Consultant, Writer And Trainer
Senior Director Jemm Consultants
You know the latest buzz word: "Failure Quotient". Below is a small article on the "FQ"
Your Failure Quotient
by Dr Michael Norwood
The president of my college gave the best speech any luminary ever could have at my graduation. Addressing the hundreds of students, he said that now that we were graduating, our success in life no longer depended on our I.Q., but rather on our F.Q. - our Failure Quotient; how many times we could be knocked down but keep getting back up and slowly moving forward.
I don't know if any of my fellow graduates remembered those words, but I never forgot them. I have seen over and over again in my life and in the lives of others how a high F.Q. is the key to success - the one factor that all people of accomplishment have in common.
Having a high Failure Quotient is a paradox; we aren't accustomed to equating failure with success. When we think of super-winners or super-successful people - whether they be superstar athletes like Michael Jordan, renowned politicians like Rudy Giuliani, or famed entrepreneurs like Ross Perot or Walt Disney - we usually think of them in the lap of luxury, at the top of the world, and at the height of ease and power.
Yet Michael Jordan is known as the greatest basketball player of all time for one thing: his ability to "turn on" in the fourth quarter; not the first, second or third quarter, mind you. But in the fourth quarter, when his team is often down, when things are most crucial, and when lesser players in sports - and more passive people in life - are ready to throw in the towel.
Everyone knows Rudy Giuliani as one the heroes of September 11th, the man who mobilized his city, and lifted our country and the world up out of the grip of fear surrounding one of the most traumatic events in history. Few people remember that just a short time before September 11, 2001, Rudy Giuliani's future had been discounted. He had to withdraw from the New York Senate race because of a diagnosis of prostate cancer. This was followed by a very public and messy divorce splashed across every newspaper column in the country and jibed at by every radio and T.V. talk show host on air.
Now ask yourself, on a scale of 1 to 100, at what level is Rudy Giuliani's Failure Quotient? How about Michael Jordan's? And most importantly, how about yours?
When we get a rejection or have a setback, it s very hard not to feel at least momentarily thrown off course. Yet I believe that a major benefit people receive who have gone through difficult life challenges is that no matter what other daily challenge they face, they can measure it against the larger life adversity they ve overcome, and put it into its proper perspective. Whether you ve been through a serious illness, loss of a loved one, divorce, or have been a victim of violence, the rest of your life you can benefit by using that experience to weigh everything else you face against it.
Here s a simple exercise that will make moving forward toward your goals and getting past obstacles, rejections, setbacks, and disappointments exactly one hundred times easier.
1) Before you start out on any project, whether it be seeking a customer if you re in sales, seeking a publisher if you re a writer, or seeking a mate if you re single, take a blank piece of lined paper and number each line 1 through 100. Make 2 columns if you need to as well as using both sides of the sheet.
2) Got it done? Now make multiple photocopies of this form for future use. (It s a long life. . .)
3) Now set out to do your goal or task. When you receive your first obstacle, rejection, disappointment or setback, put a checkmark next to number 1. When you hit your second obstacle, put a checkmark next to space number 2. The third, a checkmark on space number 3, and so on.
Now, here s the most important part:
When you start your project or goal, expect it may take 100 attempts to accomplish it! No, this is not a negative mindset. It simply acknowledges that you may need to try a number of approaches before you get something to work, or someone to accept you or your offer. Acknowledging beforehand that you re ready to put your all into at least 100 tries gives you the mindset of unstoppability.
I was counseling a lady on the phone recently who was going through a very complex legal struggle with an abusive ex- husband. She had gone to a number of attorneys, all of whom had told her she didn t have a case. I knew her situation and what kind of person she was. I also knew there were attorneys out there who would be willing and capable of helping this kind-hearted person, even if they would be hard to find. She was feeling frustrated and defeated, so I told her to make out such a 1-100 list. I also told her that I would feel sorry for her only after she got to number 100 without finding an appropriate attorney.
