The Difference Between Success & Failure

If you worked day and night for months on end on a difficult project that tested you physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually and then got rewarded for the work that you did, would you blame your success on someone else? Would you give someone else the credit? Would you say the reason I was successful was because of this person or that person? Or even better, would you say it was luck? Would you say, “I was successful because I worked my ass off. I deserve this. I put in the work and got rewarded. This was me.” You see, this is a key question and can very well mean the difference between success and failure.

Which would you do? You need to ask yourself this: you worked day and night whether you felt like it or not. You put in the work and got what you deserved. It was you. Your decisions and actions led you to get the result that you got. So, would you take responsibility? I mean, it is your success so I would assume so. 

The Difference Between Success & Failure 

But then why do we treat success different than failure? Why are we so quick to blame our failure on someone else but when we experience success it’s because of what we did? Both are the result of the decisions we make and actions we take. 


The reason is it’s uncomfortable. It’s not always easy to take responsibility for something that failed. It’s not easy to look yourself in the mirror and take responsibility for something that didn’t work. But believe me and take this to heart, your life will improve when you do. 


Amazing things will begin to happen when you demand more from yourself then you do for those around you. You cannot control what others do but you CAN control what you do, and it makes a hell of a difference. It’s better to have your life and your future in your hands where you can mold and sculpt it to your liking then in someone else’s hands. We all shouldn’t be so quick to blame. We all need to look ourselves in the mirror before we go around blaming others. Myself included. Take responsibility for your failure, your success, and your life. 

The Change 

If you are not getting the results that you want

-Change your thoughts

-Make different decisions

-Take different actions

-Change your environment and surround yourself with people that want to see you succeed and are helping you grow. Surround yourself with people that are on the same mission as you. There’s a saying that if nine of your friends are unhappy and broke, you are going to be the tenth. If nine of your friends are happy, successful, and rich you are going to be the tenth. “Birds of a feather flock together.” 

Hard Work

Far too many people today believe the rich and successful are who they are because they were born that way. But obviously (or not obviously), that just isn’t true. They were made by hours and hours of working on themselves, their dreams, or their companies whether they felt like it or not. Jeff Bezos, who is the founder and CEO of Amazon was not born the richest man in the world nor was he born into a wealthy family. He had to work for it. 12-hour days, seven days a week and being up till 3 am at the start of Amazon to get books shipped was not uncommon. In high school, a former classmate even told Wired that once Bezos made it clear that he intended to be valedictorian, “everyone understood they were working for second place.”


Mark Cuban, billionaire, and owner of the Dallas Mavericks didn’t take a single vacation for seven years while starting his first company. Former General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt spent 24 consecutive years putting in 100-hour weeks. 24 consecutive years! Venus and Serena Williams, who between them have won 28 Grand Slam singles championships were up hitting tennis balls at 6 am from the time they were 7 and 8 years old. Apple CEO Tim Cook routinely begins emailing employees at 4:30 in the morning. He is also known to be the first in the office and the last to leave, each and every day.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer known for her incredible stamina and work ethic routinely pulled all-nighters and worked an unheard of 130 hours a week while she was at Google. How did she manage to do this? By working and then sleeping under her desk. Now, that is some real commitment right there. Elon Musk the revolutionary entrepreneur and the co-founder of PayPal, The Boring Company, SpaceX, and the CEO of Tesla encourages entrepreneurs to literally work twice as hard as the rest of society. His exact words: “You just have to put in 80-to-100-hour work weeks every week. If other people are putting in 40-hour work weeks and you’re putting in 100-hour workweeks then, even if you’re doing the same thing, you know that you will achieve in 4 months what it takes them a year to achieve.”

Hard work can literally mean the difference between success and failure.

The Difference Between Success & Failure

The Difference Between Success & Failure

Everyone is self-made, everyone has control over their thoughts, and everyone has control over their decisions and actions. 

If in your life right now you are not where you want to be it’s because you are not who you need to be (yet). If you want something different in your life then you need to become someone different. Become the person that you want to be, become the best version of yourself. Think the thoughts that they would think, make the decisions that they would make, and take the actions that they would take. Study your mentors, study people who have done or done something similar to what you want to do and mirror them. See what they do and what they have done and implement it into your life. As Warren Buffett says, “develop the habits of success.” 

Frequently Asked Questions

What does success and failure mean?

Failure and success are completely subjective. What is failure to one may not necessarily be a failure to another and vice versa. It is important for you to define what failure and success mean to you. Success to me is living up to my potential, doing what I said I would do, and working as hard as I possibly can. Failure to me is not working hard, not doing what I said I would do and therefore will end up regretting for years to come.

How do you handle failure?

Failure is not permanent—it is a teacher. Just because you failed does not mean you are a failure. You failed and hopefully you learned. Live has moved on so should you. Learn from your failure and continue moving forward.

How can I be successful in life?

If you want to be successful in life you first must define what that means to you. What do you want? When do you want it? How hard are you willing to work for it? Create goals, work on your goals, persevere through the difficult times and do not give up no matter the obstacles that you face. That is how you become successful in life.

How do you overcome failure?

Failure is a learning experience. Don’t look into it too hard. You failed. Okay, great. Did you at least learn from the experience? Just because you failed does not mean you are a failure, it just means you didn’t give your full effort or you have a lot more to learn. Possibly both. It’s okay. Continue to move forward.

What is a positive word for failure?

A positive word for failure is a learning experience. Failure can be an excellent teacher if you allow it to be.

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