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4 reasons to act now in the face of your failures

agir pour éviter l'échec

To convince you to act now, let me tell you the story of Demosthenes who is one of the greatest orators of Greek antiquity.

Nothing predestined him to go down in history, not even to become a great orator. He was born stunted and frail with an almost crippling speech impediment. At the age of seven, he lost his father. His guardians stole a large inheritance from him to pay for his education. Demosthenes accumulated every possible setback that was unfair and undeserved.

To get rid of his speech impediment, he began to fill his mouth with pebbles to practice his speech. Soon his voice was powerful and clear.

He’d locked himself in a shed he’d dug up to study. He had even shaved half his head to shame himself for showing up and to make sure he was not tempted by the distractions of the outside world. He was able to exercise his voice, work on his facial expressions and arguments.

When he came of age, he filed a complaint against his guardians. He responded trial after trial by making countless speeches. His confidence grew and his work paid off. He won his case.

Even if only a small part of the inheritance remained, money had become secondary as he had built up a solid reputation as a public speaker with a wide audience.

One day, a professor asked him what the 3 most important characteristics of a speech were. His answer was eloquent: “Action, action, action“.

Demosthenes illustrates the discipline of action

Many people fail and back down when it comes time to act. When we’re caught by our worst instincts, we go :

  • shuffle
  • play dumb
  • not being able to improve

Even if we express possible solutions to a problem weeks or years later, the problem is still there. It will have had an opportunity to get worse over time.

Everybody said to each other at one point :

  • I’m completely overwhelmed
  • I’m completely exhausted
  • I’m completely stressed out.
  • I’m completely overwhelmed
  • I’m completely blocked

And what do we do about it ? Usually we just sit back and wait.

act now so you don't feel stuck

The truth is, no one’s coming to save you. The only way to achieve your goal is to respond to this problem with appropriate action.

If you’re not aggressive enough, you’re not moving forward. You can always sleep, travel, attend a meeting or tinker on the Internet. You will always find a thousand reasons not to progress.

The obstacle in your path won’t move. It’s okay to feel discouraged. What’s bad is to give up.

Being able to turn failure into success

Our gestures and actions define us. Action requires courage and creative application. It’s not about brazenness and brute force.

If you stumble and fall, your body will react and protect you instinctively. The action is natural and innate. When you act :

  • We don’t think
  • We’re not complaining.
  • There’s no question

This reveals a real strength within us.

If you imagine or pretend the problem, you know it won’t help to solve it. No matter how nice it sounds, you know deep down inside it won’t help to fix it. You have to act now.

There are people who can turn shit into gold. By that I mean situations far worse than the ones we are trying to deal with. Situations of disability, of racial discrimination, of war against far more enemies and yet they do not give up and feel sorry for themselves. These people focus on what matters by applying themselves with enthusiasm and creativity to solve their problem.

Nowadays, we tend to downplay the importance of aggression and risk-taking. This is probably because it is negatively associated with a form of machismo or violence.

Our society constantly reminds us of courage without us realizing that the first step in this direction is simply to act now. Either by deciding to open a book dedicated to the subject that interests us, or by approaching that person who intimidates us.

It must be recognized that we are generally informed, gifted and capable. In most of the things you undertake, the problem is not the unpleasant surprises :

  • Do you have the patience to polish your idea ?
  • Do you have the energy to knock on the right doors to find any investors or supporters ?
  • Do you have the perseverance to work your way through the problems of teamwork and politics ?
act now to clear a path

As soon as you start new things, you are bound to encounter obstacles. It is only with perseverance and time that you will be able to mark out your new path.

It is only by persevering and resisting that one finds what others were too eager to find out

You can admit that you sometimes think about giving up. Planting your feet firmly in the ground and advancing millimeter by millimeter until you reach the impregnable fortress that is your goal and which you seek to besiege illustrates the perseverance you must have.

In Silicon Valley, start-ups are launching with a “minimum viable product” (MVP). They release the most basic version of an idea with only 1 or 2 essential elements. In this way, they avoid producing or investing in a product that consumers do not want. For engineers, “failure is an option“.

