“…it’s more important to praise the people for the nine times they fail, than for the one time they succeed.” – Severin Schwan, Roche CEO
Inspiration can come from many or just a few and sometimes through just one person, thing or incident. There are some people out there who have mastered the art of life just life and then many of us our there find struggling with our feeling, thoughts and actions.
Those who have mastered the art of life teach me again and again why it is important to be in a state of ‘focus’; it is the only way to succeed when failure is staring right in your face. It is easy to say things like “turn your failures into success”. Reality, however, is different. If someone screams at you over a mistake, you are most likely going to sulk, (even if the sulking is internalised). You will not be thinking of how you can be channeling failure into success.
This is where being in the state of “focus” helps. Global consultancy firm Ideo says, “fail often, to succeed sooner.” But to succeed sooner you must manage the art of staying in focus.
According to my three friends Paul, Ray, and Doc you could follow three ancient principles to be able to focus better.
1. Shoshin – A Japanese word meaning “beginner’s mind”. It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner in that subject would. In other words, it means no matter how much experience you gain in life never let your judgment, pride and ego blind you. Listen to everyone empathically and remember even a foolish person can teach you many things.
2. The Two Wolves – A Cherokee Indian grandfather narrates a story to his grandson. He vividly explains there are two wolves inside us. Both are always at war with each other. One wolf’s character is of kindness, bravery, and love. The other’s character is of greed, hate, and fear. With great curiosity, the grandson looks up at his grandfather and asks, “Grandfather, which one wins?” The grandfather replies with a smile, “the one you feed”. In simple words, it means wherever you focus your feelings and thoughts that is what your life will return back to you.
3. Ikigai – Ikiagi is a Japanese concept that roughly means “reason for being” or “thing that you live for” or “the reason for which you get up in the morning.” Everyone, according to the Japanese, has an Ikiagi. Its essence is that happiness in life is more than money, luxuries or being in the limelight. Ikiagi simply says wants are never-ending. Stop asking yourself “What do I want?” Start asking yourself “What is important to me?” Ikagi allows you to improve your health, wealth and most importantly gives you your purpose in life.
Once you imbibe these fundamental principles and make it your focus, you will automatically change failure into success. How? Well, success and failure are relative, just like truth. What is true for you may not be so for another person.
Remember, your failure could be someone’s success just like your success could be someone’s failure. Embrace uncertainty with a smile, because you are in learning…even if when you become a master chef. Stand-up, move and let your wounds heal through compassion. Just be #YOU (#Youthful #Outstanding #Unique).