Failure Is Not An Option

Failure Is Not An Option

Another failed business venture stared me in the face. Throughout the years, my husband and I have tried various multi-level marketing trends to make extra money. None ever made us rich and I let feelings of failure loom over me telling me nothing would ever work out.

My last venture I tried had been with a cosmetic company and even though I was offering quality products, I wasn’t making any money or building clientele. What was wrong? Why couldn’t I do it?

Now as I pursue a writing career, failure can be waiting around every corner. Contests entered and lost, manuscripts submitted and rejected, deadlines missed, word counts not met, and editor’s red pens marking through work like a roadmap can speak loud words of dismay if I let them.

I love the inspiring words, “Failure is not an option,” quoted from the movie Apollo 13. This attitude set the blueprint for bringing the crew of the crippled spacecraft home safely. The Mission Control team never thought of giving up; they knew if they did the astronauts would die. Their job was to keep working until they found a solution.

When we fail at anything it can make us become disheartened to the point of throwing up our hands and saying, “What’s the use?”

But what if Babe Ruth had quit baseball because he stuck out 1,330 times? He never would have hit a record 714 home runs or have his name recorded in the annals of baseball history.

If Thomas Edison had given up after he had tested over 3,000 theories for creating an electrical element for light, the invention would belong to someone else. When he was in school his teachers said he was too stupid to learn. What if he had listened?

Moses spent 40 years in the wilderness getting prepared for delivering the Hebrews out of slavery. He argued with God about returning to Egypt and Pharaoh, but he ultimately listened and obeyed. And because of that God called him the most humble man on the earth (Numbers 12:3).

Abraham Lincoln had 16 political failures before being elected President of the United States.  The Civil War could have had a different outcome without his leadership. What if he had not run for office one more time?

Ludwig Von Beethoven was told by a music teacher as a composer he would be hopeless. He also lost his hearing during his career. But his persistence gave us beautiful musical compositions that have never been rivaled.

These historic examples of people who persevered through difficulties can inspire us to keep going. The failures in their lives were merely stepping stones to success, because it’s that one more time that put them over the edge. They didn’t quit.

Knowing God’s plan is for us to have a successful and abundant life is the first step to overcoming failure. Following the paths of mentors who have blazed a trail ahead of us can inspire and give much needed information to keep us on track. Learning from experts is much better than learning from hard knocks.

My goals have changed since the cosmetic and vitamin businesses didn’t succeed. Rather than feeling like a failure in any endeavor, I am now willing to press on and embrace each new step with consistency, determination, and inspiration from others who have succeeded.

When failure is not an option, success is waiting at the end. The only loss is in giving up

Barbara Latta About Barbara Latta

Barbara Latta’s desire is to help others find intimacy with God through a deeper understanding of the power of the Word. She writes a monthly column in her local newspaper and contributes to devotional websites and several anthologies. She is a board member of the East Metro Atlanta Christian Writers. Barbara posts on her blog.


  1. Good thoughts. Failure is what happens when we allow our mistakes to define us instead of using our mistakes as stepping stones to something new.

  2. That is so true, Lisa! Thanks for your thoughts.

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