Thursday, July 11, 2013

What I Learned from Thomas Edison's Quote on Life's Failures

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up”Thomas Edison

There’s a difference between wanting something and being committed to something. Whether it’s an intimate relationship, project or a career path, the testament to your commitment arises when things are not going the way you hoped. At that point, you have a choice: 1. You commit to
uncovering what’s missing such that once you understand what’s missing you implement it and continue to progress. 2. You default to the ‘it wasn’t meant to be’ line and give up.

In life, nothing was meant to be. The only things that happen successfully are the things to which you are highly committed. The only thing that empowers you to make it happen is the choice to tell yourself you will make it happen. If you don’t do that, nothing happens. And your desire would have been just something you wanted for the moment, like a hope or dream. With that said, success and failure is a choice. If you need evidence listen to the conversations you have with yourself and others about what you want to have and what you are committed to make happen. The language between ‘I want’ and ‘I am committed’ is very distinguishable.

Of the many failures in the world, one stands out in my mind. There is a story of a man who drilled for oil. After several months of not finding oil, he gave up and sold the well. The person who bought it drilled 12 inches further and struck oil. Apparent failure is not always what it appears to be.

In most cases, when we give up, we are listening to voices in our head telling us that we are wasting our time. If we listen to those voices closely, we will find the voice is not our own. It is the voice of someone who tried to convince us that we were not worthy of our greatest ambitions. When that is the case, difficult situations become the ideal time to replace those voices with words of our own. Since it is your life, you get to choose what voices play in your head.

Next time you find yourself in an insurmountable situation use it as an opportunity to reprogram the thoughts that play in your mind. Instead of focusing on what is wrong, begin focusing on what you would like to see happen. Furthermore, get clear about what is missing between where you are and where you would like to be. Whether skills and competencies are missing or resources, it is your job to fill the gap of what’s missing. Once you develop the ability to discover what’s missing in the gap and fill it, you will find you are a formidable opponent to life’s challenges.  

What do you think? I’m open to ideas. Or if you want to write me about a specific topic, let me know. 

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