The Power of Failure


Daily Synopsis of Maxwell Daily Reader,  by John Maxwell

February 13

Lincoln Blog


Title: The Power of Failure

Excerpt From: Your Road Map for Success

Action Taken Today: Try to see failure as a learning experience today.


Today’s entry is perhaps my favorite so far among the Maxwell daily meditations. The information age has made the world more connected, created instantaneous communication without geographic limitations, and a world built to curate to our every need. While all of these advancements are great, I believe (not Maxwell) all of this instant gratification has produced a society afraid of failure.

A list of well known failures:

Bill Gates – first company Traf-O-Data failed, he then dropped out of Harvard.

Henry Ford – he started 2 other car companies which collapsed before starting ford.

Rowland Hussey Macy – over twelve years he tried to open four retail goods stores which failed. On the fifth he started Macy’s.

Walt Disney – fired by an editor because he lacked “imagination and had no original ideas”. His first animation studio tanked.”

Stephen King – Carrie his first novel was rejected 30 times before someone thought it had merit.

Abraham Lincoln – his failures are too many to list, check them out here…

But are any of these people considered failures in the annals of history?

The point being anyone who earned their position at the top of something great did so on the back of their numerous failures. Maxwell believes the line between greatness and mediocrity lies in how a person deals with inevitable failure. Those who remain average never take anything away from their losses, and remain trapped by the weight of not winning. Exceptional people take the experience and learn a valuable lesson which prevents them from making another decision similar to it, or gives them a perspective which is necessary later in life.

So the next time you fail, which you are guaranteed to do as imperfect creatures, don’t dwell on negative consequences, focus on “learning from your mistakes and thinking about how they can improve you and your situations.”

Favorite Quote: 

“So the real issue is not whether you’re going to fail. It’s whether you’re going to fail successfully (profiting from your failure).”



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