“There is no such thing as failure, there are only results” – Tony Robbins
I had read this before today and it didn’t make sense. But today it hit me.
It’s no longer relevant to look at life in terms of success and failure because these terms imply a false end point. Every life has only one end point and we reach it the day we die. And even then, we won’t be successful or a failure, we’ll just be at the end of our life.
The consequence to seeing life containing arbitrary end points is that it moves us away from the sustained hard work needed to get the results you are looking for. It makes it too easy to stop trying and it can prevent us from taking actual ownership of the process needed to achieve the outcome we are looking for.
By altering our view and seeing outcomes as results and NOT as success or failures we gain a level of depth in how we can look at the world and our actions within it. When we don’t get a job we want, complete a lift we’re trying, get to continue a relationship we hold dear, win the championship game, etc…. and view the outcome as the result of our preparation, effort and strategy, we have the power to change, grow and move forward to a different result. Call the result of not getting what we want a failure closes us off from the possibility of a different future.
There are two things to keep in mind, and make no mistake about it, there are both very important.
First off, none of it matters in the grand scheme of things. Life is about the transformative journey we each take from beginning to end and the transformation is the result of consistently applying the lessons we’ve learned.
Secondly, life progresses regardless of the work you put into it. It begins and ends only once so calling anything a failure is paramount to saying “I’m giving up right now.”
The first point is liberating, the lack of any universal meaning frees us to create or uncover whatever meaning we like. Point two frees us to make the choice on whether or not we’re going to put the effort into life to get the results we are looking for and it allows us to calibrate our intentions to focus on making the best of the time between the beginning and end of life.