Failure is only postponed success as long as courage coaches ambition. The habit of persistence is the habit of victory. – Herbert Kaufman
What does that mean?
There is a lot packed into those two short lines. The very first part defines failure as step on the road to success, or as success postponed.
The first sentence finishes by adding a catch. It says that you have to have courage, and it has to be a coach to your ambition. If you want success, you have to keep your ambition, or motivation, and that takes courage.
The other sentence talks about the key to victory. It says that the habit of persistence is key. A habit is doing something over, and persistence is not giving up, but trying again.
Doing it over and over, never giving up, leads to victory. In this case, success at whatever you are attempting to accomplish. I agree, and firmly believe, that victory is a habit.
Why is are good habits important?
Here, I mean good as in beneficial, not good as opposed to evil. Beneficial habits help us. Other habits either burn our energy, our time, or our concentration at best. That doesn’t mean we can’t have fun doing things which we enjoy, we just need to be aware that if they become habits, it could become an issue.
But the good habits help us move forward. As usual, there is such a thing as too much and too little. Persistence is listed here as a good habit. But you can be too persistent, just as you can have too little of it. Too much and you become Javert. Too little, and nothing gets done.
We all have good habits, although we might not all agree on what makes a habit worthy of the appellation ‘good’ and what is just a habit. Just as the stroke of a paddle moves a boat, the habit of paddling will move the boat quickly and with purpose.
Our actions work in much the same way. Take an action, and you move a little. Make a habit of taking a specific action, and you will keep moving in a particular direction. That’s the difference between small, random results, and a road leading to success.
Where can I apply this in my life?
This quote is about victory, persistence, ambition, courage and how they apply to the struggle between failure and success. Let me point out that I don’t like the labels ‘failure’ and ‘success’ as they are far too subjective (in my opinion).
To me, they are both a result. It is up to you to determine what you will do with the information you can glean from your attempt. If you learn something, was your attempt (and the result) truly a failure, or was it a step along the road to success?
However we define things, we usually have a fairly specific goal in mind. We can usually tell when we have reached it, and achieved success, or as the second part of the quote says, victory. That, to me, is objective because it can be clearly defined and measured. You either did or did not.
So we have an idea on what success means to us, and how we know when we can celebrate a victory. But there is a lot of ground between where we are and victory lane. That is where the rest of the terms from the quote come into their own, and help us get there.
Courage is what we need to face the fear that we won’t make it. It helps us face the daunting challenges, both anticipated and unexpected, which will occur on our journey. Being certain of the outcome and learning from each experience will go a long way towards bolstering your courage.
Ambition is the emotional drive which helps us face each new day, whether we made great strides the day before, or fell flat on our faces. Ambition is the desire to achieve victory, and with our courage there to help coach us when we are feeling weary, we stand a better chance of getting there.
Which bring us to persistence. Anyone can find the courage to do something once. But what about the second time? Or every day for the next year? That’s when our courage and ambition can fade without the help of persistence. Persistence is our own personal “Little Engine that Could.”
So far, all I’ve talked about in this section is how to apply it to your life. As to the ‘where,’ I believe you already know, or at least have strong suspicions. Whether it’s training for a marathon or just loosing a few pounds, you know what successes in your life you have postponed.
Now is the time to take action. Define victory. Do something about it. Figure out what works, and do more of it. Face setbacks with courage. Use that courage to keep your spirit and ambition in good shape. Then keep doing it, over and over and over, until you achieve victory.
From: Twitter, @tonyrobbins
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/h/herbertkau170349.html
Photo by Celestine Chua
- Failure + Persist = Success (peterdaniel415.wordpress.com)
- The Courage to Fail (brucepittman.net)
- The 5 Gifts of Failure (psychologytoday.com)
- When Failure Isn’t Failure (chidawanyikac.wordpress.com)