I wonder how many times people have been on the cusp of a great breakthrough, been discouraged and gave up? How many wonderful achievements were squashed before they became reality because somebody gave up? How many individual dreams were never realised because people were afraid of failure?
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Thomas Edison, the great inventor, was one of the biggest failures of all time. He failed time and time again, learned from every mistake, and went on to triumph. I love this quote from Edison, which aptly sums it up: “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.“
Edison turned every obstacle into an opportunity. When he was in his late sixties, his massive laboratory in West Orange, New Jersey burnt down. Instead of moaning and giving up, he gathered his loved ones around to marvel at the fire and immediately started planning for the future.
“You can always make capital out of disaster,” he said. “We’ve just cleared out a bunch of old rubbish! We’ll build bigger and better on these ruins.” He didn’t give up. He tried one more time. And, eventually, he succeeded, and changed the world.
It is good to think about your weaknesses every now and then, evaluate them and devise plans to overcome them. But don’t dwell on weaknesses. Rather, see them as opportunities for improvement. See them as chances to try again in a new way. One more time.