663: On the Difference Between Failure and Success

Oct 3, 2019

The difference between failure and success often comes down to your perception. How you perceive a situation is what defines you as a person, and your success is determined by whether you let adversity stop you or if you use it as motivation to get up once more.

In today’s episode I talk about the role perception plays in failure and success, and how a recent video I came across reminded me how important your outlook is.

You don’t get to control life, but you do get to decide how you react to it. Your perception defines this, and in today’s episode I explain how (and why it’s one — if not ‘the’ — most important assets you own).

I’ve written an article below that accompanies this episode, so please listen and read for a full insight into perception, failure and success, and what I’ve learned from a two minute video featuring two bears…


  1. How a short video featuring two bears reminded me of a huge life lesson (and how it’s an important reminder every single day)
  2. What I do when I come across a video, quote or piece of content that inspires me (hint: it involves my calendar, and it’s so simple to do)
  3. The fundamental role perception plays in your failure and success (and how one single mindset upgrade can weigh the odds heavily in your favor)
  4. How to best use your energy so you don’t get caught up in negativity, scarcity and your own limited beliefs
  5. The ONE thing you need to do to fix almost any problem you will ever face in your life (no matter how big or small it may be)
  6. The two things your success hinges upon, and how it’s important to do both if you want to break free from negativity and failure
  7. The single thing you have to accept, and how once you do life becomes much easier to navigate


As the bear cub reached the top of the snowy mountain, within inches of its momma’s paw… it slid agonizing back to the bottom.

Exhausted, frustrated and flustered, the bear cub had failed and failed and failed.

Finally, it had almost reached the top. Where its momma had effortlessly climbed up, its little legs couldn’t quite manage the terrain. The snow, too soft. The slope, too steep. Its weight, far too light…

Up it climbed, only to slip back to where it came from.
And then, up a little further, only to slip further back toward the bottom.

Momma looked down from the top, paced back and forth. At any time she could have climbed down and carried her cub. But would that help her young one survive the future? I imagine the cub knew this; knew that momma was there, but not there to do it for them.

So once more, without thought, the cub got back up and climbed… climbed… climbed.

This time it reached the top, where momma and cub ran off into the distance.

Failure and Success — and The Role of Persistence

I’m not a huge fan of ‘animal’ videos. Sure, I find them cute. But I’m not someone who searches for them on Youtube. Yet this one of momma and cub caught my eye.

I watched it in full, willing the cub on with each climb.
When it finally reached the top, I almost let out a little yell.

And then I thought, as I often do… how does this relate to me?

It defines a lot of my life, and it defines a lot of yours. We’re all that cub, trying to climb up the mountain but struggling to reach the top. As we get closer, we stumble and slip back down to the bottom.

Sometimes we may question whether we have what it takes.

You want to give up.
You want someone to help you.
You want it to just be… easier.

The Difference Between Failure and Success Hinges on This ONE Thing…

Persistence… this is the difference between failure and success.

Did the bear cub stop at the bottom and wait for momma?
Did it shake its head, cry and play the victim?
Did it take a rest, and hope it may be easier later?

No. Each time it stopped slipping, it immediately got back up and climbed once more. No hesitation. No thinking. Persistence wasn’t a choice, but rather a necessity. It was just part of life.

This cub will have seen it every single day.

Whereas we… well, we have it easier than most other animals. We’re not out in the wild like them, and so over time we’ve had persistence drained from us.

  • A human parent would have gone to the bottom and helped their child…
  • They would let them try a few times on their own, but then step in…
  • They would shout instructions, and tell them which route to take…

It robs them of grit and determination, and of the persistence needed to turn failure into success.

Maybe this is why so many of us reach adulthood with an underperforming, scarcity drive and victim led mindset. By being a “good” parent we diminish persistence.

Yet whether we like it or not, we’re all that cub trying to climb the mountain.

  • Life is NOT easy.
  • There are slips and slides EVERY single day.
  • In life you WILL fail, make mistakes and experience pain.
  • Just as you think you have reached the top, an OBSTACLE will appear.

There’s no avoiding it. Life isn’t about how often or far we fall. It’s about getting back up and persisting. Doing it again. Solving the problem. Trying something new. Pushing, even if you don’t want to.

Success Hinges on How Eagerly & Immediately You Return to The Climb

The bear didn’t wait. It didn’t look up at its momma.
It immediately started its climb, and it did so eagerly.

This is what you must do. Whenever you fail, make a mistake or suffer… you must immediately return and do so eagerly. Not return with a grumble, or by sulking or dragging your feet. You need to accept what’s happened, and embrace what comes next.

Because although you don’t get to choose what life gives you, you do get to choose what happens next.

Upgrade Your Mindset with a New Perspective


You will stumble and fall off track. Fulfilling your dreams and living your life won’t always be easy. You don’t get to choose what obstacles you face, and you often have no idea when they will come.

When they do, it may hurt. This is fine. Feel it.
But what happens next is YOUR choice.

You need to persist, regardless. After all, where would you rather your energy go:

playing the victim, dragging your feet and blaming others or yourself…
or to immediately get up and face whatever challenge is in front of you with a smile?

This is what defines a person, and this is what determines between failure and success.

Not how often or how far you fall, but how quickly and eagerly you return to your mission.

You get to choose which outlook you have. You get to choose what your perception of life and everything in it is. You don’t get to choose if or when bad things will happen to you and those you love, but you do get to choose to accept them, and to immediately and eagerly return to climbing that mountain.

Failure and Success Often Comes Down To Perception

Life isn’t always great, but how quickly you can return to a place of satisfaction and focus is what defines failure and success. There’s no point in wasting your energy on negativity and drama.

Is this easy? No.
Is this needed? Yes.

If you choose to watch that video of momma and cub, I challenge you to not smile as you watch them run off together into the distance. The smile is not because the cub is safe, but because it’s achieved something huge.

For it, right there and then, it must have been the biggest accomplishment in the world.

This is what happens when we persist.

And this is far easier to achieve when we change our perception and upgrade our mindset from glass-half-empty to glass-half-full.


Thanks for reading. If you would like greater insight into Persistence, Perception and the role they play in failure and success… please listen to the episode that accompanies this article in full.

Soon, I’ll be a momma with me very own cub. Watching videos like these have given me a whole new insight into not only how I want to live my life, but how I wish my daughter to live hers. I play a role in that, and I get to choose how I instill persistence and perspective into her.

We all get that choice, for those we serve and for ourselves.

I hope this has inspired you to step back and consider how you overcome adversity. The difference between failure and success almost always comes down to you and how you act. Remember this the next time life throws you a curveball.

Thanks again for listening and reading and listening. Please subscribe to the podcast and connect with me on social media. If you have any questions, share them in the comments below.


The Primal Potential Podcast

Download a free chapter from Chasing Cupcakes.

Enter your first name and email below and I'll send over chapter nine from my best-selling book. 

Thanks! Check your inbox.