Y is for Yet


Flower on Cozumel, Mexico Photo Credit: Doree Weller

“Yet” is an amazing word.  Whenever something hasn’t happened in my life, something I want to happen, I just add the word “yet,” and it transforms the non-event from a disappointment to a possibility.  For example, take a look at the two sentences below.

I haven’t had a novel published.

I haven’t had a novel published yet.

The second sentence is much more promising.

The only difference between success and failure is how many times you’re willing to try.  Most people don’t succeed at anything important on the first try.  They practice, they perfect, they keep trying.  Giving up means you never get to use the “yet.”

Thomas Edison is quoted as saying, “I didn’t fail.  I just found 2,000 ways not to make a lightbulb.” This quote is sometimes used with different numbers: 100, 1000, 10,000.  The number doesn’t matter.  Even if it’s 100, it’s still a lot. The point is that he was only successful because he didn’t give up, and we don’t remember his failures.  We remember his name.

If he had given up at any point, we wouldn’t know who he was.  Someone else would have “invented” the light bulb.

That’s the point.  Whenever someone is successful, it looks easy.  Because they did it.  So it’s easy to forget that there was a process between failure and success.

JK Rowling succeeded as a novelist because she kept trying.  So did: Stephen King, Richard Adams, John Grisham, Louisa May Alcott, and many others.

My point is that whenever I start to get discouraged about something in my life, I remind myself that failure is just success I haven’t had yet.