FAILURE: The 3 Ingredients to making falling on your ass a beautiful thing

1. nicole richie - swear.gif

Picking your ass up from a pool of your own tears…

I worked my ass off in my 20’s. I opened a business at 19 and grew that business into a success over the course of a decade. After 10 years in business, it took a mere year and a half to literally lose everything. All my money, my retirement accounts, my business, my friends, a business partner of 10 years and a husband. I walked away with:

  • a great little boy

  • debt worthy of bankruptcy status

  • a life in a new city with minimal connections

  • a world of frustrations

  • opportunity for a new start

There’s a defining moment after shit hits the fan. A moment you are forced to face one major fact. You FAILED. You’re forced to stare failure in the face take a hard look in it’s eye and evaluate what the hell just happened.

Let’s define the words:




  1. lack of success

  2. omission of expected or required actions



  1. to be unsuccessful about achieving one’s goal

  2. neglect to do something



  1. the accomplishment of an aim or purpose

I know what you’re thinking, “Failure, shit man, sounds harsh”. It’s not harsh. In it’s simplest form, failure is a term used when someone or something did not do the job it set out to do. If something didn’t work as intended, it failed. Simply, stating a fact is not an insult, it’s a statement of truth.

Failure in its simplicity is only achieved when you stop reaching for your goal. Noah Bradley summed this up like a badass. He suggests each step we take to reach a goal is a stepping stone. If your steps don’t work you redirect your attention with a better understanding of how to keep going. By definition those steps did fail.


I pose the question:

Why is failing a bad thing?

Generally, we learn as small children, “the truth will set you free”. So why does the connotation of failure reside in the realm of negativity? Maybe it’s a “you can’t handle the truth” issue, but that is for different day and entirely different story.

Failure and success go hand in hand. I have never understood how these two words are antonyms. I believe they coexist, you can not have one without the other. Success isn’t something that strikes down on you like a lightning bolt. Sure, for some it comes easier than others. Environmental factors such as family money, and business or personal connections can be catalysts. These are factors one can run with or wear a hole in like an old pair of socks. True success lies in an attitude and an honesty within yourself. The belief that you are and will be the best you yourself can be. You must have the ability to look deep inside. You then must ask yourself the right questions. Ponder your answers and most important own the ability to answer and execute on your answers.

Failure then is a key ingredient to success. Measuring one failure against another is impossible. Yes, some cost more money, do more damage, but the premise is universally the same. You tried something and it didn’t pan out. You went ahead and dove deep into something and it ended up handing your ass to you on a silver platter.

Do you know that moment when the world seems to be crashing in on you, blinding you from reality? That moment when for a minute, you begin to think about all the factors which actually matter. I know that moment all too well. I speak from experience. I once wanted to punch everyone in the face that told me, “everything happens for a reason”. How dare you act as though you know what is happening in my head. Did you actually believe making a happy go lucky comment was going to magically make me feel better?

My answer was always as sarcastic as my personality, “yep, you are right. When the time comes to see that reason I am sure I will have kicked it’s ass already.” Yet, I didn’t live in that state for long. I pulled my head out of my ass and realized on some sick level they were all correct and I did in fact believe the same thing.

Finding the reasons things happen takes personal insight and direct responsibility for your part. When you fail at something, on any level, take a step back to look at the situation as a whole. Analyzing from a perspective other than your own, is the only way to recognize the truth. This provides you answers to the self pity driven questions dancing in your mind.

“We show that, in certain circumstances, when we get enough information to contextualise the choices, then our brain essentially reaches towards the reinforcement mechanism, instead of turning toward avoidance,” said Giorgio Coricelli, a USC Dornsife associate professor.

3 ingredients that make falling on your ass beautiful

Risk: a situation involving exposure to danger.

Working hard with your best intentions and brain power forward still doesn’t prevent failure. The more you risk the higher your failure rate, the greater the reward. Throwing your glass half full in failures face defines your future.

Acceptance: In human psychology is a person’s assent to the reality of a situation, recognizing a process or condition (often a negative or uncomfortable situation) without attempting to change it, protest.

“The first step is acceptance”.

Yes, in more ways than one. Accept that failure happened. Get the hell over it. The longer you wallow the long it will take to move on. Evaluate why the failure occurred. If you can’t answer why then you haven’t asked yourself why for real. This takes inner self awareness and insight. Find that. It’s the only thing that will allow you to move on.

Execution: the act or process of executing : performance

Taking risks and accepting failures is not beneficial if there is not execution of a new strategy. You’re a badass and you know it, act like it.

In conclusion our brain needs to fail. It is essential for our development as human beings. So, gift failure a shot of whiskey, then congratulate it’s stellar attempt to hold you down.