Have you made any mistakes before? If you answered in the affirmative, then you can still "make it" in life. Mistakes are pathways to success if you keep going.

Let me demystify the phrase, "make it." Make it means to succeed in a venture! To make it in doing something is to succeed in it. If you can make a mistake in anything, you can as well succeed in it!

Ever heard that Thomas Edison tried 1000 times before he made the electric bulb? Every failure or mistake helped in the attainment of the final result. Are we not glad he succeeded? You are probably in a well-illuminated environment right now, reading this post. What is keeping it illuminated? The bulb or, put more precisely, Thomas Edison!

One time, he was questioned, "Why did you continue to try after failing 1000 times?" His answer? He replied:

I didn't fail 1000 times, I only discovered 1000 ways the bulb wouldn't work.

This is a great way to see failure in attempts, they are not final. They are not personalized; they are analyzed instead.

Or, to sound more like a motivational speaker, I would say: "Don't personalize failure; analyze failure."

Don't get married to your mistakes (failures). It is often an awful marriage. I imply, don't get entangled by failures; if you already said "yes" to failure, you could still have a divorce. Thomas Edison was never married to his failures; Charles Babbage was never married to his failures: you cannot afford to. They failed on several occasions, but they never allowed failure to define them.

How to handle failures

Many thought leaders, philosophers, preachers, authors and great speakers have given relevant guides on how to tackle failures and I have read some of them. I even bought and read a book by John C. Maxwell, titled "Failing forward" and it taught me a lot of things about how to see failures: how not to allow them to define me nor you.

However, here are three concepts that I would proffer to help you see failures for what it is: steps to greatness!

  1. Tag it: Those who move from failure to success understand how to see failures. Thomas Edison simply tagged it as "steps that did not work". That is a reasonable way to refer to failures: steps that did not work. So, what do you do about " steps that did not work"? Simple: you get to work to find steps that work!

  2. Own it: Do not push blames. Do not give excuses. The truth is, you cannot give excuses and give results. You can only settle for one. Settle for taking responsibility for your "steps that did not work" or mistakes.

  3. Analyze it: You must review your steps to discover why you experienced that failure. What were the wrong steps you took and how can you redress them? You must do a critical review at this stage.

Always remember, if you can make mistakes, you can make something else: you can make it! Thomas Edison made a lot of mistakes, yet he is considered "America's greatest inventor." Why? Because, according to some studies, he "developed many devices." The word "many" was not strange to him; remember he also made "many" mistakes. It is almost safe to say, "he made as many inventions as his mistakes."

If you can make mistakes; you can still make it!