Guess what? By the time she had gotten to number 3, she found the perfect one! A "compassionate bulldog" who immediately lifted 95 percent of the stress off her shoulders of handling her incorrigible ex-husband.
What would her life been like had she not made that list? How many candles would we be burning a day to light our homes if Thomas Edison had stopped at failed experiment number 10,000, 20,000 or 30,000 instead of going on to do the 50,000 it required to invent the light bulb?
Don t hesitate. Make your photocopied 1-100 lists now. If you don t accomplish a specific goal by attempt number 100, give me a call. I ll honestly tell you how sorry I feel for you.
Dr. Michael Norwood is the author of "The 9 Insights of the Wealthy Soul," which has been featured in places such as The Wall Street Journal and The Atlanta Constitution. To preview his life-changing book series or to receive his beautiful Photo-Poem Flash presentations, "The 12 Gifts of Life," visit http://wealthysoul.com or http://30gifts.com
16th November 2006 From India, Hyderabad
17th November 2006 From India, Bangalore
I have read through your post and also the subsequent response and would offer my personal perspective….
As a individual approaching the autumn of life, I have seen/experienced many beliefs and theories presented to the public. Any and all which cause reflection, perhaps changes in behavior or beliefs all add value to the human spirit
For me it matters not what country or culture you are in or what particular mentor, spiritual leader or belief system you follow, if it works for you and gives you contentment in life, then there is value.
I have often said, our greatest glory as human beings, is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail and to be able to use the learning in our life.
I also am a believer in Covey’s, begin with the end in mind which ties into the subsequent post by Srikanth.
For me it ties directly into my own personal value system and you can call it SQ or any other name you choose. I know what is important to me in my personal life, my business life and my spiritual life and I know both the positive and destructive nature of ego. Perhaps this comes with experience, I am not sure, or perhaps it is taking each of life’s offered experiences and extracting the learning…..this may be my interpretation of all inclusive awareness. One of the most impactful exercises I have ever been through in my life was to write my own obituary…what I wanted people to be able to truthfully say about me when I pass through this life. That has guided my behavior with family, friends and business associates and in truth helped me deal with the destructive side of ego.
I thank you for sharing this article and your invitation to comment…sometimes in the hustle of daily life it is easy to loose the focus of our value system. It always helps me to reflect on who I am and who I want to be and to reflect on my life’s goals and my action plans to achieve.
17th November 2006 From Canada, Ottawa
I am thankful to you for taking your time out and reading this article.
I agree with what you say, knowing who you are and what you want from life is really very important.
When we talk about Spiritual Quotient, it certainly means knowing oneself and realising your inner self, by any means or anyways. Any name can be given to it, any title can be awarded to this topic, but the conclusion remains the same, that we all should realise the spiritual self.
18th November 2006 From India, Delhi
I got pulled into your discussion by chance - call it serendipity, while googling on SQ. All the comments made here are, I believe, are valid. The challenge with defining SQ in formal, measurable ways, is that outcomes can not be easily isolated. While the consequences of high IQ are rather obvious, and the benefits of high EQ have been documented in the past decade, there is no objective measurement of what SQ really does to you.
It is probably for that reason that you'll see a significant disparity in how SQ is being defined by various people and interests across the globe. I have been working on this subject for a while, and am attempting to isolate, if you will, the specific content of SQ as separate from IQ/ EQ. This has led to a model based on the five pillars of Self Awareness, Self Mastery, Connection, Purpose and Transcendence. I created this model after conducting a global survey of the impact of Spirituality on people's lives in terms of how they relate to experiences in their life and the perspective that they bring to it.
My blog Know Thyself (www.innatehealth.blogspot.com) describes how I put this together. Perspective's Spiritual Quotient Assessment is also available at my website www.withPerspective.com/questionnaire. I welcome any feedback and your comments.
Man Mohan Shukla
21st August 2007
I will surely read your thoughts that you have penned down on the blog and will give you my opinion on what you have written.
Although, you may call it a six sense or intuition, I feel the model you ahve designed would surely be a good one and we all can learn something from this.
22nd August 2007 From India, Delhi