When I first decided to turn my life around and begin to live a life for something greater than myself, I decided that the first book I was going to read was The Greatness Guide by Robin Sharma. I was tired of living a purposeless, self- absorbed life. I did not just want to live a “good” life, I wanted greatness. So with this new pursuit an epiphany was in order and Robin Sharma was the best life coach for me at the time. From that amazing book the revelation of greatness came along and being someone who suffers from terrible anxiety, his novel really hit home and made me realise that my life is mine to live. I am the one responsible for my failure and my success and if I did not feel like taking charge, life would do that for me and we both know how life will always opt for the lemons..
As I was reading The Greatness Guide, I came to the realisation that in order for my success and greatness to come, I needed to fail. I needed to fail hard and fail quickly. After failing so many times your success will come. This is a lesson very familiar to J. K. Rowling, Suze Orman, actally to anyone who has lived to see their own success. Bottom line is, if you don’t give up on success, it is inevitable. We give up too easily and too early. We listen to the wrong voice inside of us that tells us that we have failed and that failure is so terrible, when in actual fact nothing has happened. Think about it… We wanted to achieve something, we tried, we failed yet we lost absolutely nothing by trying. We gained experience though. Now we know 1 way of how not to do what we had attempted to do. we will notice that we have lost absolutely nothing by trying but have gained the world by failing. Failure is a greater teacher than success and if we want success we need failure.
Now with all of this said, I would like to leave you with an excerpt from Robin Sharma’s amazing blog, he just has a way of saying things and making them seem so potent and inspiring… more than I ever could.
Full-disclosure: I’m not the first to use the term “Fail Faster”. But I love it. Coca-Cola CEO Neville Isdell, at the annual meeting informed shareholders that the company was now going on an innovation tear and that his organization’s reinvention plan was contained in a document entitled The Manifesto for Growth (I adore that title). He noted that spending on marketing and innovation would increase by $400,000,000 and then – and here’s the big line – observed: “You will see some failures. As we take more risks, this is something we must accept as part of the regeneration process.” Which brings me to the imperative of Failing Fast.
At a leadership presentation I gave a while ago to the sales team of a big pharmaceutical company, someone came up to me afterwards and said: “Robin, I loved your speech. Especially the idea about failure being the price of greatness.” Too many of us fear failure so we don’t even try (Seneca once said: “It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare. It is because we do not dare that things are difficult”). Too many of us are afraid (there’s that fear thing again) of looking silly or being embarrassed by failure so we don’t take the risk and seize an opportunity. Too many of us think failure is bad. It isn’t. It’s good.
There can be no success without failure. Just part of the process. The companies and people who have reached the heights of success are the same ones who have failed the most. You need to fail to win. And the faster you fail, the more quickly you’ll learn precisely what you need to do to win. So Fail Fast. Outfail the competition. Outfail the person you once were.
I’ll leave you with a quote from RFK: “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” Perfect.