“The best revenge is massive success.” — Frank Sinatra
I don’t know about you, but I’ve failed miserably in my life. And it’s happened many times over. However, with each passing failure, I’ve learned a bit more and gained invaluable lessons I would never have garnered had I just succeeded from the outset. But this isn’t something unique to my life. We all fail at something at some point in time in our lives.
None of the world’s most successful people have experienced a life amiss with failure. In fact, the world’s most famously-successful people have failed the most times. The only difference between them and others is that they didn’t give up. But that’s also why success is so sweet after so many bitter failures, and why success can often be the best revenge.
Now, I’m not one for seeking revenge in the traditional sense of the word. I don’t believe in an eye for an eye. I believe in turning the other cheek, even if someone smites you on both sides. As difficult as it might be, I just don’t believe in the negative energy that results from the fallout of revenge-based thoughts.
However, I am one for rooting for the underdog, whomever that might be. The underdogs are always those that are discounted and dismissed in life for whatever reasons. Maybe they didn’t fit the status quo or maybe their ideas were just too revolutionary at the time in society, or maybe it was something else.
Yet, the story of the underdog is quite possibly one of the oldest stories in the universe. It’s about those incremental changes or differences that allow one organism to compete and survive, even thrive, over another, even after repeated failures. In fact, human life is the result of an underdog story, a remote possibility in progress and achievement.
However, looking at our lives, we don’t often look at the blessings and miracles we’ve been given, especially when we’re dealing with the torment of pain and failure. We look to what we don’t have. We compete with others, get angry, argue, fight and hold personal grudges that can last years, decades and even lifetimes.
As a society, we are still so young, naive and immature that we often let pain and failure carry us away. Stress, anxiety and fear, natural human emotions that are genetically woven into the fiber of our being, help take over our bodies and minds, allowing it to dictate just what we do or what we’re capable of.
Others are able to overcome those inherent underpinnings with the mind. They’re able to leverage their minds, with the support of their bodies, to move past that by focusing entirely on what they want out of life, not being dissuaded by things like pain or failure. They’re able to push past the difficulties and ultimately succeed, reveling in that moment briefly, savoring the sweetness of their victories.
Why Is Success The Best Revenge?
Many of you know Sylvester Stallone, the actor who originally came to the scene in his portrayal of Rocky Balboa in the Rocky series. However, many of you don’t know the actor’s story. Sylvester Stallone was once broke and even homeless. Yes, homeless. He lived in a New Jersey Port Authority bus station for 3 weeks.
He was also rejected over 1,500 times by talent scouts and movie industry brass, so you could say that Stallone was once a major failure. It was so bad for him that at one point in time he was even forced to sell his dog for $25 just to cover his electricity bill. It was so bad because his dog was his best friend. It was that same dog that he later bought back and even took with him to appear in the original Rocky movie.
How many people do you think discounted Stallone during his years of struggle? How many people do you think said to him that he was a no good nobody? It’s hard to think about someone who became so famous, was once being such a failure. But he was. Yet, can you imagine just how good the revenge of success tasted to Stallone when he was standing on that stage during the Academy Awards in 1977 after his movie had just won 3 Oscars? Nothing short of incredible, I’m sure of it.
Whatever it is that you’re going through right now, no matter how many failures or setbacks you’ve experienced, or how many people in your life are telling you that you’re not capable of achieving something, know this — success can be the best revenge that you’ll ever need in life. Why? It’s not about trying to prove someone wrong. It’s about proving to yourself what you’re capable of. The rest of it will happen on its own.
So, while there might be dozens or hundreds of reasons why success is considered to be the best revenge, there are 7 in particular that I think are poignantly important to point out.
#1 — Victory tastes so much sweeter after failure
In order to reach success, we need to fail numerous times. Sometimes, we need to fail hundreds or thousands of times. Often, each of those failures can seem like cataclysmic events on their own. So to say that victory tastes that much sweeter after so many failures is somewhat of an understatement.
After that many failures and that many years of pushing towards something, success can seem like the ultimate revenge. Not just to those that are around you, but even to yourself. Why? Because we can become our own worst enemies at certain times in our lives with all the fear and self-doubt that we tend to harbor and hold while trying to achieve anything.
However, once you get there, and you take that so-called victory lap, all of the hard work pays off. It’s all worth it once you reach that point. Once you achieve the seemingly impossible, you can revel in that victory for a moment. You can let the spotlight shine on you until you set the bar higher and push harder to achieve even more.
