Editor's note: "The First 90 Days" is a series about how to make 2016 a year of breakout growth for your business. Let us know how you're making the first 90 days count by joining the conversation on social media with the hashtag #Inc90Days.
Mozart, Vincent Van Gogh, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Bill Gates--all failed, and failed many times.
But these geniuses are great leaders that all have one thing in common: They did not allow failure to keep them down.
What does it take to hold on to your genius through failures and disasters?
1. Find your passion. Passion will move you beyond yourself, beyond your shortcomings, your mistakes, and your failures. To succeed you have to believe in something with such passion that it becomes an unstoppable reality. At the core of every success is the belief born of passion.
2. Purposefully persevere. Success requires fearlessly facing storms, mistakes, and failures, and staying the course with perseverance. As Winston Churchill said, "If you are going through hell, keep going." Perseverance is stubbornness with a purpose, and many of the great accomplishments of our time were achieved by tired and discouraged people who kept on working.
3. Tap into your potential. Potential becomes meaningful only when you do something with it, but sometimes our obsession with instant gratification blinds us to the long-term nature of that process. Continuous effort over time unlocks your potential, and strengthens you at the same time.
4. Transpire humility. Don't be too proud of what you've attained--at the end of the day, success is measured not so much by the position you reach as by the failures and obstacles you overcome. It's when the world has pushed you to your knees that you're in the perfect position to get up and succeed.
5. Connect with people. Even if they work independently, no genius ever becomes successful on their own. At some point, someone brought them help, inspiration, or strength. Whether it's for a moment, a day, or a lifetime, the people who come into your life can teach you, help you, and influence you. We need people who can help us get up when we fall and show us the way out when we fail. And when they come along, we need to accept their assistance.
6. Purge old bad patterns. We all have patterns in our lives--some positive, some destructive. Most start slowly and develop so gradually that they can be hard to perceive. It's important to grow in awareness so you can recognize unhelpful patterns and replace them with new ones that feed your success. As Aristotle said, we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.
7. Power yourself with positivity. We all make mistakes; we all have struggles; we have all had failures and regrets. But we find power when we choose not to be defined by those things. Make sure who you are and what you do come from the power of positivity. Our mind is a powerful thing, and when we fill it with positive thoughts our lives start to change for the positive.
We can't escape failure or run away from our mistakes, but we always have a choice. It is the right mindset that will give us the passion, the perseverance, the people, the potential, the humility, the connection, the new patterns, and the position for us to succeed. If you expect the best, you will be the best. It really is that simple.