One of the presuppositions, or basic beliefs, of NLP is that there is no failure, only feedback. Now, anytime somebody starts off a sentence with “there is…” or “there isn’t…” watch your back.
After all, you could take any sentence that anybody says starting out with those two words and question them with “according to whom?” or any other meta-model question designed to send the speaker into an infinite loop of confusion.
But with these presuppositions, they’re more like guidelines, or suggestions, or resourceful ways to look at the world. Obviously, if you buy a stock and it promptly crashes, you’d be hard pressed not to see this as an abject failure.
However, taking a step back, one can learn from your mistakes. Sure, you might not have made any money in the short term, but maybe you learned a thing or two about having a stop loss, or always watching stocks closely after you buy them.
So what this really means is that it’s always better to take a step back before condemning yourself to failure. One thing humans certainly have a hard time doing is bouncing back from unhappy events.
Nobody ever gets dumped by their loved one and suddenly feels positive that they’ll find somebody better.
This is related to Napoleon Hill’s assertion that “In every defeat, lies the seeds of an even greater victory.”
Sure, it might not seem like that when your hard earned cash has turned into pennies, or that project you’ve been working on for so long has gone up in flames, but it can help to consider the following metaphor (perhaps you’ve heard it before):
A farmer finds a horse. His neighbors say “That’s great!” He says, “maybe.”
Then his son is riding it and breaks his leg. The neighbors say, “That’s terrible!” He says, “maybe.”
Then the army comes through, looking for soldiers, but leave his son because of his leg. His neighbor’s say “That’s great!” He says, “maybe.”
What this metaphor teaches us is that every situation can be looked at from many different angles, and on many different time frames.
Sure, up close it might suck. But in the long run, it may be teaching you something very useful that will eventually get you a lot more money, a lot more sex, and a lot more fame.