Each one of us, including the world’s most famous personalities, has experienced setbacks in his or her life. We have heard of many stories of successful leaders like Steve Jobs and Mahatma Gandhi who were undaunted by failure and went on to rewrite world history. But unlike Jobs or Gandhi, there are also many people who are not able to emerge out of failure as successfully and wonderfully. What's the difference? Though enough material is already available on success and failure, many people still get muddled and cannot transform failure effectively into success. Also one gets so ‘used to’ the ongoing reality of failure that one is not able to conjure up the 'will power' and 'necessary ideas' to take the leap.
Therefore these 12 mantras are simple but not easy.
Anyway, before we move on to the mantras for success, here’s a disclaimer. If we are not doing what ‘we like,' success is going to be a difficult journey from the word go. Today everybody is in so much of a hurry to succeed that this prerequisite is ignored. So before you start on the same path again, re-assess and assure yourself that you are on the right path. A path which fills you up with passion. ‘If we don't love it, we cannot put in our 100% and cannot persist to succeed!’
Assuming we have chosen the work we love to do, let’s now explore how to launch ourselves out of failure, into success.
Here are the 12 mantras to effectively convert ‘failure’ into a ‘success-launcher’!
1. Move on
Do a thorough job of taking feedback and listing out, once and for all, the mistakes you think jeopardized your success. Decide, which mistakes you would never repeat again and then, consciously choose to ‘empty your mind of the ‘experiences’ that come with the list’. Forgive yourself and others for the ‘so called’ mistakes. Do not revisit them again and again to fill up your mind. Remember, Garbage In, Garbage Out, i.e. whatever the quality of input, so will be the quality of the output.
“Failure is a gap between two Successes. Don’t make the gap longer. Be courageous. Move on. Take the Leap!”
2. Focus on your strengths
To believe in ourselves, to be passionate about our tasks, it is important to first know what our strengths are. A sure shot key to success is to focus on what ‘energises’ you and what you are good at. Use failure as a warning bell to assess and realign your efforts to your strengths. Eg: If you are energised with creative work then find creative ways to find new ideas and solutions. Alternatively, if you enjoy relationship building then see if you can reach out to people and seek support. Similarly, realign your team as well. Evaluate their strengths and assign them tasks according to their strengths. You will see that working with strengths will fill-up the entire team with confidence and will make you ‘progressively passionate and confident,' no matter what the results.
“Focus on your strengths and your weaknesses will become irrelevant!”
3. Make a thorough plan
Every new effort after failure must be backed with increased intensity of planning and attention to detail. Success is first created in the mind and then on the playing field. Visualise each and every step on the ladder to success, in as much detail as possible. This will give you clarity on how to get there.
“Good luck is the result of a Good plan!”
4. Never give up
Think thoughts of success but never expect success in the first attempt. Be ready and equipped to fight back, secure in the knowledge that success comes with repeated attempts. Also, once you have made the right choice, pursuant to the strengths, you will never feel overwhelmed by any challenge that comes your way. Not giving up is the only sure shot way of finally achieving your goal.
“Failure is not an option, because doing everything all over again is a cumbersome process!”
5. Keep your passion alive
Assuming you have set your eyes on something you love to do, it is now important to keep your passion burning. For this you need to focus on developing continued interest and patience, which in turn will help you to sustain your efforts over a long period of time. For continued interest you need to keep learning and innovating. Explore positive accomplishments around the world, in your field. You also need to keep reminding yourself of the joy you will get or the final benefits you will derive at the successful completion of the project, which will keep you energised.
"Ever new energy and passion are crucial for a successful outcome!"
Success comes from great conviction that you can do it. To develop your will, do things that challenge you i.e. things, which pull you out from your comfort zone. E.g. If you have a tendency to be a couch potato, getting yourself to rigorously and regularly exercise your body, definitely will strengthen your overall will. It is also important to do every little task that you undertake with 100% will and conviction to make it succeed. So what’s your comfort zone? There are many other ways of developing will power, such as meditation, being with inspiring people and reading inspiring stuff, eating low glycemic diet, practicing mindfulness, focusing on one thing at a time etc.
