Caution: this is no ordinary post. (Hint: try to decode the title.)
At the first sign of opposition, it is best to retreat to protect yourself from harm. Whenever we meet resistance, doesn’t it mean we are wrong for trying to go in that direction? If it doesn’t go perfectly, it isn’t worth even attempting in the first place.
The world is set up to reward those who take the path of least resistance. All of the greatest men and women of history are lauded for taking the expected path. And how did they reach their lofty goals? By giving up when things became difficult and trying something else instead, obviously.
We need to avoid failure at all costs.
I know that I’ve been most proud when I’ve had a great idea, started to do something about it, and then quit when I didn’t see gratifying results immediately. I probably saved myself from failing!
“Those who fail have taken the wrong path.” ~ Lost Chinese Proverb
It is safe to say that anything worth going for is going to be so easy that a caveman can do it on the first try. Anything harder than that is a waste of time. What kind of idiot tries to do something after botching the first attempt?
It would be terrible to fail once, let alone 1,000 times like Thomas Edison did when trying to invent the light bulb. My goodness, that had to have been embarrassing. He got the light bulb to work eventually, but who cares? Everyone still sees him as a failure overall.
Just think – there were millions of other men who didn’t fail nearly as often as Thomas Edison. They lived safe, comfortable lives and were rarely embarrassed. I bet there were some that didn’t even talk to people because they were afraid of saying something unintelligent. That’s the way to do it! Edison was such a fool to fail so often, wasn’t he?
Oh how I dream of never failing ever again. I might fail a few times just doing required things like walking to the bathroom. My hip could graze the wall on my way in or something – but I hope nobody sees me if that does happen. That would be devastating to my carefully crafted self-image.
The worst of these failures are the ones that get rejected repeatedly and keep persisting. Guys like Sylvester Stallone…
Sly had a really rough life growing up and as an adult. The lower left side of his face has been paralyzed since birth. As an adult living on the street for several days, he took a role in a pornography film for $200. Stallone said of the film,
“It was either do that movie or rob someone, because I was at the end, the very end of my rope.”
He failed even more after that. The lowest point of his life was when he sold his dog (and best friend) for $25. He should have given up, right?
Well, a few weeks passed and he watched a boxing match - Muhammad Ali vs. Chuck Wepner. Being crazy and wanting to fail more in life, he wrote a script for a film called “Rocky” in three days. Of course, the script was rejected repeatedly. Man, this guy couldn’t get enough failure.
After many rejections, two guys he talked to liked the script and offered him $125,000 for it. Take the money and run, right? No…Sly Stallone wanted to star in the film (and they did not want him to). So they offered more money with the condition that he didn’t star in the movie.
First $250,000. No.
Then $325,000. No.
Stallone insisted he star in the film because he said it was his story. They saw they weren’t going to budge him, so they offered him a measly $35,000 (vs. $350,000), a tiny budget, the leading role in the film, and a share of the profits. Stallone took it.
This was another failure of course – he got one tenth of what he could have gotten. He let passion get in the way of greed. Then he went and paid $15,000 to buy his dog back.
This guy failed more in a year than most of us do in a lifetime.
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Oh yeah, that Rocky film did end up making over $200,000,000 at the box office and spawned sequels that have brought the series total to well over $1 billion.
I mean, I guess you could call that a success, but what about all that failure in his life before that? Doesn’t that…ruin it or something?
The title of this post is encrypted (it isn’t CIA level or anything, don’t worry). I wanted to try a new way of presenting something we all know (something I’ve written about before. Why? Sometimes we get stuck and we think about concepts in the same way – but when you’re forced to look at it in a new way, the concept can become new to you.
We all know that failure and perseverance are extremely important, but that doesn’t mean we believe it and have a deep understanding of it (like Sly does). Something else interesting I’ve noticed is that often times we are more passionate about things we disagree with. So I decided to play the role of the idiot in this article – and point out how absurd and irresponsible it is to avoid failure at the level many of us do (myself included).
If you don’t engage in short-term failure, you will be a long-term failure. Persevere through those failures, and you will find your way. You don’t have to take my word for it. How about the guy who has been through it all?
“I take rejection as someone blowing a bugle in my ear to wake me up and get going, rather than retreat.”
I think that gravity sets into everything, including careers, but pendulums do swing and mountains do become valleys after a while… if you keep on walking.
~ Sylvester Stallone