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Last Updated on January 12, 2021

Why Some Losers Become Winners, but Others Stay as Losers

Why Some Losers Become Winners, but Others Stay as Losers

We all know Milton Hershey as the founder of Hershey’s chocolate which is one of the best known candies in America. But Hershey actually built up 3 candy companies ending in complete failure before his ultimate success. As a young entrepreneur, Hershey set up his own candy shop with $150 in Philadelphia will little success. Over the next few years he started over again in New York and Chicago but failed both times. Not giving up and convinced he could succeed, he set up the Lancaster Caramel Company and within a few short years, he finally had a thriving business which led him to start the Hershey Chocolate Company which we know and love.

Despite his failures, Hershey used his resilience and belief to carry on and achieve his dreams. While many would have been tempted to give up, drowning in the negativity that failure can bring, Hershey shows how determination, learning and improving is the real recipe for success.

By default, we can’t wait to win

As humans, we are wired to get instant results and it’s all down to survival. In caveman times, survival meant hunting down food and making fires. If we didn’t get immediate results with these, our lives would be at risk.

    Nowadays as individuals, our need for survival and instant results starts from the moment we’re born. Crying is a way of getting the instant attention we need from our parents in order to make sure we’re fed and looked after. Therefore it’s ingrained in us from an early age to get instant results and this stays wired in our brains throughout our lives.

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      But we have to wait and we lose

      In modern times, society has shaped the way we get success. We may want money but we typically only receive our salary after completing a period of work or we only receive a reward after working hard at something. Therefore we’re often forced to work hard and wait in order to get the success we crave and the real threat to our lives that our ancestors faced, has pretty much disappeared.

        So while lack of instant results doesn’t mean a threat to our survival, in our brains, that need is still lurking and our instinct tends to tells us to quit if instant results aren’t apparent.

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          But the key is understanding that the waiting period serves as a crucial time to work harder and improve rather than give up.

          From losing to becoming a loser

          When people fail, they don’t become losers instantly. They become losers as soon as they start to victimize themselves. They tell themselves the ‘facts’ or excuses to justify something negative in their abilities.

          These limiting beliefs are formed from past experiences, mistakes or times they’ve been stuck. They often tell ourselves and others things such as “If I were younger, I would have got this”, or “If they had given me more opportunities, things would have been different.”

          But if they’re being honest, these are the things they tell themselves to justify their failures and no one really cares what they could have done or why they failed. Failure is failure.

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            This isn’t to sound harsh but rather to highlight the fact that we often box ourselves into this idea of failure or label ourselves harshly. In reality, the reason we failed was because we didn’t persevere, keep faith and belief, and used the failure as a way of learning and improving ourselves towards the success we wanted.

            This negative need to reason away our failures doesn’t get us anywhere as Ben Horowitz says in his book The Hard Thing About Hard Things,

            A great reason for failing won’t preserve one dollar for your investors, won’t save one employee’s job, or get you one new customer.

            Act like a winner and move on

            We have to fight against the need to make excuses and quit when failure comes knocking and it’s all down to mindset.

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              It’s natural to think back to past failures and use it as evidence that you’ll never succeed but this is only detrimental to your chances of achieving your dreams. Focus your mind on the goal and do all you can to get there. There will always be roadblocks but the key is to work through the problems, don’t blame, don’t buy into your limiting beliefs but use each bump in the road as a chance to learn something. In other words, think of it as life giving you a solution for you to realise – something only this situation would teach you in order to move further towards success.

              If you want to succeed after failures, start to think like a success person:

              • Widen Your Perspective: The big picture can be hard to see when we’re focused on what’s going on in the present moment. The idea is to realise that each journey to success will always have its ups and downs. When the downs occur it can blindside us into thinking success isn’t possible. Step back and keep your eye on the bigger picture because usually those downs are followed by wonderful ups.
              • Breakdown The Challenge: The big goal can seem daunting at times which is why breaking it down into manageable chunks is the secret to keeping the motivation going. Life is ever-changing and so are our ideas, beliefs and perspectives. With each smaller challenge you overcome you bring a bigger sense of achievement and possibility of the larger outcome and this is where the magic happens – you will slowly but surely see that what you want is possible.

              If you really want to succeed then you must realize that no one really cares about your failures. If you want to move on from your down times, don’t make giving up an option. No matter how much you feel you’re struggling, these are the moments that present the necessary learning curve you need to achieve your big goals.

              Read this article to learn more about how to keep persevering on your journey to big things: The Only Time That Change Doesn’t Make You Better

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              Leon Ho

              Founder & CEO of Lifehack

              How to Achieve Goals and Increase Your Chance of Success how to start over How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide) Do You Know Your Motivation Style? How to Move Forward After Achieving Goal Success

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              Last Updated on June 4, 2021

              10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On

              10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On

              Failure occurs everyday, in school, jobs, housework, and within families. It is unavoidable, irritating and causes pessimism.

              While the thought of flinging your hands in the air and walking away is all too appealing, take a second to connect with the people who have been there and survived.

              Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently. — Henry Ford

              Here are 10 famous failures to success stories around the world that will inspire you to keep going and achieve greatness:

                1. J.K. Rowling

                  During a Harvard commencement speech, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling outlined the importance and value of failure.[1]

                  Why? Simply because she was once a failure too.

                  A few short years after her graduation from college, her worst nightmares were realized. In her words,

                  “I had failed on an epic scale. An exceptionally short-lived marriage had imploded, and I was jobless, a lone parent, and as poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless. The fears that my parents had had for me, and that I had had for myself, had both come to pass, and by every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew.”

                  Coming out of this failure stronger and more determined was the key to her success.

