Long before the Iphone made him the god of gadgets, Steve job launched his tech career by hacking the land lines to make free long-distance call. Bob Dylan’s band, the Golden Chords, lost a high-school talent competition to a tap dancing act. Behind every success story was an embarrassing first effort, a stumble, a setback, or even a radical change of direction. I believe it is these first clumsy steps on the road to the fame and fortune that fascinate everyone. The big takeaway is failure and setback, far from being uncommon, are in many ways essential. Few successful people are child prodigies, and prodigies don’t necessarily find success. In a word, success is less a matter of innate talent and more the product of perseverance, a will to stumble and stand up again and again. We work hard and live right, but sometimes life throws us an annoying or time-consuming curveball, despite our best effort. This curveball is failure. However, if we are planning on doing anything important, you have to get used to it. Embarrassment, frustration and even bad situations we can’t control are going to be part of life. We must actually do something about them instead of just having a “positive attitude.” We should look at our failure with kindness and understanding – without harsh criticism or defensiveness. And then, ask ourselves how we can use the bad experience . What has it taught us? Has it made us stronger? Even simply enduring a bad moment has meaning in making our happy moments better. Keep track of any failures, embarrassments or blunders. Using a failure log, we can give ourselves a little checkmark of accomplishment. It makes us more willing to take chances when the only risk is to your pride. It causes us to focus more on learning and growth than external recognition. I’ve even heard from other people that if they don’t have at least a few major failures each year, they don’t believe they were trying hard enough. Don’t dwell in the past. The best way to get out of a rut is to start building momentum again. Get a new goal or pursuit. A new challenge will get us to stop thinking about our failure and get us to focus on something positive. A new goal will also give the opportunity for future successes instead of dwelling on a current stumble.