Thomas Edison and his 2000 Failures – Do You See What He Saw?

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Thomas Edison and his 2000 Failures - Do You See What He Saw?
The 'E' in E26, E27 bulb sockets stands for Edison screw - a standard in the US. (Photo Credits: Pexel/Pixabay)

Dubbed “The Wizard of Menlo Park”, Thomas Alva Edison was Americ’s most well known and prolific inventor. He amassed a record of 1,093 patents that includes the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and his most significant, the light bulb.

Did you know that in search of a filament for the light bulb, Thomas Edison sought and tried thousands of materials before he finally succeeded? Once, his assistant complained, “All our hard work is in vain. We have gained nothing.” Thomas Edison replied calmly, “We have come a long way and we have learned a lot. We know that there are 2,000 elements that cannot make a good light bulb.”

“Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.”

– Thomas Edison

Everyone fails in life at one point or another. If you haven’t already experienced any grand failures, you will, in due course. I am not trying to jinx you or pour cold water on you by saying this. It’s part and parcel of life, it’s an ingredient to success. Everyone drinks from its bitter cup at some point. It’s not optional.

The conundrum?

Most people view failures as a defeat. That moment filled with immense disappointment when your goals could not be achieved and your dreams seem all but a figment of your imagination. You start to be consumed with self-doubt and wonder if you are really not clever enough, not talented enough. You feel sorry for yourself, feel like quitting because you cannot decide how to redeem yourself.

Well, don’t. Don’t get trapped in the viewpoint that failure is an absolute defeat. Look at it with another angle, focus on the important lessons that you have taken away, see the gaps that you have missed previously. When we fail, we learn, we grow, we mature and we achieve new understandings on life, relationships, business, and people. Such is the case of Thomas Edison who took more than a thousand tries before he successfully developed the light bulb.

The only thing worse than failing is not learning from it

A failed experience delivers a great lesson that forces us to make new connections and link the dots that we had missed. We learn more from our failures than from our success. A glass is either half full or half empty, depending on how you look at it. So start viewing your failures from a different perspective!

Do you see both the lady and the witch?
Do you see both the lady and the witch?

Failure does not mean everything is over, it means you have a chance to try again with new experience.

Failure does not mean you haven’t achieved anything, it means you have learned lessons along the way.

Failure does not mean you don’t have what it takes, it means you have to use another approach.

Failure doesn’t mean humiliation and disgrace, it means you have the courage and strength to explore and experience.

Failure doesn’t mean you are not making the right decisions, it means you just have to make a different one.

Failure is not falling down, it is refusing to get up.

Failure is not a dead-end street, it is just a detour.

Failure is not a tattoo, it is just a bruise.

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.

– Thomas Edison