One of the greatest ironies of life is the fact that winners fail more often than losers. The fact is, most people spend their lives doing everything within their power to seek success while simultaneously doing everything in their power to avoid failure. That is a recipe that virtually ensures average performance.
Consider Thomas Edison, it was his one thousandth try before he created a working light bulb. Now you and I might say that he failed 999 times but when he was asked how he felt about failing 999 times he replied that he didn’t fail 999 times. He said that he discovered 999 ways to NOT make a light bulb.
Look at Colonel Sanders as another example. He heard 1009 “no’s” before he heard his first yes. He was turned down one thousand and nine times before his chicken recipe was accepted. He knew what he wanted to achieve. He knew his recipe was good and he took action. He didn’t see it as 1009 failures he saw it as 1009 fools that didn’t comprehend what it was that he had.
Think about this, as a kid we weren’t fazed at all when we heard the word no. We shrugged it off. We laughed at it. We flicked it away like a bug. We took it as a challenge. Somewhere along the line this natural tenacity was lost or even drummed out of us. What if we could get that tenacity back?
Consider this story, a Zen master and his student in search of knowledge where talking. The Zen master is pouring a cup of tea while listening to his student. The student is going on and on about everything he has learned when the student notices that the Zen master has not only filled his cup to the brim but was allowing it to overflow all over the table. The student then asks, “Zen master, can’t you see the cup is overflowing?”
The Zen master replies, “You are like the cup, full to the top with what you already know. To learn something new, one must first be willing to empty their cup.”
What if, starting today, you can get that tenacity back?
What if, starting today, the word no stopped stopping you?
What if, starting today, every time you heard the work no you became stronger? More powerful? More resilient?
And what if – in fact – having people tell you no actually became fun?
It’s time to empty that cup of tea, that fear of failure and accept the no’s because right around the corner is a yes that you would have never heard because you were afraid of the word no.