The Key to Success?


So, yeah, failure is the key to success. Yada-yada. I hate that statement, don’t you?  Nevertheless, it’s true (dammit.) But wait, what about those stories of people for whom success came so easily? Have you read the follow-up accounts? Their success always seems to turn to misery. Why? Because…

Failure is the key to maturity (if we allow it to be). And maturity is the key to true success. As James said 2,000 years ago:


If there’s anything worse than failing on the way to success, it’s succeeding on the way to failure. So, hey, I’d rather be a will-be than a has-been, wouldn’t you?

Oh, alright, one more quote (since you insist):


About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Culture, For Pastors and Teachers, Humor and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

52 Responses to The Key to Success?

  1. Yes! If we don’t ever fail, we won’t gain wisdom, which ultimately leads to success.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Roos Ruse says:

    What a perfectly timing for

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Here in the high tech world we say, “Fail fast.” That is, when you’re failing, quickly admit it, change course and move on. and remember – never snatch defeat from the jaws of victory …

    Liked by 6 people

  4. The Second-Rate Scientist says:

    Love the reminder! Thank you.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. pkadams says:

    I heard an interesting story from a guy who had always gotten straight As in school and how when he got an A-, he truly freaked out and thought his life was now over. He still struggles with perfectionism. This post made me think of that.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. thedamari says:

    J.K. Rowling gave a great commencement speech a few years back about the benefits of failure.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. Loved the quote about being a “will-be” rather than a “has-been!”
    The other day I got a rejection letter from a major publisher. I braced myself for the blow, but for the first time in my writing career I felt nothing. Then I felt happy. Then I felt downright giddy, thinking that I may have finally grown past the emotional roller-coaster of emotions based on other people’s opinions. I don’t know if that would be defined as failure or success, but it feels like the latter.

    Liked by 6 people

  8. TEP336 says:

    This is something I’ve been trying to teach my children. Every successful person has suffered an incredible number of failures, but it was how they persisted through it that made the most impact.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. M.B. Henry says:

    Very nice. Love the “never let failure get to your heart.”

    Liked by 5 people

  10. Thank you for reminding me of the glory of failure. I needed that this morning. I bet it took a long time to find the cubes of succession to produce the interesting message of your first image. I admire the effort.

    Liked by 5 people

  11. I read the other day that what someone does in their free time really defines their level of success. Some sit around and watch TV, some read books.

    Liked by 6 people

  12. Nancy Ruegg says:

    “Maturity is the key to true success.” Oh, that’s good truth, Mitch, especially joined with that verse from James. We need to broaden our definition of success, with “the acquisition of maturity” as the first listing in the dictionary!

    Liked by 5 people

  13. smzang says:

    I love this…all of it, but the best of the best imo is

    “I’d rather be a will-be than a has-been, wouldn’t you?”

    Yes, yes and yes!

    and “never let success go to your head,
    and never let failure get to your heart”

    is now on my inspiration bulletin board, with a notation
    of your url. Thank you for the wisdom and the wit.

    Liked by 5 people

  14. Super subject, Mitch. Another aspect is “fear of failure.” I believe the extreme form, which I suffer(ed) from, stems from a childhood environment where every failure results in rather severe parental ridicule and chastisement, in a misdirected attempt to promote “excellence.”
    In high school, I feared rejection so extremely that I never asked a girl for a date until well into my junior year. And of course, I NEVER asked a highly “popular’ girl out even then—only “non-threatening,” girls.

    Liked by 4 people

  15. We learn more from failure than victory..

    Liked by 4 people

  16. Dray says:

    incredible post. Completely agree with all your points.

    Liked by 4 people

  17. You are the key to success! You! Nice post!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I have similar content on my blog

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Sean Nemecek says:

    It took me years to learn that failure is healthy with the right attitude and success is toxic with the wrong one.

    Liked by 1 person

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