Defining Success & Failure

We are often told to define what success looks like to us.

I think this is an important habit to cultivate. Otherwise, you’ll end up never satisfied with where you are. Undefined success doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll like where and what type of success you end up at.

Defining Success is an essential part to actually achieving success in the first place.

However, no one tells us to define what failure looks like to us.

Failure is just as important as success, because failure determines our ability to achieve.

Our relationship with failure determines our success

Failure — in some fashion — is inevitable (unfortunately), so if we are bad at failing, then we’ll be hardpressed to keep going and stay consistent.

Of course failure is far from easy. I know all too well the feelings failure can leave behind in it’s wake. A rock in your stomach. Cold shivers streaking across your back, like claw marks. The feeling of worthlessness

Failure isn’t fun (understatement of a lifetime), but we can have a healthy relationship with it by defining what it means to us.

Healthy success is success aligned with what we cherish and find meaningful.

Healthy failure is seeing failure as a temporary setback, rather than an endstate.

Failure only stops us when we let it control our next actions. (inaction, hesitation, or playing it safe)

We can overcome failure by learning, pressing forward, and changing tactics.

See it as a necessary step on your way towards your own version of success.

Failure loses its weight when it’s just another todo we have to check off.

#KeepPursuing — Josh Waggoner

‘Brevity is the soul of wit.’  Email me your thoughts on this post. Can you reduce the essential idea further?

related wisdom

“Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something.” — Morihei Ueshiba


“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” — J. K. Rowling


“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson


“Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success.” — C. S. Lewis

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