#2 — Breaking through your fears transforms you into a new person
No one can achieve success without having to breakthrough some of their fears. Those same fears can play a large number on us. They’re manifested through the internal wrangling in both the conscious and subconscious minds, but they fester and grow thanks to the calls of others that tell us we’re incapable of achieving something.
Success can definitely feel like the best revenge after you have to breakthrough all of the fears that once held you back. But those same breakthroughs also transform you into a new person. You’re not the same individual that you started out as before you achieved lofty success.
Why? Because, in order to achieve anything worthwhile, we have to breakthrough our limiting fears, but that also makes us reach deeper understandings about things like life, love, goals and all the people and things around us. There’s something so incredibly transformative and deeply meaningful about that.
#3 — You come to the realization that positive thinking trumps negativity
Negative thinking runs rampant in the world. That much is clear. It’s born from fear, but it’s fostered by the media and other amplifiers out there in the world. People around us make the matter worse by helping to drive home the point that we’re incapable of achieving something for whatever reason it might be.
With so much negative thinking out there, it’s hard to stay positive. However, when your goals are meaningful enough to you, you do what it takes to push through by staying mentally tough and having a positive mindset. That’s how you eventually reach your goals. That’s how you eventually follow through and achieve big things over time.
Success can be the best revenge because you realize that positivity trumps negativity every single day of the week. In any moment, you realize that it pays to be positive rather than negative, because that’s what helps to carry you through the tough times that we all tend to experience.
#4 — True friends are discovered by witnessing who stuck by you through the worst of times
The truth of the matter is that when we’re succeeding, there are plenty of people around us to help us enjoy that success. They’re like moths drawn to a flame. But take that success away and you’ll quickly realize just who your true friends are. This is an important distinction to make in life.
Everyone likes to bet on a winner, but not everyone bets on a loser. There’s an inherent risk associated with that in life. But the greater the risk, the greater the potential for reward, and oftentimes our biggest failures can also be the most important blessings in disguise because we see who truly sticks by our sides.
When we’re down, there’s no one around aside from those who truly care about our wellbeing. And, when you’re back up, and those people who disappeared when you failed, begin to reappear, you can dismiss them from your life for not sticking by you when you truly needed them.
#5 — Success makes us more aware of what we’re capable of
As humans, we are capable of a whole lot of things, much of which we don’t even realize ourselves. The human imagination is boundless. In the last 100 years, we’ve dreamed up and achieved things that would boggle the minds of those living in the past. In fact, human life and modern civilization is a miraculous occurrence that has tested the boundaries of improbability.
However, when we’re suffering through failure, we don’t realize just what we’re capable of. But success is most certainly the best revenge when we ultimately achieve our goals. We come to the realization of just what we can accomplish when we put our minds to it, focusing on it with unwavering persistence.
There’s something very miraculous about that. There’s something so very miraculous about achieving the seemingly unachievable that it makes us realize that anything is truly possible as long as you put your heart and soul into it and pursue with every last fiber and morsel of your being.
#6 — Others begin to champion your accomplishments for you
Success can often be deemed the best revenge because you’re not even the one having to tell others about it. As you work in silence, your success makes the noise for you. Others begin to champion your accomplishments, telling those around you just what you were able to accomplish and achieve.
It’s an incredible feeling to be able to achieve major success in any endeavor, but it’s all that more incredible when the people around you help to elevate your spirit by championing your accomplishments. When the doubters and the naysayers hear the news, they become largely dismayed by it.
The truth is that many don’t like to see those around them succeeding because it upsets them that someone that they know was able to achieve success while they weren’t able to do so. It makes them feel insecure and anxious about their own chances to succeed, questioning their entire existence in life.
#7 — You become a symbol of possibility and hope to others
When you succeed in life, you become a symbol of possibility and hope to others around you that are trying to achieve their dreams. They come to the realization that they too can accomplish their goals just as long as they don’t give up and they push through the barriers that once held them back in the past.
Clearly, many people out there have a hard time believing in themselves. They take all the things that are going against them and come up with the reasons why they can’t achieve something. But success can be the best revenge by helping others to realize their own potentials, not just about showing up people that didn’t believe in you personally.
Others can use your success as an example of what’s possible in life. They can use it as a roadmap to achieve the seemingly unachievable. Then, when they achieve success themselves, not only will it be the best revenge for you, but it will also be the best revenge for them, because you helped them prove what was possible in life when you refuse to give up.