All great successes are often preceded by bitter failures. The protagonists were not ashamed to fail, on the contrary, their motivation and curiosity were piqued. Although failure is painful, it can also be constructive.

In the business world, failure is more accepted and less personal because it is part of the process. You have 2 possibilities :

Either a new product or investment is immediately profitable and that’s great!
Or it fails and we don’t take it badly because we haven’t invested anything in it.

  • Either a new product or investment is immediately profitable and that’s great!
  • Or it fails and we don’t take it badly because we haven’t invested anything in it.

Large contractors share the following characteristics :

  • They are not afraid of losing some of their investment.
  • They don’t stay out of the game long.
  • They can often stumble but do not fall.
  • They cultivate an open mind by not just sticking to one option.

The 4 reasons why you need to act now

The world tries to tell you something for every failure…

For each of your failures, as well as for each of your actions, you receive a kind of “feedback” where you will discover precise instructions to improve yourself. In the interest of your objective, you will need to act now with flexibility and determination

You have to listen to them because lessons are hard to learn when you are deaf. If you are able to see and understand the world in this way, you will be able to turn the obstacles in your favour. In this way, you will turn negativity into positive and disappointment into opportunity. Failure exists only to show us the wrong path and show us the way.

Initially the first attempts may be unsuccessful. The action will require a lot of energy from you. Fortunately, this energy is renewable. You can stop seeking enlightenment and instead try to find angles of attack. There are always options, even if you have to wait to test all the possibilities. You must expect it to take a long time, but you will get there.

What is defeat ? Nothing but a lesson, nothing but the first step towards something better.


Facing obstacles and succeeding, you must act now

All your actions are in the service of a whole. They are, action after action and step after step. This is how you will succeed in dismantling the obstacles that stand in your way. In the interest of your goal, you must act now with flexibility and determination.

Boldness and action are the attributes for acting deliberately. Excessive evasion in your thinking will not help you to act appropriately and effectively.

Action is the cure for our problems

In life, it doesn’t matter where you come from or what happens to you. The important thing is to deal with events using the assets at your disposal. Transforming situations to your advantage is the only way to do something spectacular.

Facing Obstacles and Acting Now to Succeed

Some people were born into chaos, poverty, conflict and have been freed from current notions of good, evil and justice. A circle that does not apply to them because all that they knew and had received does not correspond to this reality. Instead of feeling sorry for themselves, they did the best they could because they had no choice.

You have to greet obstacles with :

  • Pragmatism
  • Energy
  • Perseverance
  • Iteration
  • Resilience
  • A strategic vision
  • Creativity
  • In a consistent and thoughtful process
  • The intention to succeed in the opportunity that will present itself

You know what the next step is :

you have to put your foot in the stirrup and actually move forward

Even if you feel frustrated in your attempt to reach your goal, don’t stand still. Keep complaining because you don’t get what you want. The obstacle will not go away and you will always be in the same place. You must try to find the appropriate solution.

To overcome any obstacle, use this message internally and externally

I don’t let failure stop me. I’m not in a hurry and distracted by outside noise. I will carve and chisel the obstacle until it disappears. Any resistance will be futile

Abandonment is not an option

You can’t give up. If you are asking yourself the question: Why shouldn’t I give up this path and take that other path that may prove more promising ? If you are considering giving up, then throw in the towel at every opportunity. It will be done !

To act and succeed, you can adopt these maxims :

  • Never hurry
  • Never be anxious
  • Never despair
  • Never stop dead in their tracks

Repeat to yourself the favourite sentence of the Greek philosopher Epictetus (a philosopher of the Stoic school)

Persevere and resist


Resist distraction, discouragement, disorder and persevere with effort. Rest assured that you will not be eliminated and it will take time.

We work more and more independently where we are responsible for ourselves. We could think of ourselves as a one-person startup. This attitude implies changing our relationship to failure. It means going through these 3 steps :

  • Repeat
  • Fail
  • Improve

Action and chess represent two sides of the same coin

To go further…

Ryan Holiday In : The Obstacle is the Way: The ancient art of turning adversity into opportunity [Online] Paper book format available on : < >

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