Industrial Revolution rearranged the nature of business and society during the turn of the 20th century, the definition of success also changed. Today, the general conception of “success” has evolved to mean an income of millions of dollars as a result of a highly usable product that itself evolves with time. Some of the most common icons of success today live and work in the computer, electronic, and information industry. Examples of these include Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook. Others have accomplished themselves in the entertainment industry and sports, gaining wild success in terms of fame and money. It is tempting to shape one’s personal definition of success according to these accomplishments. What I have learned from watching the video, “Mindset the New Psychology of Success” and Holiday’s “Why You Should Embrace Failure,” it has occurred to me that “success” is not as simple as accomplishing great things or making a large amount of money. Success includes a long path of failures and false starts.
The main message of the video “Mindset” is that there are two components to the psychology of success: An unshakeable faith in the fact that one can accomplish whatever one wants and second, an almost stubborn refusal to give up, even in the face of failure. By displaying many images of success in the form of highly successful figures from history, the video indicates that all the success achieved by great men such as Einstein and Abraham Lincoln was preceded by terrible failures. These failures were as significant as losing a fiance, having a nervous breakdown, and failing at multiple elections. It was only by not giving up that these figures were able to achieve the amount of success that they have. The video also includes current successful figures such as J.K. Rowling, the wildly successful author of the Harry Potter series. Today, she is one of the leading earners among authors across the world. Yet, her success was also preceded by terrible financial difficulties. It is only by letting such failure inspire her that she was able to accomplish what she had. Had Ms. Rowling not done this, the world might never have had Harry Potter. This is one of the most significant things I learned. If I let a failure drive me towards giving up, I have failed without even trying, and the world will never know what I could have given it had I not given up. This is probably one of the most inspiring things in the video for me.
As for Holiday’s article, the author actually positions failure as a necessary step in the path towards success, whether in business or any other area of life. The author suggests that failure is an opportunity for growth and learning. It is only by failing that the individual can learn what does not work. One of Holiday’s examples includes a business that creates a basic product to test the market. In that way, if it fails, the failure is not too complete or too costly. If it succeeds, the product can enjoy further development and investment.
The most striking thing about Holiday’s work is that he does not deny that failure includes a sense of pain and therefore a sense of aversion. Nobody wants to fail. However, as the video also implies, letting this fear keep one from at least trying new, exciting, interesting, or potentially successful things would be a very big mistake. It is only by moving outside of one’s comfort zone that one can continue to develop, grow, and become successful.
In this light, I have learned many new definitions and conceptions of success. Success can mean personal or spiritual growth. By hitting rock bottom, and alcoholic fails to achieve the success of sobriety. By losing a race, an athlete achieves success by training harder and more often. By failing to be published, a poet continues to develop and hone his art to let it become a thing of extreme beauty.
In conclusion, success is not only connected to finance or fame. It is connected to one’s personal sense of worth by growing to be the best possible individual one can be. This cannot happen without the occasional failure.
Holiday, R. (2014, May 12). Why You Should Embrace Failure. Psychology Today. Retrieved from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-obstacle-is-the-way/201405/why-you-should-embrace-failure
“Mindset the New Psychology of Success.” Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2eiJM5y6-9A