Failing Forward – Myers Barnes

Every profession in the world has its own failure rate. Yet sales is the only profession where the standard, normal rate of failure can be as high as 80 to 90 percent.

In my estimation, the difference between failure and success is perception. Your perception will always be your reality. Therefore, do not perceive failure as anything other than a necessary learning experience that must occur in order to achieve success. George Bernard Shaw put it this way: "When I was young, I observed that nine out of ten things I did were failures. So I did ten times more work."

Consider the failures in the life story of this man:

Failed in business Age 22
Defeated in race for legislature Age 23
Again failed in business Age 24
Elected to legislature Age 25
Sweetheart died Age 26
Had a nervous breakdown Age 27
Defeated for Speaker Age 29
Defeated for Elector Age 31
Defeated for Congress Age 34
Elected to Congress Age 37
Defeated for Congress Age 39
Defeated for Senate Age 46
Defeated for Vice President Age 47
Defeated for Senate Age 49
Elected President of the United States Age 51

The man, of course, was Abraham Lincoln and he is a testament that success is failure turned inside out. It is critical to understand that, as you attempt greatness, you will risk failure. That’s a byproduct of achievement. However, failure is not your enemy. Complacency and fear are. For, you cannot fail if you do not try. But if you do not try, then by default you have already failed. "My great concern," said Lincoln, "is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure."

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