Failure: Why such a negative connotation?

Failure: Why such a negative connotation?

I was with one of my good friends the other day and the topic of “failure” came up as we were engaged in some random conversation with this couple that was sitting next to us. It’s important to note that shortly before this conversation, my friend and I ironically touched on the same topic not even an hour earlier.

One of the two from the couple asked me, “what is it with start-up people and this whole Silicon Valley mentality of failure being a good thing?” This question immediately struck me not only because it was something that I could directly relate to, but also because it made me realize that “failure” is often times perceived to be this black hole that no one should ever venture off to-- it’s quite the contrary, we experience failure every day of our lives. The reality is that every single person on this Earth, no matter how rich or how poor, no matter how strong or how weak, and no matter how intelligent or how ignorant he or she may be, experiences certain facets of failure throughout the duration of his or her life. The other reality that many people disappoint is how big of a role failure has played in making them a better person and in bringing them closer to accomplishing their goals and dreams. It is not success that we learn the most from, it is failure.

Let me digress and use myself as an example. I proudly admit to having failed at many times throughout my life. The aspects of failure that I refer to, in my case, range all the way from significant matters such as business and serious personal relationships, all the way to insignificant matters such as misplacing personal belongings and forgetting to call a friend back. Everyone fails, and believe me, it’s completely fine.

The reason why failure, when presented, is fine and should be embraced is because it allows you to become a better person. Failure means that you have now been given an opportunity to learn and therefore, by learning, an opportunity to come closer to success, in whatever aspect of life you may have failed at in the past. Instead of ignoring failure, or being ashamed of embracing it, I instead urge all of those who read this to accept it at all times. Allow your failures to be a part of your story, as that is what makes up your character at the end of the day, and as your character will serve as your foundation as you continue to truck forward. This foundation, which should be stronger subsequent to learning from your failures, will enable you to work harder and more intelligently at achieving your life-long goals, both professional and personal, and ultimately afford you with becoming a better person.

Failure isn’t so bad after all huh?

- G