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Failure is the back door to Success

“I don’t know what to do with my life!”  or “I cannot find what I am passionate about!”  Have you heard this before?  I hear it a lot.   In this weeks post, we will explore five ways to address this haunting problem.

First: Failure is the Backdoor to Success.

The first thing we need to do is to establish that you are not a loser or permanent failure.  failure-the-backdoor-to-successYes, you may have failed you may have really messed things up! But that is not the end for you. If it was you would be dead and not reading this.   I recommend  Dr. Erwin Lutzer’s book, Failure The Backdoor to Success to those who really need to over come some incurable failures in their past, read it.  You are unique and special.  Every time you fail is a chance to do it better next time.

Consider this:

–Michael Jordan, former American basketball player, who just this week was given the Metal of Freedom by our president,  who led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships and won the Most Valuable Player Award five times said:

  “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

And Thomas Edison the inventor of the light bulb, failed over 1000 times before the light went on on! He said “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Learn from your failures.  I remember having a folder of over 500 rejection letters from colleges and universities around the world for a full time job!  I keep them to remind me to learn from each of them and make the next one better!

Second: Focus on What Matters Most.

Watch this SHORT video

Its about rocks, pebbles and sand.  What are the most important things in your life?  Then move to the secondary things, the pebbles, then finally the sand.  Focus on these.  Make an inventory of how you will focus on them. The beer symbolizes the fluff or fun side of life.

Make a list of what is truly important to you.  Focus on these first then start with the others.

Now, I can’t let a post go by without quoting CS Lewis can I?

He wrote:

what-matters-most You can’t get second things by putting them first. You get second things only by putting first things first. —C.S. Lewis, “First and Second Things,” in God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics (Eerdmans, 1994), p. 280.

I also strongly recommend Michael Hyatt’s work to help you focus.  He really helped me do that.  Check out his free resource, Achieve What Matters in 2017!

Three: Become a Master of Your Time

If you do not, your time will master you.  Then you will look in the mirror one day and realize your best years are behind you!   Check out Steven Covey’s book, 7 Habits of Highly Success People.  Especially habit number 3: Put first things first. See this link that breaks it down well.7-habits-of-highly-effective-people

Below is a chart from Covey’s book on time.  It helped me to prioritize what is urgent and important.  




Four: If you could do something for free what would it be?

Make a list of the main things you want to do. And why they are important to you.

Then think about and write about what steps or degree you need to take to achieve these goals.

Be realistic, You cannot do anything!  No, you cannot beat Michael Jordan or Michael Phelps records in sports if you never played those sports. You cannot go to the moon if you are not an astronaut!

With that said, stop and imagine…..what will it be like for your family and you if you keep doing the same thing you are doing now.

Think of the pain and monotony it will continue to create.  Stop and feel it and imagine the looks on your family’s’ faces when they see you constantly unwell physically, physiological/ spiritually….

After a few minutes…imagine what it will be like for you to come home from a long day doing what you LOVE… think about it for a few minutes until you feel the it passion in it. This is called your passion.  But beware of your “following your passion” in fact I caution people not to do that!  See my post on “Don’t Follow your Passion.”  So then did I just contradict myself? Not if what your passion is, is what will help you grow within and make the world a better place (which includes providing a living wage for you and your family!)

Fifth : Know Your Purpose.

My friend Tom V. Morris wrote many good books on philosophy and success.  I have learned much from him.  For example, Unhappy people can’t sustain excellence in their endeavors, no matter how good they otherwise might be with goal setting. [Consider].  To learn to be connected with a purpose, you need to have a from grip on Four Foundations in life:

Truth: The goal for The Intellectual Dimension of our experience

Beauty: The pinnacle for The Aesthetic Dimension of our experience

Goodness: The quest for The Moral Dimension of our experience

Unity: The ultimate quarry for The Spiritual Dimension of our experience

I hope to break these down for us later. For now, Aristotle said that all things in the universe have a telos, or purpose to them.  What is yours?  Let me say this as clear as I can, you cannot find true fulfillment if you do not have that last area of Unity ironed out in your life.

 Some great books to consider  

Big Picture Books

These are all books that have shifted how I think about business as such. They’ve had a direct impact on the success I’ve experienced so far.  Much of this is from Michael Hyatt!


Theological Books to consider to know about who or what God is and why it matter.

I am convinced that a man cannot know himself well until he comes to terms with his creator.

Strategy Books

When we’re working in a business, it’s easy to forget about working on the business. But it’s essential to to focus on the business if we want to keep moving ahead and growing.

Productivity Books

Personal and professional achievement are high values for me. That’s why I read a lot on the topic of productivity. These have been game-changers for me.



Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Janina McLemore

    Janina Mclemore- I really enjoyed this book description.watching the video gave me a real perceptive as a college student.I find myself working so hard on helping my family make it through each month that sometimes i forget about thing that could better my life such as school. I really do need some balance in my life. I would love to read this book from cover to cover.