Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.

Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.Winston Churchill

It doesn't say how many times he failed, but the picture was a celebration of his success!

It doesn’t say how many times he failed, but the picture was a celebration of his success!

What does that mean?
We all have days when things refuse to go right for us. Sometimes we get mad, sometimes we get frustrated. But what happens next?

If you can pull yourself together and try again, well that is exactly how this quote defines success. If you keep trying, learn from what you did, and adjust your approach, eventually you will succeed.

But to get there, you have to keep at it. You have to go from one disappointment to the next without loosing your enthusiasm for attaining the goal.

If you can keep your enthusiasm, motivation, desire or whatever term you use for your driving force, you stand a great chance of lasting through the failures and achieving success.

Why is enthusiasm important?
Let’s start with the definition of enthusiasm. At, it is defined as “Great excitement for or interest in a subject or cause.” That fits in well with the quote, as it is all about keeping your enthusiasm going, despite a string of less than desirable results, right?

But where do you get your enthusiasm? What gives it to you? Why is it exciting or so very interesting that you just have to keep after it? What makes it drive you to try again and again, until you have managed to satisfy that excitement, or quench your interest in the attainment of the goal?

Think about what happens when you have no enthusiasm for a task. As soon as something goes wrong, you walk away. You have no interest, no enthusiasm, and you’re glad it’s over. How big a deal is it? What have you really lost? Besides any chance of ever accomplishing the goal? But you didn’t care, right?

However, when you have enthusiasm, that setback is just a tiny blip, hardly even noticed. You take a moment to consider what you learned from it, and then move on to your next attempt. In short, enthusiasm is the engine which keeps you moving towards your goal, despite any and every setback along the way.

Where can I apply this in my life?
We all have times when we are enthusiastic. And we have times when we are not. Sometimes on the same day, and with the same goal. But, after we’ve had a chance to relax and cool down a bit, we go back. Enthusiasm is like that. We want to try again, even though it was ugly just a short time ago.

Take a moment and think of all the things you have had some enthusiasm, and then lost it. Did you then found it again? Was it dating, a love-hate relationship with a brand or type of car, or even a phone or laptop? Everything is great, then something stops working. A failure. Now what?

Sometimes you get right back to it. Those times you simply refuse to be beaten, you refuse to give in. You decide you will win, and you try again. Other times, you have to walk away for a bit. But if you are truly enthusiastic, you will come back. You will want to try again. Your excitement and interest will not quit.

There are times with this blog when my enthusiasm wanes. I refuse to quit, but some times are harder than others. It can be quite difficult to define success or failure. Sometimes I have high expectations for comments or retweets, and nothing happens. Other times, the reaction is great. It can be hard to tell.

But my enthusiasm springs from the challenge of each new quote, and how to apply it to the lives we live in this world. The excitement of finding and sourcing a quote is also part of what keeps my interest, and keeps me coming back week after week, for nearly three and a half years, and now 1200 posts.

Take a moment and consider where in your life you desire success. Try to come up with a few possibilities so you have some choices and options between them. Pick one to work with first, and grab some paper. Try to write down everything which would be exciting or would hold your interest.

How does the list look? What if you tried something and failed. Is there something on the list that would get you going again? If not, you need to dig deeper to find was to keep your excited or interested in the project until you have achieved success, however that might be defined.

We all have good days and bad days. Days when success comes easily, and days when all we get is failure after failure. What is your level of enthusiasm? That will determine when, if ever, you try again. And that is a decision you make. Can you go on, can you find a reason? Can you regain your enthusiasm?

From: Twitter, @LeadersLearn
confirmed at : search ‘success’
Photo by Alastair Thompson

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13 Responses to Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.

  1. E. Carol Dales 3 February 2015 at 2:48 am #

    If you’re struggling to acquire or perfect a skill, such as playing a musical instrument, whether you’re a beginner or an expert, an amateur or a professional, you must be able to absorb and rise above every failure (and there will be plenty!). If not, you just won’t learn that skill!

    • philosiblog 4 February 2015 at 11:56 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by, and for leaving a comment.

      I suppose it depends on the definition of success. If you define success as an attitude, it should be easy to follow the quote. If you define success as attaining or perfecting a skill, then perhaps the quote isn’t exactly spot-on. There are many ways to look at life, and it’s always fascinating to exchange those views with others.

      I hope to hear from you again.

