Believe it or not, failure is a necessary component of success. Merriam-Webster defines failure as the “omission of occurrence or performance; lack of success; a falling short.” I define failure as a stepping stone to success; a learning experience; an opportunity to grow. I rather like my definition better.

As does Michael Jordan who was quoted saying, “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” After being cut from varsity basketball try-outs his sophomore year, he became the star junior varsity player. That path of failure led him to unparalleled success.

Sir James Dyson, founder of Dyson Ltd., spent over five years and created over 5,000 prototypes before he had his finished product – only to be denied by every manufacturing and distribution company in the UK. He sold his invention from a Japanese catalogue which led him down the path to opening his own manufacturing and distribution company.

The infamous Oprah Winfrey was fired, yes fired, from her first TV gig. Now she owns her own network and has reached immense success.

One very important commonality between these individuals is failure. They each created a new path based on their failures. How you react to the action of failure serves as a precursor to your level of success. Just because your initial idea fails, does not mean you failed. The path you chose was simply not the path that will get you to your goals. Take your failures and run with them.

Vera Wang, famed wedding dress designer, failed to make the 1986 US Olympic Figure Skating Team which was her dream at the time. She then became the editor of Vogue, but failed to make editor-in-chief. She did not begin designing wedding dresses until she was 40!

The talented Sidney Poitier was told to become a dishwasher after a horrible audition for the American Negro Theatre. He worked on his craft and became one of the most refined actors of our time.

We all must judge success individually. Look to others not with an envious eye, but with admiration of their hustle. Learn from their roadblocks and do not be afraid of your detours in life. They may lead you right to where you need to be.