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Persevering Through Failure

Sophie Harlan, Administrative Support

Mar 5, 2013

Thomas Edison was one of the brightest and most innovative people our world has ever seen. Without his ingenious invention of the light bulb we would all be sitting in the dark right now. However, he knew what it was like to fail. In fact, he knew what it was like to fail over 1,000 times — just on the light bulb. When asked about his failures by a reporter he responded, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”

I think Edison was on to something. This life is a process. A process full of ups and downs, of good days and bad days. However, a lot of times we only consider our successes as “meant to be”.  It is easy to get caught up in a “microwave” mindset. That is how the majority of our culture lives, only considering their own “right now” happiness and satisfaction.

But believe it or not, our failures in life are just as “meant to be”. The bad days are just as beneficial as the good days, if not more so. It’s also what we do with what we learn from our failures that can shape the direction of our lives and who we are as human beings.  What might destroy one person, makes another person stronger and more determined.  The process – whether it involves a victory or a defeat — has a purpose, if we’ll let it.

So remember that when you are experiencing a heart-breaking failure or even a life-changing success, as someone once said, “No experiment is ever a failure.” Whether it’s in business or our personal lives, it’s through living out the process that opportunities are created, directions changed and lives shaped for the better or worse.  And just like the invention of the light bulb, life is not about a single make-it or break-it moment, the point is to keep on trying. And who knows, one day you might just have created something as revolutionary as the light bulb.

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