Failure Stinks! Failure is D.R.A.M.A. – Dreadful, Ruinous, Awful, Mean, Atrocious. Failure should be avoided at all costs! That’s a MYTH that needs to be busted. Contrary to what most people think …FAILURE IS NOT AN “F” WORD!

In my book A First Serving of Milk & Cookies For Success, I devote eight pages – nearly 3,000 words – to this topic. Why? Because as Brian Tracy points out, “The fear of failure is one of the most powerful inhibitors of all human actions.”

Some of you might not know who Brian Tracy is… but most have heard of Jack Lemmon: “Fear of failure will absolutely destroy you. You walk down the middle of the street. You never take any chances. You never go down the little side streets. You look at them and say, ‘That looks interesting. But I don’t know that street. I’ll stay right here and just walk this straight line.’”

One of my main reasons for writing that “Milk & Cookies” book was to kick people in the seat of their pants – or skirt as the case may be – so that they TAKE ACTION, so that they just DO ‘IT’! (whatever ‘it’ is that their heart desires to do). And all other things considered, the fear of failure – being rejected, made fun of, losing face, their money, and other people’s money – might very well be their number one reason, or excuse, for not going ahead with ‘it’.

My goal in those eight pages in the book (and in this article) is to sell you on the idea that failure is NOT an “F” word. For that purpose, I’ve enlisted the help of some celebrities and luminaries. Like best-selling author Robert J. Ringer who agrees wholeheartedly with me: “Failure doesn’t mean that you’re a loser, just that you’re not afraid to stick your neck out and take your licks, and that you haven’t quite made it, YET.”

Anthony Robbins – in his book Awaken the Giant Within – said it better than anybody I know. Here’s what he wrote, in a nutshell: “One of the strongest beliefs shared by all successful people is that there is no such thing as failure. There are only results.”

No Failure – only RESULTS!

Some years ago, the Gallup Organization completed an extensive survey involving 1,500 very successful North-Americans in which they asked them how they accounted for their achievements. The reason given by most of them was that they thought that they had higher than average levels of common sense.

One of their definitions of common sense was the ability to have experiences and to learn from those experiences, particularly the negative ones – a.k.a. failure to unsuccessful people – and to apply what they had learned to subsequent undertakings. As a result, they said they became progressively better and eventually, leaders in their chosen field.

And that applies to ANY field of endeavor – be it entertainment, the cookie business, or literature:

“I’ve always grown from my challenges, from the things that didn’t work out. That’s when I’ve really learned.” Carol Burnett

“Humans aren’t perfect. We all make mistakes. We’re all in a state of training, a state of becoming – becoming a better worker, a better student, a better parent, a better spouse, a better friend, or a better person. When we stop making mistakes, we stop learning and growing. Mistakes are the process through which we in turn create success. Mistakes create the foundation for our life. That foundation is experience, which in turn creates the light that leads us into our future. That light is called wisdom.”
Wally Amos (aka Famous Amos – once the king of the chocolate chips cookies)

“If you write a hundred short stories and they’re all bad, that doesn’t mean you’ve failed. You fail only if you stop writing. I’ve written over two thousand short stories; I’ve only published about three hundred and I feel I’m still learning. Any man who keeps working is not a failure. He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old- fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he’ll eventually make some kind of career for himself as a writer.” Ray Bradbury (best-selling author many times over)

And from Mr. Bradbury, one of the key quotations displayed above my computer that are like guideposts to me in my life – personally, and professionally:

“First you jump off the cliff, and you build your wings on the way down.”

You know, in many sports (like baseball, football, hockey, soccer, and particularly basketball) all you need to do to win is to score just ONE more point than the other team. You have to ‘succeed’ (score a point) just one more time than you ‘fail’ (allowing your opponents to score). Like our local basketball team did on December 12th 1999 when they played a team visiting from Toronto, and ‘failed’ to the tune of 135 points. However, they won the game because after all was said and done, they had ‘succeeded’ in that they scored 136 points! And many times, it’s that way in life too, as this Japanese proverb states in the second sentence of my closing quotation:

“There are no ‘failures’! The secret to success is to get up ONE more time than you fall down.”

I wish you ALL the personal and professional success you desire and deserve. (Just remember that…What you “desire” is a function of your ambition, what you “deserve” is a function of your ACTIONS…Are the two aligned?)

BE the very best you can be,
DO all you can possibly do,
GET everything you want to have,
GIVE as much of it as you can give.

Daniel G. St-Jean
Aka The Sparkplug of Personal Development
Author of 7 Simple Keys To Spark Change In Your Life Now!
Co-author of 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life – volume 2

Author's Bio: 

Daniel G. St-Jean’s mission is to instruct and ignite the people who are just thinking about making significant changes in their life, and to support and encourage those who are in the midst of making such changes so they get to live the life they really want to live. Visit his web site at, read his Blog at and subscribe to his eSparks at