Successful are the Failures…
Loaded Statement! Let’s unpack this one word at a time. First of all, “Successful” is a word that’s easily thrown around to motivate and inspire, because success equals happiness and peace, right? That’s artful business seduction: If you achieve this or that goal you are successful, taking your rightful place in the “pat myself on the back and buy the new sports car I’ve been wanting” line. Before you go spraining your elbow, take a mental step back. Success takes many forms, shows up at the oddest times (has its own timetable) and looks suspiciously like hard work and sacrifice.
Oddly enough, success doesn’t always feel like we imagined it would feel. Why, you ask? The Business Beatitudes (BB from now on) would suggest that Goal-Setting Success should NEVER be the motivating factor. It’s limiting and self-focused. “If I accomplish this, then I’m good at what I do.” Success, in order to bring any measure of fulfillment, MUST be the result of having met someone else’s need, solved someone else’s problem, made someone else’s life more beautiful, etc… BB hopes you get the idea. Self-focused/involved/motivated success is short-lived, hollow and quite possibly, NOT success at all.
So the next two words: Are & The. Time for a little grammar lesson that might actually shed some light on this Beatitude. One is a verb and the other is what’s called an article. This particular verb is a State of Being, an existential reality, positive or negative: “I am not 6 feet tall. You are.” The beauty of this verb is that IT CAN CHANGE. (Even the height thing; I can wear very high heels and look taller.) Next is the article that often functions to limit or to distinguish one thing from another: “That’s THE car I want.” These words must be where they are to connect Success and Failure, but they both indicate a changeable situation/state of being and help to focus/distinguish one’s perceptions, desires or motivations.
Lastly, we come to Failures. Yikes! NOBODY likes that word! BB says: “Learn to like it! Become friends!” It’s been said in a variety of ways on countless memes that failure exists only if we refuse to learn from an experience. There’s forever failure from giving up or there’s growth from evaluation and re-direction. The bottom line is pretty simple: Failure is in the eye of the beholder and the beholder is the governing Belief that guides the evaluation and course-correction. So we can fail and allow it to be FOREVER or we can Evaluate, Change Course if necessary, and finally, GROW.
Consider the alternative.