If we want to build a nation of resilient entrepreneurs, we need to raise young people who experience failure. – Seth Goldman
Is failure good or bad? Like lots of things, it is neither good or bad, it just is. Thomas Edison failed many, many times. Thousands. Thomas Edison had resilience. “In the period from 1878 to 1880 Edison and his associates worked on at least three thousand different theories to develop an efficient incandescent lamp,” according to an article from the Franklin Institute. Three thousand tries, now that is persistence. How often have we tried something a few time and given up? When we are persistence we keep our commitments, we follow through.
Madeleine L’Engle wrote one of my favorite children’s books, Wrinkle in Time. It was rejected over 26 times and is now in its 69th printing. How often are you willing to fail so that you can ultimately succeed.
When do you try again and when do you know it’s time to give up?
Persistence and resilience are the basic tools we need to be successful. When did you first fail and how did you deal with it? Did you learn to persist and make it happen or did you give up? When you fail, do you give up, expect to be rescued or persist. How you deal with failure makes the difference in whether or not you are able to succeed.
Teach the Power of Persistence
What a great lesson to learn and then to pass on and teach your kids. The power of persistence. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Palmer (1782-1861) wrote in his ‘Teacher’s Manual’, written to encourage school children to persevere at their homework. It can be hard to watch a child not do well, but if you are rescuing them every time they fail what kind of lesson are you teaching them? Kids need the confidence that comes from failing and ultimately succeeding. Kids need to learn that it is okay to fail. Kids need to learn both the feelings of success and failure and learn that they can handle and succeed after both.
In our fast paced, instant gratification society, we are less likely to persevere, to try again. We judge ourselves and others as failures too soon. We value instant success and tend to blame others for our failure instead of looking at our own failure to persevere.
Use the Power of Persistence
If you want something, go after it. Do the work necessary to make your dreams come true. If you never fail, you never learn the value of persistence. Discouragement and fear are part of the territory. It’s important to know when to give up and when to ask for help. It’s equally important to know when to go that extra mile. If you don’t make your dreams come true, who will? It is in being persistent, failing and then trying again that you become resilient. Remember persistence and resilience.
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