39 Failures and One Big Success

successThree individuals set out to find a rust prevention solution for use in the aerospace industry. They tried and tried to get the water displacing formula working, but failed.  39 times did they try. They finally succeeded on their 40th attempt. And, that 40th attempt saw the birth of WD-40, (Water Displacement – 40th attempt) – the miracle liquid that is found in 4 out of 5 American households to fix everything from sweaky hinges to removing a Python that had coiled in a bus (it is true)!

The courage and persistence of three individuals made a difference. WD-40 sells more than a million cans a week. From 3 employees they have grown to 350 employees and the product is sold in 176 countries.  Commercial aspects aside, trials and persistence led to a solution that has a multi-purpose use to the world.

In our lives, we are faced with tribulations all the time. In the midst of adversity, when the winds are blowing in the other direction, should we give up sailing the boat of life? Taking the low road often seems to be an easy way out. A little persistence and you can take the high road. Here are 4 powerful truths that life teaches us:

Success is in your definition

The definition of success is individual and context dependent. Success has to be defined on a daily basis.Tag your outcomes into two categories – Success and Learning; There is no tag called failure in your life. Any outcome that does not meet your definition of success is a learning.

More of the same is sometimes called Insanity

I don’t know about you, but I have made the mistake of doing more of the same and expecting a different result. Only, when I step back and view the situation from a different perspective, do I succeed in gaining a favorable outcome. When you are too deep in the weeds doing something, you lose sight of the bigger picture.

We stop listening

Listening and filtering choices makes a difference. Just because you are a listener does not mean you need to adapt to everything that has been said. The reality is that people more often than not speak out of their own judgment. The trick is for us to remain non-judgmental during listening. This is not easy. Staying on track, keeping goal in focus helps. Taking in the good helps.

Take a detour, even better say NO

Building upon the learning we gain in our trials, we can take a different direction. Knowing when to take a detour or put a momentary pause becomes paramount. I go through this all the time – succeed on some, learn on others. Each year, I add on a couple of activities that I find fulfilling for a blissful life. This year, I was tempted to add on a cultural activity that would require a significant commitment and take away my focus from other things on my list – learning to sing, getting started with photography and of course my life’s mission of writing and spreading the message. I had to make a choice and say No.

To a better week for you, better life and to your success. Let us celebrate.

How do you view success? Leave a comment.

(As a bonus – here is a link to some of the wonderful uses of WD-40 – from taking out stuck rings, to taking out doggie doo- http://www.wisebread.com/almost-2000-uses-for-a-can-of-wd-40-1)
With Bliss

Mahesh

Photo Copyright – Public Domain

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