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  • Writer's pictureBrian Lovegrove

How Can You Turn Failures into Opportunities

Updated: Jul 9, 2020

There is a story that I heard from several sources about Thomas Edison and his perspective on failure that is a great example of how to do this.

During his intense search for an effective method of creating the electric light bulb, on day on the 9,999th time he tried, the was a significant explosion damaging a large part of the lab including knocking Edison and his lab assistant off their feet. The lab assistant incensed, demanded “How long are going to keep this up? Are you going 10,000 times?”

Edison replied “Fail? I didn’t fail. I learned a new way NOT to invent the electric light. But this one might have some applications elsewhere.” And went on writing in his notebook.

It matters at what you consider a failure.

You get to choose that things mean!

Unfortunately, many people don’t have the same view. We believe is try something and it doesn’t work perfectly the first time, we are failures. Which is just that a belief.

What really matters is what you do next. Some people give up and avoid that pain. Others try again a few times and if they don’t get it, they give up. Few follow Edison’s formula: Do it UNTIL you get the results you want.

Which is why few people have the success that Edison did.

I heard a recording of an interview with Napoleon Hill, who was a close associate of Edison’s, mention that one time when Hill was talking to Edison about this, Edison said if he hadn’t figured it out, he would still be in his lab instead of wasting time talking to Hill.

Through your life you were taught that making mistakes aka failing, was bad. Something to be avoided as much as possible. We never want to be wrong. Which is ludicrous. Trying and failing is how we best learn.

So, use the Edison method of success, Fail until you Succeed. But learn from each attempt and make the necessary adjustments till you find a way to succeed.

Fail forward.

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Have a great day and strive for excellence!

Brian Lovegrove

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