Do not let failure be an option. Do not be afraid of anything, including fear of failure itself. It is not failure itself but fear of failure that is the biggest obstacle on the path to success in a Christian’s life. Failure makes us stronger, more flexible, and more decisive, but fear of failure paralyzes one’s thoughts and actions and hinders us from doing the things required to make it on the way to success. One young reporter asked Thomas Watson, the founder of IBM, how he became successful. Mr. Watson answered, “Would you like me to give you a formula for… success? It’s quite simple. Double your rate of failure.” Success is on the other side of failure, so dare to move forward.
Millionaires who made their money by plain hard work do not have a gambling addiction, but they are always ready and willing to take a well-thought-out risk that leads straight to their set goals and the achievement of a greater reward. Psychological preparation is the key because it is the biggest indicator of our readiness to become prosperous.
Every time you face a risky situation, you should ask, “What is the worst that can happen if I move forward?” Then, just like J. Paul Getty, the oil billionaire who made his money the hard way, make it your assignment to be sure the worst will never happen. The fact that everyone is afraid of failure is understandable and legitimate. We are all afraid of poverty and bankruptcy. We are all afraid of making a big mistake and falling behind. Very wealthy people who make their own money are usually those who intentionally and consciously resist this fear and take steps accordingly to move forward.
Ralph Waldo Emerson offered powerful advice when he wrote:
Make it your habit to do things you are afraid of. If you do what you are afraid of, then your fear dies. When you are brave, this invisible power rises inside of you and your every act of courage leads to an increase in your courage, which makes you stronger and braver when you confront fear in the future. Every time you do not have a guarantee of success, take a step and move forward, and your fear will decrease as your courage and confidence increase. Finally, you will reach a stage in your life when you are not afraid of anything.
I think the best moment from the movie Apollo 13 is when everyone thought they would lose the spaceship and Gene Krantz, the head of flight control for NASA, declared in a loud voice, “Failure is not an option!”3 Our task is to become millionaires who make our own money to serve kingdom purposes. Our task is to devote ourselves to this one goal and work at it every day. When difficulties and fears arise, remember, failure is not an option. We need to get hold of this mentality, for more than anything else it will be the guarantee of our financial success.