5 Reasons Failure Is One Of The Key Ingredients Needed For Success
Devon Brown

5 Reasons Failure is a Key Ingredient for Success

Personal Growth & Entrepreneurship 6.5 Min. Read

Gettin' Jiggy With It - ?

na na na na na na na... na na na na na na ??

Gettin' Jiggy with it...?

You probably know that the person responsible for those song lyrics is none other than the legendary Will Smith. Sorry if I got the song stuck in your head – lol.

But did you know that Mr. Smith also has a really good video about "how failure is one of the key ingredients to success" that went viral a while back?

The video (I thinks it’s from his Instagram) does a good job of acting as the “icing on the cake” to the information I’ll be sharing with you in this article.

So tell you what…

I’ll share the video with you in just a second, but first, let’s have a little talk about what many people incorrectly think is the opposite of failure…


Defining Success...

Type the word "sucess" into Google and here’s the definition you’ll get…

Type the word "succeed" into Google and here’s the definition you’ll get…

Now to be honest, I’m not too crazy about these definitions.

These definitions tell us that success has to do with achievement of a desired result. But I can tell you plenty of times that I’ve “succeeded” even though I failed to achieve my desired result.

I’ve found peace and happiness in NOT getting what I wanted more times than I can count. And isn’t whether or not you’re happy and at peace a better definition of success?

Also, like you, I’ve experienced times when I’ve achieved my desired results only to realize that it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.

So, while Google and I have different definitions of success, let’s, for the purposes of this article, just go ahead and use the definitions that Google has provided.

Besides, if you ask the average person off the street, they’re likely to define success pretty close to what the dictionary/Google says it is… so we’ll just roll with that.

OK, so now that we’ve defined success as pretty much achieving a desired result (even though it’s not our favorite definition), the next question is…  

How Do We Make Success Happen?

In other words…

What ingredients do we need if we’re going to bake a “success cake”?

If a regular cake takes ingredients like eggs, flour, and sugar; then our success cake will need ingredients like clarity, focus, persistence, and failure.

Wait… failure???

Yup, you read that correctly.

Truth be told, failure is one of the key ingredients for success.

Failure is to success, what flour is to cake.

It’s THAT important.

But why?

Well, in order to understand WHY failure is such a key ingredient to the success process, we must first understand what failure brings to the table.

#1: Failure Creates "AH-HA!" Moments

AH-HA moments are a great gift.

Have you ever been going through something challenging, when all of a sudden, that giant light bulb that lives above your head suddenly goes off and you gain a perspective that you had never been able to see before?

That’s the "AH-HA" moment working its magic.

Suddenly, something clicks and you are finally able to take your new realization and move forward with a new plan toward reaching your goal. 

Without the experience of failure, you would’ve never told your brain to start working on an alternate solution to your problem.

Without the experience of failure, the light-bulb would never have had the opportunity to blind you with clarity as it did.

#2: Failure Keeps The Ego In Check

There is something to be said for staying humble. A lot, actually.

While the ego may have a role to play in the success formula, there is a thin line between healthy ego (confidence) and unhealthy ego (cocky). Rest assured that if you cross that line, failure will put that ego right back in its place.

We know that people can easily get cocky. Too many wins in a row and you start to think your shit doesn’t stink (trust me, it does). And without humility in your life, you lose important parts of your humanity (like the ability to be empathetic).

Too much ego isn’t sexy.

But you know what is sexy? Someone who is good… knows they’re good… but can still serve others with humility.

So if your ego starts to get a little too big for its britches, failure will be there to put it in check. And that’s a GOOD thing.

#3: Failure Creates Extraordinary Change

I’ve said it before; failure is a great tool for growth.... as long as you’re looking at it the right way.

Not only can failure boost your motivation and make you more determined, but it can also plant the seeds for new (and different) possibilities.

Failure can act as a road to despair, or as a springboard to growth… the point is to pay attention to your reaction, because what grows out of the initial failure is entirely up to you.

Use failure as an opportunity to grow. Adapt your plan to account for what you’ve learned. If not for the failure, there’d be no prompt to make such changes.

Think of if this way…

If, for example, you want your body to change… you MUST push it to the point of failure as often as possible.

That’s all working out is. Pushing your body to the point of failure so that it’s forced to make a change.

Push your body to the point of failure with enough consistency and frequency, and before you know it, you’re on the cover of one of those fitness magazines.

So, if you want extraordinary change (i.e. success), you might want to consider failing as much as possible, as quickly as possible.

#4: Failure Actually Puts You On The Path For GREATER Success

Follow me on this one for a second and give it some thought.

Think of any famous person you know (authors, filmmakers, entrepreneurs, athletes, musicians, etc..)

