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Nothing Fails Like Success

Are you struggling to make changes or respond to changing conditions? I know many people right now are being forced to change the way they work or live because of our turbulent environment. What we might all consider in these times is what the great historian Arnold Toynbee once said:

Nothing fails like success.

What does that mean exactly? Well, if you consider the challenges you’re facing, you might just be using an old approach that isn’t equal to the challenge. In other words, when we have a challenge and the response is equal to the challenge, that’s called success. But once we have a new challenge, the old, once successful response no longer works. That’s why it’s called a failure.

We have to examine our paradigms (our view of things), our tools, our skills to determine if we’re approaching the problem in the right way. As a first step, we may even step back and make sure we’ve correctly defined the problem. Then we need to see if, based on the evidence of results or lack of results, if we need a new approach.

As you ponder your challenges, consider if you need a new mindset, a new skillset or toolset. You may need to adjust your view, try a different perspective or a new way to think about it. Then you may need to acquire some new skills or tools to tackle the problem. What ever the case, you may need to find a new model to drive success. This can be an exciting proposition because you will most likely find new growth and development in the process—this is success!

Remember: nothing fails like success. Be vigilant and be ready to continually learn and adapt to new challenges, which will surely come your way.

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One Response to “Nothing Fails Like Success”

  1. Victor Says:

    I have to admit, I had the same question in mind when I read the title, “What does that mean exactly?” I have a totally different concept of failure which includes giving up. As long as we keep trying something, we will eventually find a new success. It’s only when we stop trying that we will be eligible to accept failure.

    If anybody saw the third Matrix movie, “Matrix Revolutions,” you saw Neo getting pummeled by agent Smith and he kept getting up. What he had used before to beat agent Smith no longer worked. He may have stumbled and had setbacks but he didn’t fail. Sure, he was playing for bigger stakes, the survival of the human race, but the concept is the same.

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