failure/Henry Ford

How to define success or failure and why it’s important

Definition of failure

I’ve been posting about failure. But it’s how we view failure that really matters in our quest for success. 

Is it a success when we take a little step forward toward our goals?

Is it a failure when we take a little step back?

I can use myself as an example in a couple of areas in my life.


When I took my first drawing class I was scared to pick up the pencil.

When I took my first painting class, I was scared to pick up the paintbrush and even more frightened to put paint on the paper. I sat in front of that big piece of white paper terrified. I must have sat there a long time because finally the teacher came over and whispered in my ear, “Rebecca, it’s only a $3.00 piece of paper”.

I really struggled in the beginning. But now I don’t even think twice and I think my paintings can be considered “art”. You can decide for yourself.

But I had a lot of failures along the way. I threw away a lot of the $3.00 paper.

But I succeeded because of the failures along the way.


Talk about a lot of failures along the way. Whoa! If you have been with me a few years, you’ve read some very poorly written posts. You’ve read some ramblings that didn’t go anywhere.

I worked harder at setting up this blog than anything I’ve ever done. My learning curve was straight up and I almost quit a number of times. And the actual design of the blog was mindboggling hard for me. I broke down in tears a few times I was so frustrated.

Do I consider myself successful now?



Yes, because I believe I am communicating effectively.

No, because I haven’t found my rhythm yet. Maybe I never will. Maybe that IS my rhythm.

Not everything is a success or failure

And, honestly, there are other areas in my life I couldn’t care less whether I succeed or fail. I don’t think we need to define every area in our lives as success or failure. I think there are some people that do but I’m not one of them. I’m perfectly content to be mediocre in some areas. I hope you have areas of your life like that. It gives us some breathing room.

One of the things my mom used to say (Boy, it hurts to write “used to say” in reference to her), which really bothered me was that she “wasn’t good at anything”. It wasn’t true. She was good at lots of things and I tried to tell her that often. But she always equated success with money and fame. It broke my heart.

Stepping stones to success

Highly successful writers whose manuscripts were rejected time and again, the Olympians who fell more than soared, or the number of experiments scientists conducted before succeeding, all point to the same thing. None of them defined themselves as failures just because they failed along the way. They saw them as stepping stones to success.

I was searching blogs using the word “failure” and I found the following quote. “Failures are the stairs of success, the sooner you act and fail, then the sooner you will succeed.”

This really resonated with me. When you think about it, it’s true, isn’t it? I mean we might as well get started. Tomorrow, next week, next month, next year is going to come anyway (at least we hope it does), so we might as well get our failures out of the way now.

I hope if you have dreams, you will start at least taking the first steps towards that dream. I won’t say that it’s the journey that ultimately matters because sometimes it isn’t but I will say that it’s the journey that defines our final outcome.

It was my first year of experimenting with paint, paper, and techniques that defined my style.

It was my first year of blogging that helped me define what I wanted to write about.

I really didn’t know in either case where I was headed. I just knew I had to stay on the journey until I figured it out.

Tenacity almost always gets us where we want to go.

Don’t give up. I won’t say we can do anything we want to do because I don’t think that is always true, but I do believe we can get pretty darn close.

Is there anything you’ve been told you can’t do? What if it isn’t true?

Have you ever accomplished what you thought was impossible? If you did it once, you can do it again. God says with Him all things are possible. (Matthew 19:24) That means all things within His will for you and in accordance with His purpose for you. But if you know what that is, don’t give up.

failure/Henry Ford

God bless and have a great day.