Why Success Is Failure Turned Inside Out

Updated: Jan 7

Living through four whole decades means a person has collected enough life experience. It often adds immense insight about how to make the most of the coming years. By 40, people usually live through their share of fortune, misfortune, lucky breaks and heartaches.

So, stepping into the ’40s is a golden chance to live life with open eyes. With enough maturity gained along life’s journey, and enough optimism to enjoy the small moments, the ’40s is when one begins to really live. Yet, like all other important happenings, it comes with its challenges.

Long ago in far away lands...

There’s a saying that ‘life begins at 40’.

As life expectancy has increased due to advances in medicine and technology, more of us can expect to live to a ripe old age, meaning that being 40 is around the midway point in life for many. It may be a good point to take stock of your life, look at where you’ve been, and think about where you want to go in the future.

Unlike many, turning 40 was not a heartbreaking experience for me.

Instead, I saw it as a much-needed time for reflection and introspection. For sitting back and analyzing what I had accomplished up to that point and trying to determine what should go next on my "to do" list of life. In the process, I came to the somewhat unsettling realization that my ideas of success, as well as my priorities, had changed significantly over the last few years.

It’s my 42nd birthday July this year, here’s one piece of advice I want to give you, one of many I have learned.

You are alive only if you embrace (some) volatility. Fuck excuses and fuck regrets. They scare the living shit out of me!

Excuses are like arseholes, everybody has one. But there’s nothing saying you can’t take the necessary steps toward overcoming them.

Excuses are little bastard killjoys that will suck the joy out of your life if you let them. They are psychological hang-ups or psychosomatic speed bumps. If you allow enough of them to pile up they can turn into a near insurmountable wall that will prevent your comfort zone from stretching into healthier horizons. Such walls are stifling. Deadly even. Deadly to your creativeness. Deadly to energy. Deadly to living a life well lived.

If you fall victim to living a life half-lived, it’s paramount that you kill your excuses before they kill your bliss. Pick-off those little fuckers with the slingshot of your courage. Line them up. Take aim. Get out of your own way. Kill them bastards!

Sometimes overcoming excuses is as simple as gritting your teeth and taking a leap of courage into the unknown. Sometimes it’s more complicated than that. But when it really comes down to it, it’s either overcome your excuses or become overwhelmed by them.

Adapt – Destroy

The key to adaptability, indeed the key to becoming better gamblers, is to transform our independent inner-Phoenix that is resilient to disorder into an interdependent inner-hydra that gains from disorder.

Because here’s the thing: we will fail. We will fail again and again. We will make excuses. We are fallible and imperfect, after all. We are prone to make mistakes, sometimes even despite our best efforts. So, the question becomes: what can we do about it? Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.

Seen through the lens of antifragility, mistakes are more like stepping stones, pivot points, and serendipitous improvisation than setbacks or hang-ups. Failure just becomes new information along the path, and it can even be an improvement in the process when it inadvertently diverts us from the typical and leads us into the atypical or even the mystical.

An artist, adventurer, or gambler can easily look back on his/her life’s work and see how mistakes and failure played a critical role in providing stepping stones that helped them climb out of creative ruts, daily grinds, and existential depressions. Whereas excuses were almost always fragile handicaps.

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As artists, as gamblers, we need only be courageous and daring enough to fail, and fail quickly, with our next step, and then be double-dog daring enough to fail better with the one after that. It’s all a process. It’s all art. What matters is how courageous we are with the process. The more daring we are to fail and to improve upon our failures, the more likely we are to live a life of fearlessness, and the less likely we are to live a life half-lived wallowing in excuses.

Our ability to capitalize on mistakes with imaginative improvisation (interdependent ant fragile hydra) rather than woe-is-me victimization (co-dependent fragile caterpillar), makes us more adaptable to the life-death-rebirth process of fearlessness and less likely to grow stagnant, stuck in a rut, and obstructed from expanding ourselves into further self-overcoming.

It’s a matter of living life to the fullest, knowing mistakes will happen; rather than merely existing, fearful of making any mistakes. As Bob Dylan once said, “He not busy being born is busy dying.” Indeed. He not busy transforming through ant fragile rebirth is busy dying through fragile stagnation.

Refresh your attitude and adjust your thinking! Challenge yourself to become more creative and determined to find solutions that will turn your life around. You will be surprised at the breakthroughs and solutions that will come your way. Believe in yourself; put forth your best efforts; and create the mindset of possibilities.

Make it a point to avoid negative conversations and people who will drag you down and get you off course. Continue to implement a strategy to transform your mindset, expand your skill sets and stay in the company of supportive, positive, motivated relationships. You have something special. You have GREATNESS within you!

Remember: Success is failure turned inside out.

Chase The Greatness!


Dominik Stone

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