Yesterday we left off with Eric having somehow traveled ten years into the future (aging 10 years along the way) and meeting up with his alter ego.
Being that this book is fiction, it takes the first nine chapters just to set up the plot and character sketches. to Today we finally get into the meat of the book — the lessons which you’ve been waiting for that deal with your own personal development. (After all, this is the 52 Personal Development Books in 52 Weeks series, and not 52 Fiction Books… series. So let’s get on with it…
At the start of chapter ten, we find our intrepid time traveler Eric meeting up with his 10-year-into-the-future successful self in a restaurant. There, they both discover that their lives had seemed to run in perfect parallel up to their college years, when their paths diverged. It appeared that while working in retail sales, the successful version of Eric had a life-changing event.
In a chance encounter with a district manager, Eric was told, “your fear of hearing the word ‘no’ is the only thing standing between you and greatness.” For the successful Eric, this was life changing. He came to the realization that instead of following the paradigm which most people seem to follow — seeing ourselves as standing in the middle of success and failure, and that we should do everything in our power to move toward success and away from failure — he learned that failure is a necessary step on the way toward success.
A great majority of us, when confronted with failure, tend to turn around and go the other way. We don’t see that just beyond the point of failure lies success, waiting with open arms. The willingness to fail is what “set[s] successful people apart from the masses.”
The Five Failure Levels
Continuing on with the lesson about failure, Eric further learns that there are actually multiple levels of failure: (I found this to be one of the most insightful parts of the book)
- Level 1 – The Ability to Fail: Everyone of us has the ability to fail. However, what keeps people at this level is the intense desire to avoid failure at all costs. Very few people, who stay at this level, accomplish much in life.
- Level 2 – The Willingness to Fail: People who belong to this level have come to accept failure as necessary in one’s path to success. A person at this level will tolerate failure just long enough until they get what they need in life.
- Level 3 – The Wantingness to Fail: Here’s where a shift begins to happen. Wanting to fail goes beyond mere acceptance and tolerance of failure. Instead, this desire to fail comes about because you believe that personal or financial growth will be the direct result. When you can get to the point where failure becomes fun, real success will begin to happen.
- Level 4 – Failing BIGGER and Faster: If you believe that failure is good and failing faster is better, than you’ve arrived at this level. Moreover, if you plan to fail often, why not go for those big goals that are worth it!
- Level 5 – Failing Exponentially: This level is set aside for those who can motivate and move others to action. They teach others the principles of failing often and big, thereby multiplying their efforts.
Go for No! is the tenth of fifty-two books in Life Training – Online’s series 52 Personal Development Books in 52 Weeks.