Paradigm Buster: Failure is the secret to success

Whether you've lost your job, your business is tanking, or your boyfriend just dumped you, these days it's easy to fall in a slump and feel like a failure. Remember failure is an event, never a person. It is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.

Here are a few paradigm buster quotes and a FANTASTIC short film by Honda:

"Supposing you have tried and failed again and again. You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call "failure" is not the falling down, but the staying down." ~Mary Pickford

"The only time you don't fail is the last time you try anything - and it works." ~William Strong

"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work". ~Thomas Edison

"There is no failure except in no longer trying." ~Elbert Hubbard

"One must be a god to be able to tell successes from failures without making a mistake." ~Anton Pavlovich Chekhov

"Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat." ~F. Scott Fitzgerald

"Notice the difference between what happens when a man says to himself, "I have failed three times," and what happens when he says, "I am a failure." ~S.I. Hayakawa

"You always pass failure on your way to success." ~Mickey Rooney

Honda on failure. I found it following Guy Kawasaki aka @guykawasaki on twitter:...

"Failure. The mere thought can paralyze even the most heroic thinkers and keep great ideas off the drawing board. But is failing really that bad? We get an inside look at the mishaps of Honda racers..."

amanda hite
talent revolution
a drastic change in thinking and behaving with talent
founder, change agent
THE relevant talent acquisition and consulting network

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Tags: amanda, failure, guy, hite, honda, kawaskaki, key, racers, revolution, success, More…talent, to


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Comment by Keith Bernhardt on February 8, 2009 at 11:57am

My wife followed AI more than I Do, but I like Carrie Underwood from past season and I liked Kim Locke.
David Cook and David Archuletta from last season.
This season seems like a soap opera so far !! Who are your favorites ?
Comment by Amanda Hite on February 5, 2009 at 5:24pm
@keith, do you have an idol fav?

Comment by Keith Bernhardt on February 4, 2009 at 9:01pm
This is a great blog, Amanda.

I was watching "American idol" earlier and I think some have "American idol" syndrome, by that, I mean some feel if they fail or don't make it at something , then they have failed in life. That is not true. It obviously isnot the right time
for you or whomever to do that. it doesn't mean that any of us are bound to be failures. I agree with your title, we have to fail or be disappointed in order to succeed.
Comment by Amanda Hite on February 3, 2009 at 5:59pm
@debra love the analogy
@julie wow, you are one of the most inspiring people I know I'm lucky to have met you.
Comment by susan holaday on February 3, 2009 at 1:59pm
Michael isn't alone- I only watch CNN, cancelled my Boston Globe and only read the NY Times which seems to have retained some measure of sanity albeit while losing millions of dollars last year! I did an outlook story in my last issue in which I said operators will determine what this year is like by deciding whether to see the glass as half full or half empty.
Comment by Amanda Hite on February 3, 2009 at 1:32pm
@michael the media doesn't help anything that's for sure. thanks for sharing and being so transparent
@jason the recruiter, thanks for the nice words!
Comment by Amanda Hite on February 3, 2009 at 1:30pm
@susan what a great way to put it
@jim I think your approach is right on
Comment by Jason Bonesteel on February 3, 2009 at 1:13pm
Very well put together, Amanda. Short, sweet and home to eat...this is so relavent in my business (I'm a recruiter).
Thanks for the positive message!
Comment by Michael Albert on February 3, 2009 at 11:43am
You could not have commented on a more timely topic. I don't even want to ready the LA Times anymore or watch CNN...failure is on steriods, seemingly everywhere in the media...and at coffee break conversations. Fear based failure.
And it does get me feeling down, unhappy and somehow sometimes I internalize it and then, lo and behold, I feel like I am failing...on the job, with my clients and my family and friends too. This concept of 'failure' is rampant, or at least fear of's just not seen, as you suggest, as challenge or opportunity. When things are tough and conflicted all over the place, well, that's when change and 'paradigm-busting' have their best chance to surface. But, honestly, it bugs the hell out of me that I just have to give up staying abreast of the my radar picks up on all the steady flow of negative messaging and I find myself copping out of my own challenges...and doing the worst thing (for me) possible. Staying safe and secure where I a self state of bonding with the town-cryers. I really do wish I could embrace those quotations all the of my favorites is an anonymous Japanese proverb: Fall Down Seven Times, Get Up Eight. Thank you and Jim and Susan, et al, for getting me off the failure breast and back on track. Grazie.

Comment by James Kohn on February 3, 2009 at 10:49am
As usual, you've given a succinct overview of a very important concept, great job! I actually go so far as to teach staff to make mistakes, and why doing so is so critical to improving operations. Thank you for the post. - Jim Kohn,




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