Wiping out is an underappreciated skill – Life Lessons if failure
“Wiping out is an underappreciated skill”
If you have ever tried to stand up on a surfboard, you know that you are going to fall more times than you are going to stand. You are going to wipe out more than you are going to shred. You know that it is going to take you time to learn to shred the waves like Kelly Slater. We also know that wiping out is part of the process to learn to surf.
This is why I believe this surfer quote is so important to life and progress. During life, we are going to wipe out, no doubt about it. We are going to make our share of mistakes and have our fill of failure. If you take anything away from this post, I want you to remember that it is okay to fail or wipe out. It is okay to fail as long as you get back up. It is okay to fail as long as you learn a lesson. Failure is part of the process to make it to your destination.
Today, I want to challenge your perception of wiping out or failing. I want to change the way you look at failure because I believe that it is key to find your aloha.
So, like the surfer quote says, let’s turn failure into a skill set that we can use in our lives and move forward to something bigger, better.
Success and Failure are Related – Failure is the mother of success
An ancient Chinese proverb says, “Failure is the mother of success.”
Over the years, failure has taught me more lessons than any book, seminar, or class. Failure has always been part of the way I have developed into a better person, hopefully. Failure really is the mother of success because failure teaches us so much about yourself, life, and so much more.
For this reason alone, you should be looking at failure in a new way. Failure is only negative if we let it be negative. Let’s work on changing your mindset.
Failure teaches us to never give up
I think that one of the most valuable life lessons we can learn from this surfer quote is to never give up. We know that standing up on that surfboard is going to give us a thrill like nothing before. We also know we are going to wipe out. Yes, even the great Mr. Slater wipes out from time to time.
It is important to never give up because it shows that you believe in yourself and the process of learning. Not giving up shows you that you can accomplish anything. Failure is just a way of showing you a different way to accomplish your goals.
Teaches work ethic
When you change your mindset on failure, you change the way you think about yourself, your life, and your outcomes. Failure is going to show you different more creative ways to accomplish your goals. Failure is also going to test your work ethic by motivating you to finish your tasks. It just might not be the way you originally planned.
Teaches to keep an open mind
How many times over the years have you tried to do something and failed? If you are like me, it is too many to count. However, these failures have taught me to keep an open mind because I now know that just because I failed, does not mean that the task or goal is dead. What it means is that I need to look at the outcome differently. My original plan may not have worked, but with an open mind to new ways of thinking, we will accomplish what we set out to do.
Teaches us to finish what we started
Here is a lesson that I have learned from my many years of failure. Failure does not mean that you are done. In fact, failure often means you are just getting started.
Personal story alert. Over the years it has been a goal of mine to build a clothing brand that gives back to the community. I have tried in the past through other brands. Each time I have failed or wiped out because of various reasons. Designers fail to deliver quality designs, printing patterns, increasing-price, etc.
Each time, I would reflect on the events and take the good things that we did and apply them to a new venture. So, here we are with Hawaiian Island Clothing, looking to build a brand that gives back. We have hit some bumps in the road, but we are growing, and doing great things. Failure has taught me how to keep going and finish what I started. Hawaiian Island Clothing is an example of this.
So, just because you fail, does not mean you are done. Finish what you start.
Teaches us how to get back up
Here is something that we all know to be true. Life is going to kick us in the face and we are going to get back up. When you change your outlook on failure, you learn to dust off your pants and get back up, no matter what. Failure teaches us that yes, we got knocked down, but we also get to take another shot.
It is okay to take a break and reflect on your actions and missteps. It is not okay to give up. So, when you wipe out, get up and get back on your board. It is the only way you are going to catch that epic wave.
Sets your course
Whenever you start something you are going to have to choose a path, set a plan. Build a strategy. As many times as I have set a plan in place, it has failed me. This can be a dream vacation to the Hawaiian Islands or learning to shred the Banzai Pipeline.
The great thing about failure is that when we fail, we are set on a new course and take a step in the right direction. It might not have been the direction that we originally planned, but is it a path closer to the ultimate goal. So, fail fast and fail often, just keep an open mind and keep moving forward. Wiping out will set you on the right course.
Failure is the best teacher
Over the years I have had great teachers, but the best teacher and the teacher that has never given up on me is a failure. My experience has shown that you can read, study, listen to lectures, subscribe to podcasts, but until you get out there and do it, you never know what you are going to get. When you take the lesson you learned from failure, you create skills that are going to last a lifetime.
Learn to face your fears
The more you fail, the more you are willing to face your fears. Over the years I have talked to many people that never get started living their dream because of fear. They have the fear of failure, the fear of financial loss, the fear of insert excuse here. The reality is that the more you fail, the easier it is to face your fears because you are moving in the right direction. Remember, success and failure are related for a reason. I know I have said this before, but failure is not a bad thing. Get out there and ride the wave of life.
