There are times when you can have all the ingredients for success — the passion, the business model, the capital, and everything else you read about — and you still fail. These failures can be some of the darkest times in your life — especially if you poured your entire life into the project.
Just about everyone who has tried a big project can point to a time when darkness enveloped them. Some are right in the middle of it. Their dream is dying right in front of them and they’re powerless to stop it. For others, their dream is dead. In fact, every successful person I’ve ever talked to can point to a time when their dreams died.
You might be there now. If you’re not and you’ve never experienced one of these times, you will. It’s a common element we all share at some point in our lives. When your emotions do hit, they will run wild. You’ll experience disappointment, frustration, anger, sadness, and a host of others. But one you may not experience if you don’t have the right perspective is hope.
That’s right! Hope.
What most people don’t realize is that there are basically three different types of hope: (1) No hope; (2) hope for relief; and (3) hope for good in all things.
The first one is obvious. This is the bleakest of the three — and it never results in success. Too many people see their situation as hopeless. They don’t think they’ll ever get out of it. So they get depressed and simply wish for a better life. Some even go so far as to wish for death.
The second type of hope is what we think of when we say, “It’s always darkest right before the dawn.” It’s an attitude of escape. All we have to do is get out of our current situation and everything will be all right. Difficult times usually do come to an end, though not as fast we might like. When that light comes, there is relief.
However, really successful people don’t just look for an escape. They don’t just look for relief. They look for a way to capitalize on their darkness. They look at the bad times as an opportunity. At the very least, it’s an opportunity to learn something. But it could be an even bigger opportunity than that. It could be an important step in accomplishing something much more important.
Every successful person I’ve ever talked to has experienced some type of failure in his life. Some of the failures were bigger than most of us think we could ever handle. But, almost without fail, they say that failure catapulted them into a much bigger venture that was far more successful.
So when the world seems darkest, why should you have hope? After all, things are bleak. Your dream is dying. Everything you’ve poured your life into is going down the drain. The reason is because your tough times will more than likely bring about a huge success down the road.
Don’t wallow in hopelessness — it won’t do you any good (and will do a lot of harm). Don’t just look for an escape — you could miss a huge opportunity. Evaluate your failure, hoping to turn it into a success somewhere in the future. Learn from your mistakes. And know that the biggest opportunities often come at the hour of your greatest need. Don’t miss them!
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