Failure is simply the opportunity to being again, this time more intelligently. Henry Ford
Napoleon Hill begins his chapter for this lesson with that quote from Henry Ford. Now most people know Henry Ford as the man who created Ford Motor Company and the Model T but most people don't know that his first two companies failed. If he had admitted defeat we would not even know his name today. Failure is just temporary defeat. Battles may be lost but the war still won.
I am going to fill this post with many people who we know from history because of their actions and current times because of their successes. I will also use some quotes about failure or defeat. Mr. Hill spends the majority of this chapter talking about his own setbacks which even though they talk about defeats that he suffered, many of them have to do with the times he was living in. War, stock market crashes etc. It is his perseverence through these defeats that make his name recognizable today.
There is no failure except in no longer trying. Elbert Hubbard
I include this quote for two reasons. Number 1 it is one of the original quotes in the book and used by Napoleon Hill and Number 2 the quote "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade", is a paraphasing of a statement he made in an obituary that he wrote. That quote is "He picked up the lemons that Fate had sent him and started a lemonade-stand". I have often used this quote and I think it is very appropriate to a lesson on Failure. A temporary defeat when you are working toward your Definite purpose is just that, temporary. Use is as a lesson to be learned, as Ford said and then retry with the intelligence gained.
Defeat allows you to question. "Every defeat, every reverse, usually teaches us a valuable lesson that could be learned in no other way." This from Napoleon Hill. When you analyze and study every setback you have you should take knowledge away from it. Defeat should never be accepted as failure. Take Thomas Edison.
I haven't failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. Thomas Edison
Edison was a very prolific inventor who holds over 1000 patents. When he was in school his teacher told him he was too stupid to learn anything! Over 9000 experiments led to the lightbulb.
And talk about failure, Milton Hershey failed many times in his attempts to make money before opening his Lancaster Caramel Company. It was from this success that he was able to build the Hershey Chocolate Company that we know today!
Everyone knows the name of the master of horror, Stephen King. Did you know that his first book, Carrie, was rejected 30 times? He threw it in the trash and the only reason we know of it today is because his wife saved it and made him try again. He now has 350 million copies of his books worldwide.
If you've never failed, you've never tried anything new. I cannot find the definitive author of that line but it is all over the internet and is especially appropriate for this lesson. You have to get out there and try to get to make your goals happen and if you fail at first then try something else did you finally succeed.
Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you! Dr. Seuss
Only you can make your own dreams come true. And I think Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best.
There is no defeat except from within. There is really no barrier save your own inherent weakness of purpose. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Napoleon Hill says to define your purpose, set your goals and then with determination and concentration to go after what you want. Fear of failure is not an option. Will there be setbacks, probably. Will you get past them, absolutely. What's the old quote? What doesn't kill you, makes you strong. You will have setbacks, the great ones almost always do. Anyone know the name Steve Jobs? At 30-years-old he was unceremoniously removed from the company he started, Apple, after a power struggle with the board of directors. He later acquired the computer graphics division of Lucasfilm, which allowed him to regain the funds needed to regain control of Apple. And we all know what that led to.
And my favorite is Einstein. His parents thought he was mentally retarded when he was young. His grades in school were so poor that a teacher asked him to quit, saying, “Einstein, you will never amount to anything!” And he didn’t speak until he turned 4 and didn’t read until he was 7. We however know him as possibly the most important scientist of the 20th century!
And of course most everyone knows the story of that author lady and the Wizard World that she created after being nearly penniless, divorced, depressed and raising a child on her own.
We all have the ability to get past our defeats and keep moving toward that definite purpose with enthusiasm, self-confidense, imagination and concentration.
Paula J. Kaprocki, LMT, BS, CPC
Life Coach, Massage Therapist, Infinite Possibilities Trainer, Author