– Henry Ward Beecher
What doesn’t Work
The way that Thomas Edison looked at his many failures to make a lasting light bulb was that he had discovered thousands of ways that didn’t work. That’s a half-glass-full philosophy, and it served him well. His persistence paid off and he finally invented a light bulb that could be commercially used. If not for all these failures, he wouldn’t have found success.
Experience as a Teacher
Who is a better teacher than experience? We find out from experience what doesn’t work, so our failures are actually helping us to find ways that don’t’ work, like Edison, until we find a way that does work. I have learned more from defeat and disappointment than I ever did when things are going well. How about you? Do you find success often comes after your greatest disappointment?
You can take disappointments much better if you can look at disappointments as God-appointments for something better. When I was a young Christian, I couldn’t understand why all of my family and friends weren’t saved. They thought I was brain-washed, but it was only obvious to me later when I realized that it is God Who adds to the church and not us (Acts 2:47). The Apostle Paul reminds us (and me) that “He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor” (1st Cor 3:8) so, “neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth” (1st Cor 3:7).
Mr. Beecher is so right in saying that “Our best successes often come after our greatest disappointments.” If you’ve lived long enough, you already know that missteps become footsteps that lead to success.