      • E. Carol Dales 5 February 2015 at 3:37 am #

        On the contrary– attaining or perfecting a skill means practicing that skill, and those practice sessions are usually filled with successive efforts that aren’t quite what you want. You’ll try, and try again, and you may become discouraged–it feels like you aren’t succeeding, and you may feel like quitting. But if you’re determined to acquire the skill, you’ll somehow recover your enthusiasm and keep on practicing, striving for that goal of acquiring the skill.

        Once you’ve practiced enough, whether you’re making a soufflé in a cooking class or playing a Mozart sonata in a recital, you’ll perhaps perform that skill in front of an audience. Performances are rarely perfect, and you may suffer a failure, whether it’s a fallen soufflé or forgetting some of the notes in the sonata. That’s discouraging, and causes many to temporarily lose their enthusiasm. But most of us want to succeed, so again, we wax enthusiastic and return to practice.

        I suppose you could say that the quote doesn’t account for the waxing and waning of enthusiasm that accompanies the learning process, but if it did so, it wouldn’t be nearly as pithy and quotable! In my long experience as a teacher, I’ve rarely seen uninterrupted enthusiasm. Both failures and successes stud the erratic path one follows when learning to be successful at an undertaking; key is the ability to flex with the ups and downs, to muster one’s resources and enthusiasm, and to persevere with the learning of the skill.

        Perhaps these observations are rather more practical than philosophical, but then, I do earn my living teaching and motivating people to be successful 🙂

      • philosiblog 14 February 2015 at 8:12 pm #

        Ah, I hadn’t seen your point. In this case, not the end product, but the path towards it. quite insightful. I’m also annoyed with myself, as I didn’t spot it right away. As a trombonist for a decade, I would think it should have been obvious. 8)

  2. Jeff kelley 20 November 2014 at 10:11 am #

    Success is the ability to make a mistake and look at it with understanding, in order to grow beyond it to the next mistake (very similar to video games with levels). Most people judge themselves which impairs their ability to understand themselves and they continue to make the same mistake over and over again. They get tired of this, and stop doing things that they could make mistakes doing.

    • philosiblog 29 November 2014 at 3:54 am #

      That is another interesting take on the quote, and some of the mechanics behind it. Thanks for the comment, it is certainly a worthy thought.

  3. doug 6 August 2014 at 2:30 pm #

    it can all be very confusing, especially when faliure is painful and public, you can be too skilled at doing things you absolutely hate, sometimes its time to quit and change directions, but is that really quitting?

    • philosiblog 8 August 2014 at 5:08 am #

      That is an interesting observation. When is quitting a bad thing?

      If you quit smoking, is that bad or good? If you quit being a jerk, is that bad or good? Let’s try a different word than quitting, and see how it looks. Instead of ‘quitting’, consider the phrase ‘giving up’ instead. Are you giving up smoking?

      Some of it, in my opinion, depends on the attitude or reason for stopping. If it is anger, frustration, humiliation, or some other emotion, I think that’s not good. If you think it through and come to a logical conclusion, that’s OK.

      As an example, as a kid, I wanted to play professional football. Since then, many years have gone by. I gave up on that dream. I consider that different than not making the cut, and storming off the field, vowing to never play again. Does that make sense?

      • Jim Ulvog 11 August 2014 at 12:20 am #

        Great distinctions.

        Sometimes it is appropriate to walk away. Wisdom is being able to tell when to persevere through one disappointment after another or keep going for just another try because you will succeed.

      • philosiblog 15 August 2014 at 1:37 am #

        Thanks. I took some time to think about that. I always wanted to play professional sports, but in my 50’s, well that would be a short rookie season. So how does one tell the difference between the proper kind of stopping and the kind which is improper. I took my shot at it. It will be interesting to see what others think of the method of my dichotomy.

    • Leigh Goodwin 7 June 2015 at 12:08 am #

      A great, brief, to the point book on answering the question of quitting: The Dip, by Seth Godin.

      • philosiblog 9 June 2015 at 6:19 pm #

        Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

        I’ve heard of Seth, but am not familiar with the book. Thanks for the information.


  1. How To Survive A Failure – Life Upgrade - 27 April 2016

    […] does not take a huge deal of suffering. Also, it does not take so much discipline, will or work. All that you need is to do one habitual deed and you are never going to drop your enthusiasm because of […]

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