Failing Forward – John C. Maxwell

I recently read this book and it was the first of John Maxwell’s that I read.  I have since read a couple of others of his and will review them too.

Firstly the title of this book intrigued me because so often we are held to believe that failure is a negative.  This book tells you otherwise.  Failures are simply steps and opportunities to learn along the way to achieving your goals.

This book has some great insights into what it means to fail and how we should respond to the inevitable failures that will occur in our lives.  The basic thesis of the book is “the difference between average people and achieving people is their perception of and response to failure.”

Failures come in all difference sizes, shapes, time frames, pressures, strengths, and weights, but they do come and how we respond either makes or breaks us. Everybody, at one time or another faces failure or setbacks or loss and Maxwell provides some great ideas and insights into how we can deal with these failures.

An interesting observation is made in this book – we are raised and taught to deal with all kinds of things in life – finances, business, investments, education, relations, etc., but we are not trained or educated in how to handle failure.  It is as if we all think, perhaps subconsciously, that dealing with failure is an innate trait.  Unfortunately it is not.  This is why many people are defeated by failure, whereas others manage it and push forward.  The difference is how some have learned how to accept failures and turn them into stepping stones of success whereas others simply fall victim to failure and allow the failure to defeat and often times finish them.

In “Failing Forward” Maxwell teaches his reader not only how to avoid failure but also how to take failure and make it a stepping stone to success.  Included are many great stories of people who were confronted with potential failure and massive attacks of failure who used these situations to actually achieve great things in their lives. “Failure is simply a price we pay for success.”

This book is well-written and easy to read.  I highly recommend this book!

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