Commit to your purpose
Over the last few months, we have talked about living a purpose-driven life. When we fail and we learn, we are able to recommit to our true purpose, or further define what our purpose really is. Here at Hawaiian Island Clothing, we started as a clothing company that created great Hawaiian vacation-themed t-shirts. We soon realized that this was not our purpose. Yes, we think t-shirts and Hawaii are awesome, but our purpose was bigger. Our purpose was to create a brand that motivates and helps people live a better life. Live the life of Aloha. Our failures over time have helped define the purpose and create a brand that we are proud of.
Builds a creative mind
This is one of my favorite lessons on life about failure. When you fail, you find a new way to accomplish your goal. This inspires so many people to find new ways and better, more creative ways to solve problems. The ability to think differently can have a huge impact on your next chapter of life. Remember, there is always a way, you just need to think about it differently.
Ask for help
When I think about asking for help, I get a little knot in my stomach. I am not a big fan of asking others for help, that is just me. But over the years, I have found that many people have failed and what to share their experience with you. Make the mistakes and share them with others. Become the teacher that helps and shares their experiences. So, when you fail, ask others for help. There are many people that have been there, done that. Asking for help is not a bad thing. I am mostly looking at the dudes here and in the mirror.
Turn knowledge to wisdom
As a marketing professional, I went to college and gained knowledge. I studied tons of marketing books, learned all the cool industry lingo, and spent a lot of time gaining knowledge.
I then had to head out into the real world. I had to get a job, yeah I know scary. I had the knowledge but did not have the wisdom to truly create marketing campaigns that resonate with people. I started to gain marketing wisdom when I started my marketing agency. I failed over and over. However, each failure led to a breakthrough. These failures turned my knowledge into wisdom. Now, I am not saying I am the best marketer out there, but I continue to build knowledge in my field. I now want to use this wisdom to help others through Hawaiian Island Clothing.
Is failure really the mother of success? I hope that you are starting to see why the surfer quote, “wiping out is an underappreciated skill” is so important. So, yes success and failure are related. I hope that you are really starting to take my challenge seriously. In order to live the Aloha life, you must embrace failure.
Don’t be afraid of failure
Okay, we have just about beat-up why success and failure are related. We are understanding that in order to succeed, you need to embrace failure. Failure is not something we should be afraid of. Remember, there is nothing wrong with wiping out as long as we have the right mindset. As long as you get back up and learn a lesson or two. In this next section, I want to chat about a few reasons why we should not be afraid of failure.
The last time checked, we are all human and it is okay to make mistakes. Don’t be afraid to get out there and make a mistake or two. It is part of the process of life.
The spirit of Aloha helps us understand patience and perseverance. If I had to be honest, this Aloha meaning is one of my favorites because it teaches us that the things we want to achieve take time. Nothing worthwhile happens overnight. If we are going to persevere, we need to learn from our failures and stay patient with the process.
Here are some of the things I have done in the past to overcome failure and move on. There are plenty of other things you can do to overcome failure, but these have worked for me.
When you fail, own up to it. It is normal to fail and failure is okay. I am giving you permission to fail. It is only a true failure when we give up. Accept failure, but never ever give up.
Learn from failure
Accepting failure can be hard. I get it. I am as stubborn as the next guy. I am going to let you in on a little secret that I have to overcome failure. When I fail or wipe out, I do not consider it a failure. I consider it a lesson. If you are learning, you are really not failing. At least in my eyes.
Remember, failure is not final
One last point on failure and then we will wrap up. Failure is not final. Failure is a step in the right direction, not the final outcome. I know that I am going to fail now and in the future. I know that I am going to make mistakes. Whenever I start something new, I try to fail early because the sooner I fail, the sooner I can move in the right direction.
Even when things are going well and I finally figured it out. I continue to push the envelope to become the very best. This has become my mentality. I embrace failure because I know it is not final, it is only a step in the right direction or a readjustment along my path.
So, keep trying, keep failing, and come out a better person on the other side. Embrace failure, do not fear failure.
Conclusion – You can have success after failure
Now that I am nearly 40, I have failed many times in my life. I have been fired from jobs, I have tried to build businesses that failed, etc, etc. I know that this is not my final outcome, this is only a step in the right direction and a step in the right direction.
If I never failed, I would not have started Hawaiian Island Clothing. I would not have found something that I love doing. I would not have found a way to help kids in need while creating awesome t-shirts. Through my failures, I have found a new purpose and something that I love.
The Hawaiian proverb, “Kahuna nui hale kealohalani makua” means to love yourself and remember, over the course of your life, you are going to fail. The difference in turning your failures into success is your mindset. It is normal to fail. It is normal to fall short of your goals and dreams. However, it is not normal to fail and give up. Change your perception of failure from a negative to a positive. The best wave of your life is out there. Failure is not final, it is a step in the right direction.
Thanks for reading. Make sure to grab your surfer quote t-shirt. 51% of our profits are donated to help feed kids in need.