Successful People Are Colossal Failures

Lisa attended an online school and wanted to get into medical technology. She got a job but learned that she didn't have the skills needed. Dave tells her it's a life lesson.

QUESTION: Lisa in Illinois decided to attend an online school, paid $5,000, and wanted to get into the medical technology field. She graduated and got a job and learned one month before she started that she didn’t have the skills to start the job. She’s bitter about the education she received. Dave tells her it’s a life lesson to walk away with.

ANSWER: In my mind, bitter is just when I get mad and stay mad. It just festers down inside of me like a splinter in my spirit. The only people who don’t make mistakes are people who don’t do anything. God bless you! You were out there doing something. You screwed up. So what? Welcome to being human. Guess what? Everything on the web isn’t true. Wow! There’s insight. Laugh about it a little bit and cut yourself some slack. What if you had a car wreck? How long are you going to beat yourself up over how stupid you are at driving?

It’s distressing, and it’s kind of embarrassing. I think time heals a lot of it, and just cut yourself some slack. John Maxwell wrote a book on the whole subject. He called it Failing Forward. I stumble forward all the time, but I’m always stumbling forward because I’m stumbling. I’m not sitting and watching television and hoping the government is going to take care of me. You’re going to do it again. You’ve just got a nasty wound on your toe because you stubbed it.

I like you. I think you’re doing good, and I think you just laugh about it. It’s okay to be a little bit mad about the injustice of being ripped off, too. I would have a little fun with the fact that it cost me some money, and then move on. Just move on.

I’ve met a lot of successful people, and in every case, I’ve found them to be colossal failures. They have failed their way to the top. The gleaming mountain of success is actually a pile of garbage that we are standing on instead of lying under it.

I get ripped off, too, and I get mad and taken advantage of. People do you wrong and lie and make up stuff. There’s nothing I can do about all of it. It’s too massive now. It does tick you off. There’s a sense of injustice. If you lose your sense of injustice, the reason is you’ve become a psychopath and lost your sense of integrity. Always be mad at injustice. Don’t stay mad to the point that you become bitter.

Somewhere out of this, God’s going to take that thing that happened and in addition to you being a great medical technician, you’re also going to be able to coach somebody else in regard to this type of stuff at some point in your life. It’s going to give you another thing to do, and maybe that’s it now. Maybe you become a consultant on how to not do online education.

We all get a Ph.D. in D-U-M-B occasionally. We all graduate from the school of hard knocks. We all pay stupid tax. I’m excited for you. I like a story like that, especially with you being transparent about it and having a sense of humor about it.