WOW Word-Of-the-Week#73: Failed

May 12, 2009 by  

Failed – the act or process of not having occurred.

When you think of this word, do you view it negatively? You’ve heard the saying, “Inventors fail more times than they succeed.”

I don’t see anything negative in the above definition. It merely states that failure happens when something doesn’t occur. I experience things not occurring lots of times. I don’t see them as a failure, but as a setback.

For example, I fully expected my electrician to show up Monday morning. He didn’t and called and said he would be there Wednesday. He sent his assistant and the work still didn’t get done. He called and said now it will be done by Friday. So far I have failed to have my electrician get my work done. If it’s not done by Friday, I will hire a new electrician!

Now on the other hand, how many times have you tried something new that didn’t work or failed. Were you willing to continue your pursuit or did you give up?

In the movie Walk the Line, Johnny Cash says, “You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.”

This week if you have a failed attempt, see if you can view it as just a setback. Be willing to move on and not let it drain you of your energy, take up a lot of your time, or invade your space.

PS The electrician showed up on Friday!

Reader Responses

“If something doesn’t work out the way that I wanted to after putting in time, effort and money – hey, it did not work out.  When there are circumstances involved that were out of my control I look at the outcome as, Well, it was just not meant to be. Let’s move on. I have always believed that there is a reason for everything happening in our lifetime – good and bad. We don’t usually find out until years later when our perspective is much clearer.  Life throws us curves every day. I don’t look at these setbacks as failures. I just look at it as something that did not work out. So, we move on and try something else.  When one door closes, another opens. I have always believed that every day is like a new lifetime. The opportunities are incredible. Other doors open.  Every door that closes does not signify failure, it signifies opportunity. We just have to stay open minded and keep our eyes open. The best is always yet to come.: — Joe Moran

“Thanks for the info, I agree. I have written you occassionally, so doing so again as this time to share my thoughts on the info you sent on ‘failure’ as it strikes a particular core in my own challanges,so here is my input on that particular subject. Isn’t it true “failure” is to give up!! But unfulfilled expectations in ourselves or others does not necessary mean failure. They might just be “unfulfilled expectatons”,for that time, day , place, problem, situation, etc.
When something does not have the outcome we expect maybe our expexctations were unrealistic, maybe we didn’t analyze the situation properly, or have all the necessary info. to obtain a result, maybe if someone else is involved we just didn’t communitate our need adequately to the other party, maybe there are unforseen occurrences in our own situation or someone else’s situation that make it impossible for us to obtain the needed results that moment, or the other person may be limiited in their capacity to communicate, understand, cooperate or perform a task or perhaps they were ill or they were just having a bad day themselves…..whatever. There are so many variables in anthing we try, and people are imperfect in an imperfect world. Didn’t you or someone else give the illustration one time at a siminar about a fly hitting the window—– trying to get in——and it kept repeatedly hitting the window, but if it had moved over ever so slightly it might have had different results—-that is so like us—sometimes we just to do things differently to get a better outcome———-adjust a little, give others some slack, don’t keep hiting our head against the wall like the fly when something doesn’t work—-maybe we need sometimes to not be so demanding of others or ourselves of perfection—we need to be realistic. Sometimes things work out sometimes they don’t,so we try again another way or another day. I’m sure you will agree that the key to success is not to give up in the face of opposition or trials, !! persistence does pay off in the long run with patient endurance and not give up!!!! Thanks for your monthly letter I always enjoy them as they help be maintain balance in my life and of course maintain “positive mental attitude” which is becoming an increasing challange in these stressful times we live in. With sincere appreciation” — Jesslyn Santos