Everyone enjoys a well-produced movie, a well written novel, or a great story. It’s the same elements that make these things compelling to the human spirit. Tension, suspense, redemption, a great comeback. I know I’m personally a sucker for the predictable storyline that is so commonplace in our movies and books nowadays. You know the one, ordinary Joe has a special skill or talent no one knows about, a conflict reveals his gift and he becomes a rock star with the world. He then faces his "kryptonite moment" in a moral failure or a horrific accident. He is rejected by the same world that promoted him who now see him as damaged goods. However, he always endures, recovers, and has a redemptive comeback moment. There’s something about this story that we can see ourselves in and we relate to these stories on a personal level.
Even outside of Hollywood we see these stories flash across as headline news from time to time. Watching Tiger Woods win his 5th Masters Golf Tournament last month, walking off the course to embrace his children, gave me chills and brought tears to my eyes. I was watching a real comeback moment, one of the mysteries of life. The world treated Woods like a god in his earlier career only to cast him aside with ridicule when his celebrity marriage imploded in the public eye. Add to this, his DUI arrest and multiple back surgeries, his new fate of failure was sealed in the public's view. Woods attempted several comebacks only to be sidelined again and again with more surgery and more scorning. But then it happened. That redemption moment we all crave in life. Last year, he showed up to play at the Augusta National Country Club, and we all saw the Phoenix rise from the ashes to don the green jacket and move the golf world to tears and awe as the Tiger roared back into the winner's circle for his 15th Major golf title and undoubtedly his sweetest victory.
This theme of hero to zero, then back to hero again is not restricted to books, movies, or athletes. It is a theme of life that we all experience. We see it in careers, sports, relationships, and yes, even in with our relationship with money. It happens when an addict or a drunk decides "enough is enough" and puts themselves on a better path. It happens daily when people take responsibility for their own failures, choose to learn lessons from their failures, and set themselves to triumph over their defeats.
Another example I love is Steve Jobs. A whiz kid starts in his garage and builds billion-dollar corporation. Apple struggles for years and Jobs becomes the arrogant man so many of us have heard about. He was fired then rehired then Jobs comes back stronger than ever and changes the course of tech history with the iPhone launching Apple into a new stratosphere of success.
We see it so many times that I had to stop and ask the question: what's the mystery here? Failure is a process of success. The average entrepreneur fails FOUR TIMES before they succeed. Thomas Alva Edison failed so many times before he successfully invented a working light bulb. However, when asked if he ever got discouraged with all those failed experiments, he responded, "No, I now know 10,000 ways not to make a light bulb."
This type of drive and motivation is what has carried me through my hardest moments and helped create my most successful moments. I've lost a lot of money in hundreds of different ways on my path to making money. There were some absolutely necessary lessons I had to learn about life and money in order to get to where I am today and help teach others.
You see, one person fails and then fails again and concludes he is a failure; so, he quits. He stops trying because he saw his failures as indicators of what he is inside - a failure. Yet another person fails and then fails again and concludes he is learning in the school of hard knocks. The difference here is that the second person intends to graduate with honors from that school and become successful in their own right. Why? Because he believes deeply - even if nobody else does - that he is a success waiting to happen. And failure is simply a tough professor teaching him the necessary lessons he must learn to succeed.
Yeah, life can get quite dramatic. Setbacks, lawsuits, relationship failures, even bankruptcy and divorce or even jail time. But your life ultimately comes down to how you decide to move forward. If both success and failure are not possibilities for you, then you are not on the path to true success. To think you deserve only success is foolish, and to think that failing disqualifies you from success is ignorant. Just remember failure is only one step closer to success – so keep going.