Turning Failure Into Success – Steps 16-20
This week in our Wisdom Note, we continue to explore the 25 steps needed to turn failure into success. As mentioned, obstacles and failures, if handled wisely, can become our stepping stones for a successful life trek.
As we continue today with stepping stones 16-20, we will traverse life’s trails before us. As we continue our trek, we will look at the benefits that failures bring into our lives. Imagine as we hike up the trail we see a thick covering of dark clouds. Those are the failures that we experience in life. As we look at those failures for what they are, we will start to see the sunbeams piercing through them shining a light on an otherwise dark trail. The more we realize and understand what we have learned from failures, the brighter our day will become until the clouds are insignificant by comparison. Some clouds may remain, just as the consequences of our failures do, but they do not need to control our lives.
You are not a loser unless you accept the failure as final. Failure is the catalyst that allows us to make positive changes in our lives, and that allows us to move on to something different, maybe even bigger and better. Failure pushes us just a little bit closer to inevitable success, for in failure, we learn what won’t work or what more needs to be done. Only when you quit trying is it real failure since you give up hope of ever doing anything “right.” Keep in mind that it doesn’t matter how fast you run. What matters is how long you run. There may be many instances that knock you down on your journey; what makes you a winner is your ability to stand up and run again. “Never lose on your way; you are not a loser unless you accept it.”
Stepping Stone #16 – Never look at failure as final.
It depends on how quickly you learn from failures. The consequences of failure are determined by how quickly you learn, how quickly you grow, and how fast you transform yourself into a new person, into a wonderful reflection of the beautiful creation you are. If you don’t allow yourself to grow and to learn from your failures, you’re doing a great disservice to yourself and to those people that you impact who deserve to have you be the wonderful person you have the capability of becoming. “No matter how you fall, just think how to get up fast.”
Stepping Stone #17 – Learn quickly from your failures.
Have positive attitudes toward challenges. Look at failures and shortcomings in your life as refinement, as you move on and become a beautiful example of what you can be. And remember, failure is not the absence of success; failure is a step toward success. “Your attitude toward your challenges is the key to your happy life.”
Stepping Stone #18 – Have a positive attitude even in failures.
Failures teach us to welcome changes. Change happens whether we want it to or not. We need to welcome change and find ways to turn the unexpected failures into an opportunity for growth. Don’t become frightened and simply react, instead take action. How we handle the inevitable changes in life is key to living a life without fear. “When life takes a U-turn towards failure, make the changes needed to turn towards success.”
Stepping Stone #19 – Welcome the changes that failure provides.
Failures teach us to be strong. Turning failure into success may not happen overnight. Realize that your spirit, mind, and body are all working together toward success. Doing so will help you stay focused and, in the end, become successful. Picture yourself in the best case scenario after you have succeeded in meeting this challenge. Believe it can happen. “Always be strong, even when you are weak because only the strong ones find strength in themselves.”
Stepping Stone #20 – Failure teaches us to be strong.
Our practical lesson from the Bible today is a very interesting story. Let’s set the scene taken from Judges 6;1, “The Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight. So the Lord handed them over to the Midianites for seven years.” So in other words, the Israelites had failed in keeping God’s commands not to worship other God’s. To shorten the story a bit, the Midianites were whooping up on the Israelites. They stole their crops, sheep, goats, cattle, and donkeys. They found themselves hiding out in caves.
Finally the Israelites realized that this was not fun, and verses 7-8 say, “When they cried out to the Lord because of Midian, the Lord sent a prophet to the Israelites.” We pick up the story in verses 11-16, “Then the angel of the Lord came and sat beneath the great tree at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash of the clan of Abiezer. Gideon son of Joash was threshing wheat at the bottom of a winepress to hide the grain from the Midianites. The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, ‘Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!’
‘Sir, Gideon replied, ‘if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about?’ Didn’t they say, ‘The Lord brought us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites.’
Then the Lord turned to him and said, ‘Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!’
‘But Lord,’ Gideon replied, ‘how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!’
The Lord said to him, ‘I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man.'”
So we see in today’s story when we are in the middle of hardships and failures, it is difficult to see how we are going to recover, especially if we feel we have to do it all on our own. Like Gideon, when failure strikes us, we may feel weak and inadequate to overcome the issues. We need to draw on our own strength at times, but we must never lose site of the fact that we can and should draw on the strength of others to help us through difficult periods and times where we have failed. Certainly, as a follower of Christ and one who adheres to the teachings of the Scriptures, I also draw on the strength that God provides for my life.
In next week’s Wisdom Note, we will continue to build on the story that will show how Gideon was able to overcome not only his own failures but the failure of an entire nation.