Edison famously said “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.

With that kind of attitude, is there any wonder he is one of the greatest inventors in the history of humanity? While you may not have the kind of global impact of Edison, but you can still achieve greatness in your community, your family, within your circle of friends, or even within yourself.

Now that you have a new definition for failure, what are you going to do today that you might not have done? What chances are you willing to take, knowing you can try again, and stand a better chance each time, provided you learn something from each attempt?

Are you willing to do what it takes to become great?

From: Twitter, @zimpeterw
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/h/hermanmelv157726.html
Photo by IceSabre

Happy Birthday, Herman Melville, born 1 August, 1819.

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About philosiblog

I am a thinker, who is spending some time examining those short twitter quotes in greater detail on my blog.
This entry was posted in courage, discovery, failure, innovation, persistence, thinking and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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