In my youth I feared failure. I feared failing tests, losing games, or simply being denied something. I knew what I wanted and how I could get it, but my mind was constantly focused on the failures that could result. I rarely envisioned the possible successes but rather the embarrassment of a failure. When I studied for a test it was to avoid failure. In sports, I practiced to not lose in front of my friends and family. I was motivated by fear. My success was directly linked to a negative premise of failure. I used this mindset to propel me to excell at times but when I experienced a loss the negative mindset appeared. I was a sore loser but I was also a questionable winner. As I matured I began to see things differently. I saw that losing is opportunity to self evaluate and tweak some things to be better prepared for my next test. I learned that I had to be willing to take a risk to grow. Take a chance with change or simply to fall down, in order to truly learn how to stand properly.
As my perspective changed, I noticed who I was as a consumer, meaning the ideas that I chose to buy into. The younger me saw millionaires as the epitome of success. They were the untouchable people that were seated in a position thatI could never get to, unless, Igot lucky with the lotto or a casino. I had many ideas that I psyched myself out of because I didn’t fully believe that it was anything more than a dream. I had gained a new perspective but a old fear had returned. It was fear disguised as doubt. As I stalked success, watching it from distance afraid to engage. I discovered the stories behind the products that have become staples in our lives.
How they came to be, the people behind development and the trials and tribulations that lead them to consumers like me. Instagram, 5-hour energy, and Airbnb all had one thing in common. They all failed at some point. We all have heard the saying if you haven’t failed then you probably aren’t trying hard enough, but it didn’t mean as much as it did when I learned that giants like Sir Richard Bronson and Mark Cuban both experienced being knocked down before becoming millionaires(excuse me, billionaires). Cuban stated that “it doesn’t matter how many times you fail. You only have to be right once and then everyone can tell you that you are an overnight success.” When I see instances like this, I think of the movie “300.” That scene when Leonidas threw the spear toward Xerxes that just grazed his cheek, and he bled for the soldiers to see. At that moment they realized that he was human, just like them, and not some immortal being. Seeing something as simple as a scratch on his cheek motivated them to believe in the task at hand. The greatest weapon we possess in the face of doubt is belief. Seeing that even the billionaires that walk among us have experienced the same setbacks as you and I makes the belief in ourselves less audacious.
So, am I a millionaire sharing the secrets to success? Yeah...... no. I’m just some dude who is just beginning to scratch the surface of the realization that the impossible isn’t as improbable as I once thought it was. We have to be committed enough to push forward in search of those things we desire even when we experienceturbulence. Denzel Washington gave an acceptance speech were he said that “without commitment you will never start, but more importantly without consistency you will never finish. Fall down seven times, get up eight and that ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship.” When fashion designer Marc Ecko was asked why he chose a rhino as a logo for his apparel, he responded that it was one of the few animals that doesn’t know how to walk backwards. Forward progress and not having the ability to go any way but onward was the ideology Ecko had at the genesis of his company.
We may not get the things we want right away, but we must “ keep moving, keep growing, keep learning...see you at work.” ~ Denzel Washington