... from FEAR to FAILURE...
“The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again.
But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked.”
“Failure is the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently.”
“The formula for success is to double your failure rate.”
Thomas J. Watson, Jr., past president of IBM.
“It is defeat that turns bone to flint, and gristle to muscle, and make people invincible, and formed those heroic natures that are now in ascendancy in the world. Do not, then, be afraid of defeat. You are never so near to victory as when defeated in a good cause.”
Henry Ward Beecher
“The people who are really failures are the people who set their standards so low, keep the bar at such a safe level, that they never run the risk of failure.”
“We need to teach the highly educated person that it is not a disgrace to fail and that he must analyze every failure to find its cause. He must learn how to fail intelligently, for failing is one of the greatest arts in the world.”
A boy at school says to a beautiful girl, “What would I need to give you for a kiss?”
The girl replies, “Sleeping gas.”
(Overheard in high school)
We move now from fear to failure. A strange way to start a course on Entrepreneurship and Creative Innovation! I love to hear stories of people who failed many times, only to break through to success at a later date. I can identify with them. Sometimes I was so far behind the pack, I thought I was in first place...
I believe in the all-encompassing goodness of God. I believe He wants only the best for me. Therefore, because this belief is so deeply inbred in my psyche, I know in my heart that if I fail at something, or a certain door closes to me that I was really, really wanting to open, that God must have something even better for me. He may be protecting me from the good in order to give me the best. I have seen this principle work time and time again in my life and I am left with absolutely no doubts.
“In every negative event is the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”
One door closes and another, better one will open. When a failure hits us and hurts us, we must learn to look for the lessons in the failure so that at least we become wise enough not to make the same mistake twice.
We can also learn a lot from the wisdom of others. The following is a list of famous people who have recognized the place of failure in life. I realize that many times in life, we try at something and we don’t succeed. That’s a normal experience. As you’ll see in this course, often the greatest breakthroughs in life come after repeated failure.
Sometimes, we don’t see success at all. I believe that God sometimes allows us to fail so that we learn different lessons—wisdom, reliance upon His grace, trust, faithfulness, quietness over striving.
When I was in Kenya trying to start a new business we had moments of success but ultimately we had to leave the country. If hard work, prayer, and fasting were the only elements of the formula for success, then we would have broken through. But we didn’t see the success we needed to stay in Kenya. Part of it was the corruption we faced when we didn’t get our work permits. Part of it was the incompetence of others … and ourselves. Part of it was a lack of finances. A big factor was the post-election violence that brought the country’s economy to its knees. It was a black hole of problems.
In the end—years later—we saw that God had a bigger plan for us. At the time, we couldn’t see that so we went through the pain of failure and defeat. It was heart-breaking as we left Kenya and the great friends we had made.
The one thing that kept us going was our knowledge and surety of God’s unfailing and unending love for us. We knew that He had our best interests at heart.