The Best Success Comes Through Great Failure



Success has absolutely nothing, absolutely nothing to teach you spiritually after age thirty. It just feels good. That’s all. Everything you learn at my age, in my seventies now, is by failure, humiliation, and suffering; things falling apart. Dissolution is the only thing that allows the soul to go to a deeper place. – Richard Rohr.


Success has absolutely nothing, absolutely nothing to teach you spiritually after age thirty. It just feels good. That’s all. Everything you learn at my age, in my seventies now, is by failure, humiliation, and suffering; things falling apart. Dissolution is the only thing that allows the soul to go to a deeper place. – Richard Rohr.

A few weeks ago my niece made a post on social media about goals, and how those things change. The post really wasn’t about success, how or what that looks like, but her being young and impressionable. I thought I would help give some food for thought for her to think about as she enjoys the college journey and makes life decisions on where to shine her bright beacon of light and passion.

Success looks, feels, and is different for each of us which is a good thing. For many, success may be something tangible like owning your own home, or obtaining a college diploma. It could be owning your own business, leading a team to a successful year or season, growing a team, or family, or organization, or something you are passionate about. For me early in life, prior to age 30, it was owning my own veterinary clinic and making piles of money. Sad, but true… at the time. Needles to say, my definition of success is nothing like that today. For me, success looks like carrying out my personal mission of inspiring and changing people’s lives by inspiring them to do the things that inspire them, in turn looking to inspire others.

Success isn’t just stumbled into, or happened upon. Success is the result of specific habits of action. Creating value, touching other people’s lives, putting other people’s interests first, being real, and having the humility to stay open to receiving, as noted in the book The Go-Giver. Having huge passion is important as well, but passion alone doesn’t create success. Passion needs intentional structure. Passion needs to fuel your soul to seek out successful people and go talk to them. To live out success, we must have the ability to walk from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.

You see it is in that quote above by Richard Rohr, success absolutely has nothing to teach you spiritually that has the true ability to “move your soul” after the age of 30. I have always felt, for people to truly grow, it takes heart wrenching tragedy, devastating failure, or something of the sort to truly recognize the gratitude one must possess to achieve their greatest self. I’ve never said this, but have felt and observed a decent number of people whom I have had the thought, “man, they just need brought to their knees'' to grow them, to take their soul to a deeper place of vulnerability in which genuine humility is achieved by knowing you spiritually are relying on a higher being to get you through whatever life changing event you are going through at that time.

Those deep dark places suck, and the pain often takes people down roads they can’t handle, but as we know, survival of the valleys of darkness of death or near death makes for the most beautiful mountain tops. It was on Sunday, August 9, about 7:45 am, and I was talking to a dear friend and mentor Doug Ford, whom kept telling me, between my massive tears of pain, “Nels, I just can’t wait to see you on the otherside of this event! You are so beautiful now, but you will be so much more beautiful on the otherside!” And he is right! Not just about me, but about all of you that have experienced very dark despair, or deep pain of tragedy, travesty, or loss!

And for me, I love interviewing people and looking for people to join our teams that have experienced great pain in life. Those people have the best seasoning, the best sauce, and wisdom only gained in those painful life events and experiences, that are truly beneficial for your business, your team, your family, your church, your organization, or you to enjoy the fruits of those journeys. As Elisabeth Kubler-Ross says, “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known losss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”


Look for those people! My partner Dr. Ty, shared this with me after a very devastating and trying time in my life that gave me a wild amount of seasoning that took me a bit to endure and come out from on the other side. It wasn’t a success that gave me that round of seasoning, it was a deep failure on my part that took me a bit to “right the ship”

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And look for those people that may not have experienced deep, painful tragedy, but those that at least have the great humility to recognize your’s! God Bless you all!!! Failure sucks, but is required for you to be the best version of you!!!

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