You know good and well that they didn't start out on top.

For the most part, they struggled and paid their dues to get where they are today.

But here’s the thing most people miss (pay close attention)...

It was FAILURE  that actually FORCED them to make a change;  thereby putting them on a path to even greater success/achievement!

Vera Wang, the famous fashion designer was once a figure skater. When she failed to make the U.S. Olympic figure skating team, she entered the fashion industry.

Milton Hershey, the guy responsible for the Hershey chocolate bar you ate last week, was fired from his apprenticeship with a printer. Then, he tried to start three different candy companies, all of which failed.

Amazon.com founder, and one of the richest men in the world, Jeff Bezos, was “Captain Failure”.  One of the most notable disappointments was an online auction site, which evolved into zShops, a brand that ultimately failed. Still, CEO Jeff Bezos would re-purpose the idea into what would eventually become the Amazon Marketplace.

Do you see my point. It was FAILURE that forced Vera Wang, Milton Hershey, and Jeff Bezos onto different paths. Paths that would not only lead them to greater success, but also change the world!

Like the world’s greatest success stories, you have to realize that you’re not going to just soar into the winner’s circle right out of the gate either. No one is. The PROCESS is what teaches you. The failures are what will give you the feedback you need to discover the right path. 

#5: Failure Raises You Adversity Quotient

You’ve heard of your “I.Q.”, right?

I.Q. stands for Intelligence Quotient and it measures your reasoning and problem-solving abilities.

But your A.Q is something different.

“A.Q.” stands for Adversity Quotient, and it measures the ability of a person to deal with adversities in his or her life.

In other words, it measures your resilience.  Many super-smart people will tell you that a person with a high A.Q. is a more likely candidate for success than a person with a high I.Q.

Tough skin is a necessity on the journey to success.

You’ve heard the saying it’s not about what happens to you, it’s about how you deal with what happens to you... right?

Well, the higher your Adversity Quotient, the better you can deal with failures and disappointments. The better you can deal with failures and disappointments, the more successful you’ll be.

That’s just a  fact.

Learning how to bounce back from failure is one of THE “must have” skills you’ll need to develop. And the only way to learn how to bounce back and deal with unexpected situations/challenges is to go through the experience.

Like Thomas Edison said when he was trying to figure out the light bulb:

“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”

So What Does This All Mean?

Well, it basically means that if you want to start succeeding, you better get busy failing.

As one of my millionaire friends likes to say:

“If I want to succeed at something, I just start failing forward as fast as possible!”

Failure is inevitable. And it’s also a gift.

Success is a PROCESS. And failure is a very necessary part of that process.

Just like your cake won’t bake without flour… success won’t happen without failure.

Failure isn’t to be feared - it’s to be learned from.

Remember… failing at something does not mean that YOU are a failure. It just means that you figured out one way that the thing you’re trying to do won’t work. And that means you’re one step closer to success.

Here is the Video I promised you.
Will Smith explaining how failure is a key ingredient to success...

Click Play To Watch

Looking for More Helpful Insights (aka "sexies")?

If you want to fail forward as fast as you can, you should join my Facebook group. It's filled with people who are learning to embrace failure as a stepping stone to success. We encourage each other, offer advice, and celebrate our wins together.

We learn how to throw sexy all over our lives. If you have no idea what I mean by that, check out the article below after joining the Facebook Group.

Read Next:  Just Throw Some Sexy On It (this concept changes everything!)

Leave a Comment:

Amy Moore says April 23, 2019

I enjoy your blogs because they are so practical and helpful. Thank you for sharing your insights, thoughts, and your perspective. I’m learning from you 😀 Thank you. I admire you and want to do similar.

waterfallmagazine.com says November 4, 2020

Good post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon on a daily basis.
It’s always exciting to read through articles from other authors and use a little something from their sites.

Valerie A. says January 22, 2021

We’ve all heard that failure is a stepping stone, but you really break it down here. Thanks, Devon!

Kate says January 31, 2021

I met Devon at an event he was Emceeing and headed straight to his site for more. Keep it up, Devon!

camden says February 1, 2021

Hi guys, it’s Camden Patton here! I’m a professional writer and so am quite critical of other people’s writing but I always love what you put out, Devon! It’s fun, informative, and always on point.

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About the Author Devon Brown

Devon Brown (“Duh-Von” not “Dev-in”) is an internet entrepreneur, speaker, author, MC, and former hip-hop dancer whose content has helped countless people achieve more success in their lives. Once described as a sort-of ‘MC Hammer meets Tony Robbins’; his style is 50% education, 50% entertainment, and 100% must-experience. Be sure to connect with Devon on YouTube at DevonBrown.TV