A ‘wish’ is a desire that you think cannot be fulfilled. Yogananda says that Will Power = desire + ever new energy to fulfill that desire! So making efforts to strengthen your will power is the only way.
“Will power is like a muscle, the more you use it the stronger it gets!”
7. Breathe-think-talk Success
Develop the thought of ‘success’ everyday! Be alert and conscious of your thoughts. Do not, even for a moment, allow your mind to slip into a negative or doubtful thought. Its simple logic “the seeds you water are the seeds that sprout and grow”! Easier said than done, I know...so next time you catch yourself thinking negative, pause, breathe and switch gears. Think, speak, and dream your goal. Make a dream board. Use affirmations. Use visualisation. Feel good about it. Know you can do it!
“Failure to prosper and succeed is definitely due to weak mental habits!” of prosperity and success!”
8. Strive for Excellence
When you work to excel, with 100% focus and attention, with appropriate behavior and attitude, the result obviously has a superior quality and value to it. And great results lead to a surge in energy, conviction and passion to keep going! Therefore the chances of converting failure to success considerably increase when you strive for excellence. Make excellence a habit. Work on your behaviors and attitudes. Be disciplined. Ensure that it takes deep roots in you. Excellence is achieved when you strive for highest quality and value in ‘every little task’ you undertake.
“Great excellence comes from great discipline. We are what we repeatedly do. So make excellence a habit!"
9. Keep calm
Being calm and relaxed is critical to simple things like making right decisions, communicating effectively, handling challenging situations etc. A peaceful mind also helps you concentrate well and stay focused on your goal. If you lose your cool often, and find that your old habits prevent you from being calm, go ahead and make new habits. Adopt mindful techniques to relax your mind...could be going for a walk or the simple practice of sitting in silence, focusing on your breath, using meditation techniques, saying positive affirmations or even being in the company of a successful and positive person may help.
"Whichever discipline you choose, continued practice will surely help you. Soon you will see the difference in your ability to respond calmly rather than react, panic and digress from your goal!"
10. Focus on the purpose
For a business/project to switch gears from failure to success, it is essential to ensure that you are always focused on the purpose i.e. the goal. Nurturing an egocentric, personality driven culture, never helps, neither does a timid and submissive one. What works is the one that keeps a razor-sharp focus on the main purpose or goal!
"It is not about you, it is not about your team either...it is always about the purpose!"
11. Seek success for one and all
More often than not, we get stuck because our approach is not inclusive. Whether it is a new venture or an ongoing one, it is important that your goals consider benefit of all, that it ensures success and prosperity for all — vis stakeholders, employees, customers, society, country etc. To keep everyone in the team motivated, you must create an open work environment around you where everybody can share new ideas freely; where everybody is encouraged to receive and give feedback regularly; where true achievers are recognised frequently. You must also nurture honesty and integrity in your team and create a transparent and caring work environment. Even if we perfect other things but falter on this one, in our hasty need to succeed, roadblocks and failures are assured down the road.
“Unhappy people around you, bring miserable results for you!”
12. Be Grateful
Last but not the least, to effectively make use of failure to succeed, one needs to be thankful towards all connected with the goal, directly and indirectly. Start by being grateful towards everyone and every decision that contributed to your failure because that serves as a crucial input to success. Also be grateful towards all stakeholders, including yourself, your clients, customers and vendors, your team, your colleagues, your mentor/coach/guru, even the office-assistants! Understand that without each one’s contribution, feedback and energy, you can never make it. Also do make sure to find ways, to effectively ‘express’ your gratitude. Gratefulness helps you to stay grounded, which in turn helps you handle your success well. ‘If you cannot handle your success well, when it finally arrives, it may not last long’.
“It is not successful people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are Successful!”