Remember, you must fail in order to succeed!

When someone says “think again” reply (most often silently in your own head), “I prefer to think-a-gain.”

I know the title of this chapter is tough on the ears, but as ironic as it sounds, it is very true. You must fail to succeed. Think about learning to walk – you must first crawl, then you will stumble and fall. You must first, “goo, goo and ga” before you can talk.

The same is true with learning the martial arts, a new skill, or developing a character trait. So why should it be any different with success in life? As a child you wouldn’t give up – you would keep trying until you learned to walk, run, fly, or kick. Yes, you will fail, but you will succeed as long as you keep climbing.

Step by step

We are happiest when we are striving for and accomplishing worthwhile goals. We feel good knowing that we took on the challenge and faced down our fears. It comes from your efforts, and if you don’t feel that you are in YOUR place, you won’t ever arrive at that happy state of mind. This doesn’t mean you look at my picture and do the Grand Canyon leap, but it means, if that is your goal, you begin today to take small, incremental steps toward being able to do it.


Here is a thought I coined when editing my book on a flight to Bangkok from Los Angeles. You might have heard of the popular phrase: “think again.”

The imaginary conversation would go something like:

“I want your job, and I’m going to get it.”

“Not likely. You better think again.”

Typically, to “think again” is to say, let’s try to view this from another perspective. It implies that your thinking is wrong, perhaps even ridiculous, and you should rethink your approach. It can also mean to take a second glance. It suggests a process of reconsideration. Most often it is used as a way to correct other people and/or to limit their beliefs and potential. In itself, it can easily be transformed to mean something rather positive if taken in the right context.

“If you think you can get a black belt in the martial arts, think again.”

“If you think you can become a black belt in [what you do], think again.”

So really all we want to do is to change the way we think again. We can do this by saying, “think-a-gain” as opposed to “think again.” Let’s look at some of the definitions for the word “gain”:

  • to get (something desired) as a result of one’s efforts
  • to acquire as an addition
  • to obtain as a profit
  • to win
  • to persuade
  • to reach
  • to improve; make progress; advance
  • to get nearer
  • to increase or advance

To gain is most certainly a positive process we would like to have in our system for success. What we want to do is to take any action (successful or not) and turn it into a GAIN. So if you fail, instead of being upset or negative about the experience, you can think a gain.

This means that you would think of the gains or about all of the positive possibilities and/or results that can come from a failure.

Start working with this tip for transformational vocabulary by converting the way you say and hear the phrase “think again.”

Think – again (pronounced” uh-gen”)

Think – a – gain (pronounced “uh-geyn”)

Winjitsu Work Out

Contrary to the positive messages presented throughout this book, I would like for you to think for a moment about failure. Think about a time when things did not go as you had wished or planned. Think about a time when someone told you to “think again” or perhaps they said you should have “thought twice.”

Got it? Now turn that event, that supposed failure, into a “gain”. There was almost certainly some benefit that came from the failed effort. You learned something, even if it was “The stove is hot. Don’t touch the stove.” You gained knowledge about heat from the blister on your finger.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top