All Articles Tagged "failure"
Oprah Tells Harvard Grads During Keynote Speech ‘Failure Is Just Life Trying To Move Us In Another Direction’
The invitation from Harvard University caught Oprah Winfrey at a low point. Her new TV network was struggling, branded a flop in the media, when Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust called last year to ask Winfrey to address 2013 graduates.The request came “in the very moment when I had stopped succeeding,” Winfrey recalled.
She headed for a long shower to think (“It was either that or a bag of Oreos,” she joked) and emerged resolved to change her story by the time her speech rolled around. A year later, Winfrey said, her Oprah Winfrey Network has found its footing and her approach to facing setbacks had been validated. Stumbles are inevitable but not permanent, Winfrey told graduates Thursday.”I want you to remember this: There is no such thing as failure,” she said. “Failure is just life trying to move us in another direction.”
Winfrey spoke during the afternoon session of Harvard’s 362nd commencement before a packed Harvard Yard. The media mogul and former talk-show host urged graduates to find their own story, which she described as their true calling or purpose.”When you inevitably struggle and find yourself stuck in a hole, that is the story that will get you out,” she said. Her own calling, she said, was to use television to show people “that what unites us is ultimately far more redeeming and compelling than anything that separates (us).”
Read more at BlackVoices.com
Everyone has their own definition of a failure and what it means to them. Some are so distraught that it becomes quite difficult to pick themself up and try again. Others, however, see it not as a negative, but a positive — something they can learn from and build upon to realize success. Regardless of how you cut it, failure is necessary in life and helps us to grow into the people we were destined to become. The question is: Will you let it inhibit you, or empower you?
Failures are an inevitable feature in life. It’s something you can’t really get around and must face head on. Here are a few ways to handle failures.
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” – Thomas Edison
The roads to success are oftentimes not mapped out or paved with gold. If you want something to work, you gotta work hard to make it happen. This is a life lesson that unfortunately many fail to acknowledge and thus give up before every realizing their dreams. Hey, no one is saying the journey isn’t hard – but you can bet it will be worth it.
It’s always encouraging to hear stories of how others overcame failure and achieved success. Though what worked for them may or may not find favor in your situation, it’s great to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Here are some celebrities whose failures taught us to dust ourselves off and try again.
Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up - Thomas Edison
You are not a failure. Just let that sink in for a moment and the next time you feel like giving up hope. In life, it’s so easy to become discouraged when things don’t go your way. Maybe you were overlooked for a position, didn’t get a callback for the job you wanted, or just don’t feel like things are going your way. Whatever the case, it’s important to not beat yourself up and keep it moving.
Life is not always about the heights we reach, but the strength we have to endure. Here are nine ways to deal with failure, and the reasons why we need it in our lives.
Facebook Envy: How I Learned To Stop Making Myself Miserable By Comparing My Life To That Of Others On Social Media
We increasingly seem NOT to be able to filter through what we see on social networks. Our Facebook events are loaded with graduation parties, weddings and new job celebration dinners. Our Facebook “friends” are uploading photos of their new homes, their exotic summer vacations in Bali, the newest degree to hang on their walls – while we scroll aimlessly through it all and sigh. No matter how right things might be going in our lives, sometimes we let social networking get to even the best of us, and make us long for something more because well, “they” seem like they’re happy and they’ve got it all.
We torture ourselves with social networks and wonder why we’re miserable. Life coach, Christine Hassler of TheDailyLove put it best in referencing speaker, Steven Furtick: We are often looking at “someone else’s highlight reel while we’re knee-deep in our own behind the scenes footage.” What we see is calculated and controlled. And what we feel when we see everyone else’s perfect lives splashed across our timelines should be conditioned to that very fact.
I had a hard time with this when I first came home from completing my MBA. I thought I would immediately find a great salary, apartment, and car and be living the same happy, go-getter, jet-setting lifestyle that quite a few of my friends had been fortunate enough to find directly out of college. I was very wrong.
That wasn’t the course my life took. Regardless of how many rings of employment I threw my WELL-qualified hat into, more often than not I never even heard back once I applied. I fell into depression without even realizing the depths to which I was sinking. I was angry all the time. I refused to leave the house. I sat around in my bathrobe, with a mug of hot chocolate (even during the summer months) watching The Food Network and reruns of A Different World. I scrolled through my Facebook and Twitter timelines aimlessly, watching everyone else live while I felt like I was dying inside. I felt like a failure. Why? Not because I actually was. I had gained two degrees within the course of seven years, gained three years worth of invaluable work experience within a dynamic graduate assistantship, and had gotten over my fear of driving. By any fair standard, I was no failure, but by comparison and low self-esteem I was a complete failure. I had allowed others’ highlight reels via social networks to mash my view of myself into a tiny bit of a thing, thus cementing the fear that I would never get out of this jobless, bathrobed slump.
