Saturday, September 15, 2007

Nothing Is What It Seems

The title of this article also happens to be a very old saying. And old sayings get to be old because they are usually true.

Take failure, for example. To most people, failure is a bad thing. And when the person fails, they often allow that failure to hurt them. People who fail often may very well give up.

But to a wise person, failure is one of our greatest allies. The only way we learn anything is by failure - ours, or someone else's. And the only way we can succeed with any regularity is by learning. So, if failure is our greatest teacher, it is also necessary for success. Without failing, there can be little learning, and without learning, there can be little success.

Thomas Edison put it well when he said he had "failed his way to success". He learned what gases WOULD light a bulb only by eliminating, through trial and error, all those that would not work. He had to fail a thousand times before he found success.

Life is by trial and error. Therefore, failure is our friend. It only becomes our enemy when we allow it to stop us.

Another example is pain. Ask 100 people on the street if pain is good or bad, 99 will probably say it is bad. But a wise man knows better. Without pain, we would never know when something is wrong. We would not seek medical attention. We would not survive. Pain is to the body what a smoke detector is to a fire-prone tenement in the Bronx. It is a warning system, designed to protect us, and help us survive. In my book, that makes it a friend.

So, the next time something happens and you believe it to be a "bad" thing, take a closer look. You just may discover the silver lining - which will bring you closer to success in life.

And that is what this blog is all about.

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