’T is so much joy! ’T is so much joy!
If I should fail, what poverty!
And yet, as poor as I
Have ventured all upon a throw;
Have gained! Yes! Hesitated so
This side the victory!
Life is but life, and death but death!
Bliss is but bliss, and breath but breath!
And if, indeed, I fail,
At least to know the worst is sweet.
Defeat means nothing but defeat,
No drearier can prevail!
And if I gain,—oh, gun at sea,
Oh, bells that in the steeples be,
At first repeat it slow!
For heaven is a different thing
Conjectured, and waked sudden in,
And might o’erwhelm me so!
~ Emily Dickinson
The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery
By Sarah Lewis
Post(s) Inspired by this Book: Could a ‘Near Win’ be Better Than The Win?
Book Overview: It is one of the enduring enigmas of the human experience: many of our most iconic, creative endeavors—from Nobel Prize–winning discoveries to entrepreneurial inventions and works in the arts—are not achievements but conversions, corrections after failed attempts.
The gift of failure is a riddle. Like the number zero, it will always be both a void and the start of infinite possibility. The Rise—a soulful celebration of the determination and courage of the human spirit—makes the case that many of our greatest triumphs come from understanding the importance of this mystery. Continue reading
“Pain is not a punishment. And pleasure is not a reward. You could argue that failure is not punishment and… Success is not reward. They’re just failure and success. You can choose how you respond.” ~ Sarah Lewis, The Rise
“…We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated. That sounds goody two-shoes, I know, but I believe that a diamond is the result of extreme pressure and time. Less time is crystal. Less than that is coal. Less than that is fossilized leaves. Less than that it’s just plain dirt. In all my work, in the movies I write, the lyrics the poetry, the prose, the essays, I am saying that we may encounter many defeats – maybe it’s imperative that we encounter the defeats – but we are much stronger than we appear to be and maybe much better than we allow ourselves to be.” ~ Maya Angelou
“Failures are life’s way of nudging you and letting you know you are off course. Trying new things and not being afraid to fail along the way are more important than what you learn in school.” ~ Sara Blakely
“When I was a child, my father used to encourage my brother and me to fail. At the dinner table, instead of asking about the best part of our day, he would ask us what we failed at that week. If we didn’t have something to tell him, he would be disappointed. When we shared whatever failure we’d endured, he’d high-five us and say, ‘Way to go!’ The gift my father gave us by doing this was redefining what failure truly meant.” ~ Sara Blakely
“In our culture, we grow up thinking that failure is a terrible thing, that it’s a setback, or worse, the end. Often it turns out to be the beginning of something better.” ~ Katherine Schwarzenegger
“The people who are good in the long run fail a lot, especially at the beginning. So, when you fail early, it might be worth realizing that this is part of the deal, the price you pay for being good in the long run. Every rejection is a gift. A chance to learn and to do it better next time. An opportunity to figure out how to bounce, not break. Don’t waste them.” ~ Seth Godin, Blog
“If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.” ~ Ken Robinson, The Element
“A man should conceive of a legitimate purpose in his heart, and set out to accomplish it. He should make this purpose the centralizing point of his thoughts. It may take the form of a spiritual ideal, or it may be a worldly object, according to his nature at the time being; but whichever it is, he should steadily focus his thought forces upon the object which he has set before him. He should make this purpose his supreme duty, and should devote himself to its attainment, not allowing his thoughts to wander away into ephemeral fancies, longings, and imaginings. This is the royal road to self-control and true concentration of thought. Even if he fails again and again to accomplish his purpose (as he necessarily must until weakness is overcome), the strength of character gained will be the measure of his true success, and this will form a new starting point for future power and triumph.” ~ James Allen, As a Man Thinketh
“You have to come to your closed doors before you get to your open doors… What if you knew you had to go through 32 closed doors before you got to your open door? Well, then you’d come to closed door number eight and you’d think, ‘Great, I got another one out of the way’… Keep moving forward.” ~ Joel Osteen
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