So what is the real truth about achieving success? Success in life is not about the first attempt. It is about giving yourself a second chance. Failure comes from not trying. Successful people keep on failing until there is no more ways to fail and they finally succeed.
Last weekend Ørjan and I celebrated my birthday in London. Always great fun – superb shopping at Harrods, a variety of dining and musical shows. Being in London I was reminded of a speech I heard a while back given by one of the most successful British authors, J.K Rowling.
When she addressed the graduating class at Harvard June 2008, she didn’t focus on success. Instead, she spoke about failure. She related a story about a young woman who gave up her dream of writing novels to study something more practical. Nonetheless, she ended up as an unemployed single mom “as poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain without being homeless.” But during this rock-bottom time, she realized she still had a wonderful daughter, an old typewriter, and an idea that would become the foundation for rebuilding her life. Perhaps you’ve heard of Harry Potter? “You might never fail on the scale I did,” Rowling told that privileged audience. “But it is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all—in which case, you fail by default.
What I have found is that most people are too hard on themselves. Instead of smiling and learning from yet another failed attempt (Yes – I know it can be hard..;)) you beat yourselves up and swear you will never do that badly again. The conclusion is: You never really give yourself a real shot to succeed.
Have you ever heard the expression: “The graveyard is the most valuably place one earth”? In reality there is much truth to it. If there only was a way we could dig up all the inventions, all the books, the paintings and the music, the graveyard would be the most valuable place on earth. But because many people didn´t give themselves a second chance, there is only dust and dirt.
Don´t bring your talent with you to the grave. Explore it! Live it! Let the world see it! And when you stumble and fall: Smile and tell yourself: You´re a master making your way in life!
Live rich and give yourself a second chance!