Failure is Not Permanent

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Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently. —Henry Ford

By Dave Ramsey

As I have walked with thousands of families through hope-robbing financial problems, I have realized there are reasons we lose our hope. Our mind and spirit have believed lies in order to lose the most precious item called HOPE.


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One big hairy lie that we allow to steal our hope is: failure is permanent. If we see failure in our past as an indicator of our future, it will rob our hope. Winston Churchill, the great British prime minister, said, "Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." When we believe failure is here to stay, we lose enthusiasm and the ability to head back toward success.

Hope is stolen when we misunderstand failure. Failure is natural, normal, and is going to happen. If we take all the lessons learned from failure and stack them, we can easily get the breathtaking view that hope gives. The trick is to avoid making short-term decisions, based on loss of hope, that have worse long-term effects.

When people are in financial difficulty, they often make stupid short-thinking financial decisions. If you really believe you can never save enough money to pay cash for a car, you lose hope and borrow the money. If you got laid off from a job or your small business went under, you may think the rest of your life is doomed. Debt, which robs your ability to build wealth, is usually the result of lost hope. We have been sold debt so thoroughly that it has stolen our hope. People who have hope, grown from vision based in values, are savers and investors; they think long term. Where there is a lack of hope, we cripple our ability to build wealth and long-term relationships of value.

When past failure sneaks up and steals our hope, we must have been asleep at the wheel because we know better, realizing that failure is part of the process. The great author C.S. Lewis agrees. He said, "Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement."

I Know, I've Been There

Failure is definitely a part of my story. Starting from nothing, by the time I was 26 I had a net worth of a little over $1 million and was having fun! However, then debt caused my wife, Sharon, and I over the course of two and a half years of fighting it to lose everything. After losing it all, we didn`t let failure keep us down for long. I went on a quest to find out how money really works, how I could get control of it, and how I could have confidence in handling it. I formed our company in 1992 to counsel folks hurting from the results of financial stress. To this day, our mission statement isn`t just lip service; it`s our mantra:

The Lampo Group, Inc. is providing biblically based, common sense education and empowerment which gives HOPE to everyone from the financially secure to the financially distressed.

Now`s the time to learn from your failures and regain hope. Make it happen!

Get started now with Dave's bestselling book, The Total Money Makeover.

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