                  2. Steve Jobs

                    The now revolutionary Apple started off with two men in a garage. Years later we all know it as a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees.

                    Yet, almost unbelievably, Steve Jobs was fired from the very company he began.

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                    The dismissal made him realize that his passion for his work exceeded the disappointment of failure. Further ventures such as NeXT and Pixar eventually led Jobs back to the CEO position at AppleJobs said in 2005:

                    “I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.”

                    Lost your job today? Keep kicking and you could be just like this guy!

                    3. Bill Gates
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                      Bill Gates was a Harvard dropout. He co-owned a business called Traf-O-Data, which was a true failure.[2]

                      However, skill and a passion for computer programming turned this failure into the pioneer of famous software company Microsoft, and the then 31-year-old into the world’s youngest self-made billionaire.

                      In his own words:

                      “It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”

                      This isn’t to say that dropping out of Harvard will make you into a billionaire, but maybe that shiny degree isn’t worth as much as the drive and passion to succeed.

                      If you haven’t found your passion like Bill Gates, this will help you:

                      How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

                      4. Albert Einstein

                        The word ‘Einstein’ is associated with intelligence and synonymous with genius. Yet it is a famous fact that the pioneer of the theory of general relativity, Albert Einstein himself, could not speak fluently until the age of nine. His rebellious nature led to expulsion from school, and he was refused admittance to the Zurich Polytechnic School.

                        His earlier setbacks did not stop him from winning the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921. After all, he believed that:

                        “Success is failure in progress.”

                        To this day, his research has influenced various aspects of life including culture, religion, art, and even late night TV.

                        Just because you haven’t achieved anything great yet, doesn’t mean you can’t be an Einstein yourself.

                        5. Abraham Lincoln

                          Failing in business in 1831, suffering a nervous breakdown in 1836, defeated in his run for president in 1856, Abraham Lincoln was no stranger to rejection and failure. Rather than taking these signs as a motivation for surrender, he refused to stop trying his best.

                          In this great man’s words:

                          “My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.”

                          Lincoln was elected in 1861 as the 16th President of the United States of America.

                          The amount of rejection you receive is not a defining factor. Success is still within your reach.

                          6. Michael Jordan

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                            “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

                            This quote by retired basketball legend Michael Jordan in a Nike advertisement speaks for itself.

                            It would be an easy misconception that Jordan’s basketball skills revolve around natural talent. In fact, in his earlier years,  basketball coaches had trouble looking past the fact that Jordan didn’t reach the minimum height. It was years of effort, practice, and failure that made the star we know today.

                            Michael Jordan’s success all came down to his Intrinsic Motivation, one of the most invincible types of motivation that drives people to succeed.

                            7. Steven Spielberg

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                              Regarded as one of the most influential filmmakers of all time, Steven Spielberg is a familiar household name. It is surprising to realize therefore that the genius behind Jaws and E.T. had poor grades in high school, getting him rejected from the University of Southern California three times.

                              While he was in college, he caught the eye of executives at Universal, who signed him as a television director in 1969. This meant that he would not finish his college degree for another 33 years.

                              Perseverance and acceptance of failure is the key to success, after all.

                              “Even though I get older, what I do never gets old, and that’s what I think keeps me hungry.”

                              Bad grades in high school aside, there is no questioning the genius involved.

                              To date, Spielberg has directed 51 films and has been awarded three Oscars.

                              8. Walt Disney

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                                Mickey Mouse creator Walt Disney dropped out of school at a young age in a failed attempt at joining the army.[3] One of his earlier ventures, Laugh-o-Gram Studios, went bankrupt due to his lack of ability to run a successful business. He was once fired from a Missouri newspaper for “not being creative enough.”

                                Yet today, The genius behind Disney studios is responsible for generations of childhood memories and dreams. From Snow White to Frozen, Disney will continue to entertain the world for generations to come.

                                The logic behind this is simple:

                                “We don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

                                9. Vincent Van Gogh

                                  During his lifetime, Vincent Van Gogh suffered mental illness, failed relationships, and committed suicide at the age of 37.

                                  He only ever sold one painting in his life, pinning him a failure as an artist. However that did not put a damper on his enthusiasm and passion for art.

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                                  He would never know that years and years after his death he would become known as a key figure in the world of post-impressionism, and ultimately, one of the greatest artist that ever lived.

                                  He would never know that he became a hot topic in art classes and his image was going to be used in TV, books and other forms of popular culture.

                                  In the words of this great, but tragic man:

                                  “If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”

                                  10. Stephen King

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                                    As a paranoid, troubled child, tormented by nightmares and raised in poverty, it is no surprise that Stephen King grew up to the title: “Master of Horror”.[4]

                                    An addiction to drugs and alcohol were his mechanisms to cope with the unhappiness he felt with his life. The frustration he felt towards multiple rejections by publishers in combination with illicit substances caused him to mentally contemplate violence towards his own children.

                                    These intense emotions were those that he focused onto his writing. And that’s why he said:

                                    “We make up horros to help us cope with the real ones.”

                                    Writing became his new coping mechanism, and this is how the master author we know today grew to success.

                                    Fail More Often in Order to Succeed

                                    Like Albert Einstein said, failure really is just success in progress. If you’d rather not to fail, you will probably never succeed.

                                    Success comes from moments of frustrations when you’ll be most uncomfortable with. But after you’ve gone through all those bitter times, you’ll become stronger and you’ll get closer to success.

                                    If you feel like a failure and think that you’ve failed all too many times, it’s not too late to change things up! Here’s how to turn your limitations into your opportunities:

                                    Don’t be afraid to fail. In fact, start failing, and start failing often; that’s how you will succeed.

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                                    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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