Has anyone seen one without the other?
‘’Why do we have failures at all?” someone asked me, “Why did God not create a world in which there was only success? What a wonderful world it would be!”
But when you come to think of it, it is failures that give meaning to success. Wherever you have success, there is bound to be failure. The two go together. It is failure that draws out the best that is within us. It is failure that unfolds, unlocks our hidden powers. In the measure in which we face failures in the right spirit, in that measure the tremendous power that lies locked up within us is unfolded.
It was Roger Von Oech who said, “Most people think of success and failure as opposites, but they are actually products of the same process.”
It is only when a person bears failures with faith and courage that he gives the best proof of character that anyone can give. Failure has a place in life. It is very necessary. But, as success is not permanent, failure is not permanent too. Do not forget that failures are not final. You fail only when you accept failure as final. Always think of failures as stepping stones to success and not stopping stones.
There was a young man who had become a chain smoker at the age of 20. When he turned 21, he made a firm resolve to give up smoking for good. “I have smoked hundreds of cigarettes,” he said to himself, “now is the time to give them up.”
On the first morning after his resolve it was easy going for him. There was no urge to smoke. The morning passed quickly. But, when he sat down to lunch in the afternoon, he found that his meal was incomplete without a puff. He succumbed to the temptation and had a smoke. This was repeated day after day. Every morning he made a fresh resolve not to smoke, but every afternoon he broke it.
Mark Twain, too, in his writings says: “Smoking is the easiest habit in the world to give up. I ought to know – I have given it up a thousand times!”
And so did this young man. But yet he did not give up and accept failure. Every day he reaffirmed to himself. I have not failed, but I have not yet succeeded. Surely there will come a time when I will give up smoking. His affirmation was one of latent, though not realized, success. And the day did come when he gave up smoking. Today even if he moves in the company of chain-smokers, he is never tempted.
Never feel that you are a failure. Rather believe that you are on the way to success. Failure occurs only when you accept it as failure. It was Marshall Foch, the great French Army Chief, who said, “One is never defeated until one accepts it as such.”
Someone said to Thomas Alva Edison, the great inventor: “Do you remember Thomas, you failed 24,999 times when you performed those experiments on the storage battery.” Edison replied: “No! I have never failed! I had only discovered 24,999 ways in which the storage battery would not work.”
If you wish to turn failure into success, the conscious and the subconscious must cooperate with each other. The conscious with which we are familiar, the conscious self that thinks, that feels, that takes decisions – this conscious self is a very tiny part of our consciousness. It is like the tip of an iceberg floating above water. The subconscious is much vaster. It is like the larger portion of an iceberg immersed inside the water. But this subconscious cannot think for itself. It cannot decide what is right and what is wrong. It has no power of decision. If you believe that you cannot achieve something, if you believe that you cannot do something, if you believe that you cannot have something, the subconscious will take up your belief. Its job is only to see that it proves your beliefs. Whatever you will believe in, your subconscious will create conditions, so that your beliefs are proved.
The subconscious has tremendous power and uses all that power to reinforce your belief. To achieve success, it is very important that you seek the help of the subconscious. The subconscious is there to receive your orders, but you must develop the will to be able to speak to it with magnetic determination. There are times when the subconscious is more receptive to your orders. This is at the time when you are about to slip into sleep and the time when you are about to awaken from sleep. You must have experienced this – that sometimes, after a hectic day you go to sleep with a thought, “I am very tired!” Howsoever long you sleep you will wake up the next morning more often than not, with fatigue. But, if you slip into sleep with the thought, “Surely after this night’s rest I am going to wake up feeling refreshed,” chances are that you will get up next morning feeling fully refreshed.
The subconscious cannot think for itself. The subconscious only receives orders. You have to give these orders. You have to make the subconscious receive your thoughts. The subconscious must be made to prove your beliefs. Whatever you picture for yourself, the subconscious will only prove that picture as true.
To turn failure into success you must have strong belief of success, you must paint a picture of yourself succeeding.
If you consciously paint a picture of yourself as a successful person, success will definitely come to you. But if you are convinced that you are a failure – even if you are placed in the best of circumstances, with the best of resources – you will fail! Such is the law. If you think of scarcity, scarcity will befall you. If you imagine abundance, abundance will flow into you.
The universe works like an echo. Whatever thoughts you think, will rebound on you.