This short article is based on the motivational talk SUCCESS VERSUS FAILURE – HOW DOES IT WORK? by Réal Laplaine
What possible value could there be in discussing ‘failure’ when all we are really interested in is SUCCESS? The logic is simple; if we understand more about the beast which shadows our dreams like a ghost, then we can better avoid it and champion our goals.
If one takes a completely ‘outside the box’ view of any individual person, one sees three essential elements which go together to form this composite called man. Obviously there is the body, then there is the mind and then there is YOU. A lot of people confuse these three elements and to understand the mechanics of success and failure, it is a good idea to also understand what one is dealing with.
This is not a talk in religion or spirituality and just because I mention this third element called YOU, does not mean that I am going to go off on a tangent about spirituality or the soul. The YOU element is something that I leave up to the individual person to establish for themselves, but trust me, YOU are not your body and you are NOT your mind.
The mind is a servo-mechanism, it services YOU. It is merely the collection of all your experiences in your life. And like a never-ending movie film, it records with complete accuracy everything that you have experienced, seen, touched, tasted, felt and even the conclusions and decisions you made about these things. It’s all there in this box called the mind.
Some people are affected by the mind more than others. Some people use it analytically, while others tend to let it run with wild abandon, making no distinction between their mind and their causative analytical thoughts and so this mind can take over and become another seemingly different personality in operation.
The way the mind thinks, or rather, the way it is structured, is based very much on pluses and minuses, like a battery or an electronic terminal where minus electronic charges are attracted to plus charges, or vice versa. All those pictures and memories and thoughts stored up in that little box are composed of the same basic stuff that you see around you every day; tiny atomic particles, so small that they cannot be seen and yet, as a composite, they can have a effect on you. Did you know that the mind can actually be measured? It has molecular weight and it reads on electronic instruments? So it is a very tangible thing, this mind – and it can have tangible influence on its owner.
To better understand the mind, in a very simplistic approach, think of it as pluses and minuses, as in electromagnetic laws.
Love and hate, are like a coin; one side can be ultimate love and then if that love is shunned it can turn into hate. But the hate is based on the power of the love and not the reverse. There cannot be hate unless there is love. Of course, don’t tell that to a biased or prejudiced person as that would shock them to the core to know that before they adopted their negative views of their fellow humanity, that they in fact actually had affinity for all people. People are not born with hate – hate is an acquired taste.
Good and bad is another polarity. People are basically good, even the criminals; and any bad aspects are anchored to the good side of them. But like a battery which has positive polarity on one end and negative on the other, they are inescapable from one another.
These polarities are not evenly balanced. That is, LOVE is so much stronger than hate, that you could fill a room with love and on the converse side, hate, would fit on the tip of one’s finger. Similarly, good outweighs bad by relative tons compared to a mere ounce, respectively speaking. The negative aspects of anything are always anchored in the positive which are most prominent and are the most powerful.
Success and failure are the same. The power of success, in our minds, is fuelled by the very essence of who we are which is natively SUCCESSFUL, powerful and survival oriented. No one is born with a will to die or a desire to self-destruct, but these impulses can be developed, certainly if one puts attention to them.
So success is very powerful stuff. On the reverse side, the power of failure can seem large, but it is relatively small in comparison to success.
A terrible analogy, but useful anyhow, would be like driving a Jaguar down the street, when suddenly some mud splashes up on the windshield. The car could be likened to the POSITIVE side or success, whereas the mud would be negative. Wipe the mud away and you still have the car and you keep driving.
If you understand that, then succeeding becomes so much more a game of persistence and sticking to one’s goals and paying no attention to the mud. Because that is all it is – mud.
When one sets a goal or a dream, one can sometimes, or often times, find oneself suddenly thinking about the “what if?” aspect. What if I fail? What if I am not good enough? What if I don’t make it. If, maybe, worry, anxiety – fear of failure. These tend to kick in automatically, whether we like it or not.
Obviously, one does have to think-out the pluses and minuses of any objective. One has to know, strategically speaking, where one is headed and what obstacles one will encounter. That is called prediction and that’s good.
But when these negative thoughts come up, these other concerns, how much attention should you put on them?
Because they are not coming from you, they are coming from the mind which can sometimes be a self-serving entity which is more interested in its continued survival, than in yours.