Video: Why Do We Ignore the Role Failure Plays on the Way to Success?

There comes a point in any passion or career when you feel like you hit a brick wall; you feel like you’re standing there motionless while everyone else is carrying on achieving things and becoming more successful than you — whatever your definition of success.

But as you’ll understand once you watch this fantastic two-part video series, everybody who has ever achieved anything has gone through this (sometimes many-year-long) phase. We just never hear about this lost chapter in their lives.

As an example of this, the video uses one of the most highly-regarded geniuses to ever live: Leonardo da Vinci. Delve specifically shares da Vinci’s story because if anybody had to deal with tough times on their way to greatness, it was him. But chances are you’ve never heard of da Vinci’s difficult years.

In a youth-obsessed culture that views 30 as some sort of brick wall beyond which nothing of significance may happen, the realization that da Vinci spent the time between his 30th and 46th birthday experiencing failure after setback after failure drives home the point that ‘overnight success’ is almost always a misnomer.

Delve shows that many of the world’s greatest names — be they artists, scientists or musicians — struggled for many years with failure. What set them apart is that they never threw in the towel to chase a shiny new dream or aspiration. They kept practicing, kept learning, kept plugging away until they broke through.

Coming in at almost six minutes each, both videos are well-worth your time, no matter what point in your artistic journey you currently find yourself at. And if you’re not experiencing a rough patch right now, be sure to bookmark these for when you are. They might give you that does of encouragement you need to keep on keeping on.

(via ISO 1200)

  • Howard

    Thank you.

  • Renato Valenzuela

    I needed that.

  • Melanie

    Absolutely brilliant videos. Thank you!!

  • Fraser

    I bet some people skipped to the end of these videos as they weren’t 17 second youtube clips ;) Good to know that everyone has the difficult years!!

  • MMielech

    Life is hard.

  • agussiahaan

    This is a very good article & videos, just what I needed, thank you :)

  • ChristianRudman

    This kind of article is why I keep coming back to PP. Thanks Gannon, great post.

  • disqus_uy2VDo9ID0

    after having many ans still having many set backs for an up coming art show next weekend (my first one) and being 32 years old. I really needed this and it made me feel much better about myself.
    Thanks PP!

  • C Schel

    Should be seen by any creative individual

  • cardmaverick

    This squares with my observations that the vast majority of successful commercial photographers who are working all the time…. are well past 30. I’ve seen a few sub 30 year old shooters have sudden success, but it doesn’t appear to sustain itself. The success lives on via social media, they have lots of non-paying photographers following them. They teach seminars or make videos and hawk crap at other photographers. Regular paying commercial clients? Not so much. They loose steam. Why? I think I have some new insight. I’ve met art directors and asked them what mattered more: the portfolio, or past client history. Past client history was preferred and it makes sense. Think about it like this… Most people shoot ‘X’ subjects in the same style as many others in the same area and even beyond their local area. What separates them from each other? Mainly, two things: personality and…. past clients.

  • Casey

    Having just celebrated my 50th birthday, this is very timely for me. I’ve been plugging away for a number of years with some success, but not at the level I really hoped for. This is a good reminder that there is always light at the end of the tunnel, and my perseverance and hard work may pay off yet.

  • Lukas Prochazka

    I am 19 and I feel like I slept for too long :D , I think it’s also different age and era… and succes is really matter of perspectiv… so just be pleased what you do and do it for other people :)

  • Abel Perez Arita

    I am interning with one hell of a company working 80 hours a week, and I can definitely start to see that success is 99% failure. Great post!

  • Alan Klughammer

    No it isn’t, Life is learning.
    It is what you make of it…

  • Mel