Benefits of Failure

So what exactly do I mean when I state Benefits of Failure? Well, I believe that every human being was born to achieve. Yet many times I have met people who believed that they were talentless, unintelligent or that their lives were ruined by adversity and ultimately failure.

Failure is inevitable to every one of us. Whether it be personal, in relationships or in business. Everyone fails at something. No one is perfect. It is also failure that will drag us kicking and screaming out of our comfort zones. It will take us on a journey deep within ourselves and that is where we will find our strengths. This is where we find the Benefits of Failure.

It is also where we will find our greatness.

If you are one of those who doubt yourself then please take a few minutes to read the following stories of some amazing people.

Abraham Lincoln
On the 12 February 1809 Abraham Lincoln was born. He went on to become one of the greatest Presidents in the USA. His life is a great example of why we should never accept defeat or failure. No matter how many times we have to face them.

  • His parent were poor pioneers
  • He was largely self-educated
  • He qualified as a lawyer but lost his job in 1832
  • Defeated for legislature, 1832
  • Borrowed money to start a business, but failed, 1833
  • Elected to legislature, 1834
  • Was engaged to be married but his fiancé (Ann Rutledge) died, 1835
  • Had a nervous breakdown and was in bed for 6 months, 1836
  • Defeated for Speaker, 1838
  • Defeated for nomination for Congress, 1843
  • Elected to Congress, 1846
  • Lost renomination, 1848
  • Rejected for Land Officer, 1849
  • Defeated for Senate, 1854
  • Defeated for nomination for Vice-President, 1856
  • Again defeated for Senate, 1858
  • Elected President, 1860
  • He ended slavery in America
  • on April 15, 1865, Abraham Lincoln died aged 56

    Even if you are not interested in his life story just look at his personal and career defeats. This great man bounced back every time. He got back up every time life kicked him down.

    Helen Keller
    Imagine for one horrible moment that you lost your sight and your hearing. In other words you were living in a world of darkness and silence. I would say that most of us would think that life wouldn’t be worth living. Well this happened to Helen Keller when she was 18 months old.

  • Born 27 June 1880
  • Fell ill with a mystery fever 1882
  • She lost her sight and hearing when 18 months old.
  • Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, was an expert on the problems of deaf children and recommended her parents to the Perkins Institute and Massachusetts Asylum for the Blind.
  • They in turn recommended a former blind pupil who had regained her sight. Anne Sullivan.
  • In 1887 Anne meets Helen and starts teaching her to finger spell by spelling the words on the back of Helen’s hand using touch.
  • A strong bond grew between them.
  • Anne took Helen from finger spelling to raised letters to Braille.
  • Helen soon became famous because her learning was far in advance of anyone who had gone before.
  • By 1890 she had met President Cleveland in the White House and was living in the Perkins Institute.
  • Mary Swift Lamson tried to teach Helen how to speak but her vocal chords had not evolved properly.
  • Anne Sullivan could still understand what she was saying by the sounds she made.
  • Helen enrolled at The Cambridge School for Young Ladies in 1896. The first deafblind person to enroll at a college of higher education.
  • Helen wrote ‘The Story of my Life’ in 1903.
  • In 1904 she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
  • In 1913 she wrote ‘Out of the dark’.
  • From 1913 to 1918 Anne and Helen travelled the country giving lectures to enthralled audiences.
  • ‘Deliverance’ a film made in Hollywood about Helen’s life came out in 1918.
  • From 1918 Helen made extensive fundraising tours for the blind.
  • Helen’s mother Kate dies in 1921.
  • Helen meets King George and Queen Mary at Buckingham Palace.
  • Anne Sullivan dies in 1936.
  • Polly Thomson takes over from Anne and her and Helen travel the world fundraising for the blind.
  • Helen loses her house and possessions to a fire.
  • 1n 1953 a film ‘The Unconquered’ was made about Helen’s life and won an Academy Award.
  • Helen publishes her book ‘Teacher’ in 1955. Polly dies 1960.
  • The film ‘The Miracle Worker’ about Anne Sullivan’s work with Helen was made.
  • In 1964 Helen was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Lyndon Johnson.
  • In 1965 she was elected to the Women’s Hall of Fame at the New York World’s Fair.
  • On the 1 June 1968 Helen dies peacefully in her sleep.
  • One of her famous quotes - ‘The world may be full of suffering but it is also full of overcoming'.

    I believe the story of Helen Keller proves beyond all doubt one important thing. That the human spirit is the most powerful force in the known universe. Why? Because it has the power to overcome great problems, challenges and create positive change.

    Lance Armstrong

    Another story of overcoming adversity is Lance Armstrong. The famous cyclist.

  • Contracted Testicular cancer
  • Spread to lungs and brain
  • He beat it
  • Went on to win the Tour de France 7 seven times consecutively
  • Retired unbeaten in 2005 and came back 2009 to finish 3rd place in the Tour de France.
  • Created the yellow ‘Livestrong’ rubber wristband for his cancer charity
  • His rubber band idea started others especially in the United Kingdom

  • blue for anti-bullying
  • white for make poverty history
  • black and white for anti-racism
  • pink for breast cancer
  • red for The Heart Foundation

    Lance Armstrong is a great role model for people with cancer and people in sport.

    J K Rowling

    From being on government benefit with a young baby to amassing £500 million in 2009. All because she didn’t give up when publishers rejected her book Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

  • Parents were impoverished
  • Came out of a bad marriage with young baby in the mid nineties
  • Lived in a small flat in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • She was living on government benefit £78 per week
  • Her 'failure' gave her the ‘freedom and drive’ to achieve through her writing
  • Wrote first book Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone but it was turned down by most publishers
  • Determination, resilience and persistence kept her going book eventually published by Bloomsbury Publishing.
  • Does a great deal for charity. esp single parent charities.

    She is a great role model to show that you don’t need money to succeed in life

    You can hear her wonderfully inspiring speech she gave to Harvard University students in 2008 below. She mentions 'the benefits of failure'.

    J.K. Rowling Speaks at Harvard Commencement from Harvard Magazine on Vimeo.


    If you have a story of an amazing human being then please do send it to us by completing the boxes below. Many thanks.

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