Change Your Perception, Change Your Life


“Sticks and stones might break my bones, but words can never harm me.”

Who heard that growing up? Well, what a load of tosh. Words have the power to shape and shift your destiny. Have the power to help or harm. Just look at the speeches given by people like Martin Luther King Jr or Adolf Hitler for examples of each.

Make no mistake. Words are powerful.

Words can shape our very existence and how we operate and feel about the world.

Recently I heard an interpretation of a word that really resonated with me and I want to share it with you.

It was the word FAIL.

So many of us have a fear of failure (including me), not fully accepting that to fail is really the only way to long term success. You have to fail more that most, in order to succeed where others don’t.

Do you consider Babe Ruth – the American baseball legend –  a failure? He had more home runs than anyone, yet also struck out more than anyone too.

Yet we might know this intellectually, but we still have a hard time with failing. And so when I heard this phrase, it really struck a chord with me and I thought I’d share it here with you as it might change your perception of the word FAIL and hence make you more up for “failing”.

What if instead of spelling fail – FAIL, you spell it F.A.I.L. and you make it an acronym.

First Attempt In Learning

That’s all it means to FAIL – it’s you’re First Attempt In Learning something. Or, if you’ve done it many times before, maybe you prefer Following Attempt In Learning.

That’s all it means to FAIL. Just that you are learning how to do something. Much like when Thomas Edison is quoted to have responded when asked if he was discouraged having “failed” 10,000 time to invent the incandescent lightbulb. And he said: “Why no. I’ve just succeeded in finding 10,000 ways how not to make a lightbulb.”

Edison perceived the “failing” as learning. Bill Gates when interviewed once and the interviewer was trying to bring up the various “failures” Microsoft had had over the years, really didn’t acknowledge them at all. He was truly confused, as he really didn’t consider them failures, but “learning experiences”.

That’s all failing is. A learning experience.

Remember that. Whether you “fail” at a presentation at work, “fail” to get the account, “fail” to chat up the girl/guy, “fail” at being a parent. Whatever.


FAIL = First Attempt In Learning

That’s all.

What do you think? How does this make you think of failure as something different?

Comment below and remember to share.

What do you think?