Your Weekly Reminder: Success Is Not About What You Have, But How You Live


You don't actually experience success by living a life where things only go well.

Winston Churchill was known, if anything, for his persistence. He lived an extremely monumental life by most accounts, but it wasn't without adversity throughout its entirety, including failing (twice!) the admission exam for the British Royal Military College and being taken prisoner while on assignment as a war correspondent in South Africa. That's not to mention those early years of Hitler's rise where he persistently but ineffectively warned about the threat of a rising Adolf Hitler in Germany.

However, to this day, he's known for his leadership as Britain's prime minister during World War II and his careful maneuvering to create the Allied powers in the early days of the war.

Churchill is quoted to this day for his amazing insights. You may recall some:

"If you're going through hell, keep going!"

"The price of greatness is responsibility."

"Difficulties mastered are opportunities won."

And, of course, the rather curt, "I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly."

For author Melanie Curtin, one particular Churchill quote stands out for its insight: "Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm."

Failure feels bad, Curtin writes, but living in a protected bubble feels numb, and that's worse.

Real success is resilience, not some outside achievement. Practically speaking, this means not spending weeks, months or years beating yourself up for a mistake you made, a bankruptcy you went through, a test you failed, or a startup that crashed and burned.

Rather, it's experiencing that event, then moving on--cheerfully. Because the brilliant part of adding 'with no loss of enthusiasm' is that it intimates a certain level of jauntiness. It acknowledges that you will want to take life too seriously ... and that you shouldn't. It suggest you adopt the attitude of, 'OK, that didn't work out. Onward!'

How quickly and enthusiastically have you bounced back from failure? What did you learn from it?