What was my cure? Getting so busy living my own life instead of vicariously living every controlled moment of someone else’s. It really was that simple. I deactivated my Facebook account quite a few times when I felt that I was getting sucked into the comparison game. I looked at my life – where my strengths, gifts and passions were and decided to make the most of those things. I created my own website geared to the empowerment of young women of color and began to look for women from all walks of life with inspiring stories to tell and interviewed them.
It was the most liberating and life-affirming thing that I had done in quite a while because I was using my gifts, my values, to be a catalyst for inspiration. To help other young women avoid the very things I had previously succumbed to. It mattered very little now what others were doing. I was happy for “them.” But I was truly excited for me.
The times that we are most down on ourselves and envious of others’ lifestyles are when we’re too lazy, too fearful, too overwhelmed to get up and make something of our own lives. And I had been all of the above. What we then admire and envy in others is not their experiences, but their fortitude, their courage, their drive, their freedom to live.
Social networks are great tools when used for what they were originally intended: to catch up with old friends, to network, to market products, to share ideas. It’s when we internalize what we see via these networks that things begin to go left. If we simply choose to live well and fully, there will be no time for comparison because life will unfold into a blessed experience we could never have imagined.
La Truly’s writing is powered by a lifetime of anecdotal proof that awkward can transform to awesome and fear can cast its crown before courage. La seeks to encourage thought, discussion and change among young women through her writing. Check her out on Twitter: @AshleyLaTruly and AboutMe www.about.me/latruly.
You see it everyday; celebrities that once had respectable careers continue the desperate push to remain relevant. They appear on red carpets and release independently produced music videos and mixtapes, yet they can’t seem to make anything close to the impact they once had. Blog commenters wonder out loud why they even bother. But, they continue to pursue their dreams. Watching their unrewarded work ethic begs the question: when is it time to call it quits?
Quitting may be a strong word when it comes to pursuing your dreams. At the very least, stars and business people alike need to take time to reevaluate their goals and change course when they experience prolonged bouts of failure. Success can be a numbers game, especially for the entertainment industry. Competition is fierce and everyone can’t make it to the top spot. The music industry in particular has an awful habit of trying to duplicate successful artists. But, there is only one Beyonce, Rihanna, etc. Duplication is futile.
Instead of copying the paths that have already been blazed, successful people adjust their course as they go along. Success requires flexibility. If you are not seeing the results you hoped, reevaluation of your goals and decisions may be in order. As the saying goes, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.” If you’re not seeing the results you want in you career, ask yourself the questions below to help set yourself on the right path.
Is this still my dream, or has something changed? You probably started the path to pursue your dream with the best intentions. But, people change, as do industries. Now that you’re experiencing the negative aspects of your chosen field, ask yourself if the stress you’ll experience seeing your goal come to fruition is worth it in the end?
Is your dream realistic? Did you start with a solid plan before you started pursuing your dream? Make sure your goals are SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound.
(Success) — The sweetest victory is the one that’s most difficult. The one that requires you to reach down deep inside, to fight with everything you’ve got, to be willing to leave everything out there on the battlefield—without knowing, until that do-or-die moment, if your heroic effort will be enough.
Society doesn’t reward defeat, and you won’t find many failures documented in history books. The exceptions are those failures that become steppingstones to later success. Such is the case with Thomas Edison, whose most memorable invention was the light bulb, which purportedly took him 1,000 tries before he developed a successful prototype. “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” a reporter asked. “I didn’t fail 1,000 times,” Edison responded. “The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”
(New York TImes) – I get asked this question fairly often, and my usual answer is a polite, “Fine!” I don’t like to bore people with the details of my travails, but I’ve been asked to provide a more thorough answer for my readers, so here goes. How’s business? Don’t ask me that. It doesn’t mean much. When I think about my business, I see it as a collection of different functions that all have to work together. In no particular order, these are: marketing, sales, manufacturing, cash flow, information technology, human resources, and the boss. Over the next few days, I’m going to address them all.
(Read Write Web) – 2010 is over half over, which makes it a good time to reflect on the year so far and revise your startup’s plans – if necessary, of course – for the year ahead. Are you on target? Have your targets changed? And if so, have you adjusted course to compensate? Mark MacLeod posted his thoughts on the midyear point on the Startup CFO blog today, noting that it can be difficult for startups to establish accurate targets. Even so, he notes, there are two schools of thoughts when it comes to targets. The first: you set the targets, now stick with them. The second: if you can’t meet the targets, it only makes sense to adjust.
(Read Write Web) – From time to time, it makes sense to step back and take a look at real stories about businesses that have transformed aspects of its IT infrastructure. It’s a rare feat as changing your mindset is the only way to fundamental change.That usually only happens when the failure is so overwhelming that complete overhaul is the only answer. We say this as it’s evident that both the public and the private sector are often mired in IT environments that continually require additional resources just to run. People are in so deep that it makes sense to do the same thing over and over again.