Throughout time, people have become increasingly creative in ways to make not so good things look good; make them more acceptable and turn them into legends. One of the best and most famous examples of this sugar-coating process is the saying ‘Failure Motivates’.
The saying suggests that the failure itself is a motive for people’s success. What people don’t understand is failure wasn’t the reason behind their success; rather, the reason behind their success was the decision they took after. The decision to fight their failure or drown in it.
One of the reasons why ‘Sugar-Coating Failure’ was possible is because the fighters are far less than the ones who drown. Some people believe it is more difficult to stand up and fight your failure than to simply accept it and drown in it. If you think about it, they are equally difficult.
The second and more important reason ‘Sugar-Coating Failure’ was possible is that some of the fighters became arrogant and used their failures as the reason for their success. Why? Because Humans love Drama! They dramatized the failure into it being the lowest place in their life, into it being the sole reason they wanted to fight and eventually into the reason behind their success. The result: they become the world-famous motivational speakers or celebrities. In all fairness, it is amazing they were able to stand on their feet after going through something as dramatic, however, it is incorrect to say the failure was their motive.
If we look at failure as an element in life, we realize it is experienced at very early stages. We all fall before we walk. However, accepting failure becomes extra difficult as we grow up. We simply stop believing in ourselves and we stop believing we can make it. We stop fighting. The people who do decide to fight eventually win not because they failed, but because they chose not to drown.
To better explain the contradiction in the saying ‘Failure Motivates’, consider the following scenarios and reactions:
Scenario 1: Person A fails in an exam, their reaction according to the saying ‘Failure Motivates’: “this is awesome!! It is exactly what I need to do better in my next exam!!”
Scenario 2: Person B was kicked out of university, their reaction according to the saying ‘Failure Motivates’: “omg omg omg I was kicked out of Uni!! I can’t wait to apply to another university and make my life a success”
Although the above scenarios are sarcastic, they are truly what ‘Failure Motivates’ means.
The only way ‘Sugar-Coating Failure’ can be good is when you are trying to make a bad situation better; not using it as a motivation, but using it to make the failure look less horrible and support yourself in standing up on your feet to fight again.
In the end, failure is just one of the things that helps shape us and make us who we are, the more we embrace it and decide to fight after it, the more we will be able to succeed in life.
With a background in communications, her passion for writing is driven by the need to voice her thoughts. Budoor also hold an eMBA in innovation and Entrepreneurship, other than writing, her interests include reading and traveling.