Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Today's fortune: July 26, 2011

Today's fortune: Failure is the mother of success.

I'll be honest, I'd never heard this phrase before, but apparently it's pretty common, especially as a piece of Chinese wisdom (perfect for a fortune cookie).

When I first saw today's fortune, my first thought was that it reminded me of another "Mother" phrase: Necessity is the mother of invention. Do you think Necessity and Failure get together and have play dates for their children, Lil' Invention and Baby Success?

This fortune makes sense. There is no such thing as an overnight success. Donald Trump declared bankruptcy and had countless failures before he became a wealthy buffoon. Abraham Lincoln failed at lots of things (although not as many as people think, according to Snopes) before the presidency. "Harry Potter" creator J.K. Rowling famously received 12 rejection letters before finding a publisher for the series of books that apparently everybody else in the entire world has read except me. (I have a very smart young cousin named Ian who has read every book in the series multiple times and, the last time I checked in, he was re-reading the books again... this time in French.)

Well hell, I've got Rowling beat. I've written books, and I've received waaaay more than twelve rejection letters!

Failure leading to success is a proven formula. You can apply it to anything. Try something, and it doesn't work. That's failure. Try it again. And again. And again, until it by-god works. That's success. And it's what makes the world go 'round.

I could try to predict my own success by listing off my multitude of failures here, but I don't think the internet is big enough to hold them all.

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