“I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Thomas Edison is well known for all the incredible inventions that he has been able to create. Everyone just assumes that he had a brilliant mind and every attempt turned into a resounding success. He indeed may have been brilliant, but he was anything but immune to failure.

You might remember a couple of months ago when I said that all success carries the risk of failure. The only way that you can truly discover the limits of human potential is to risk going far beyond it. You can’t find the edge of the cliff if you don’t the chance of falling off it. Even then, Edison would tell you that you didn’t fail; you simply learned another way not to do it.

For this and so many other reasons, you’ll find that some of the world’s most successful people, regardless of industry and niche, are also among those who take the most risks. They don’t go blindly into the night — the risks are calculated and purposeful — but they do take risks nonetheless. They can also be incredibly stubborn, unwilling to give up even after countless missed attempts. As cliche as it sounds, if at first you don’t success, try, try again.

Thomas Edison was able to maintain a positive attitude in the face of failure, always moving forward and learning new things. He didn’t wish for success. He didn’t wish for brilliance. He did something about it. He actively sought it and he was able to persevere.

Oscar Wilde reflects a similar sentiment:

“Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is.”

If you can dream it, you can certainly try to do it. Even when you discover some of your very human limits, you can have a sense of humor about it, just like Edison did. What is life if it is not about taking a chance, falling down, and picking yourself up to do it all over again?