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Necessity for Success: The Phoenix Must Burn to Emerge

A century ago people wanted to be respected, three centuries ago it was the state of their immortal souls that obsessed them.

By Kay Sexton, Contributor 

Today, we focus on success!

Books are written about it, podcasts focus on it, each of us has a personal barometer that charts our success level in all areas of life: financially, socially, romantically, educationally, sports, work and family. We measure our success everywhere.

But the one requirement for success that we tend to overlook is failure. It’s the part we prefer not to talk about, the element that somehow corrodes the bright story of our achievement.

And yet, it’s the essential prerequisite for any success for three reasons…

  1. We learn more from mistakes – or as Thomas Edison put it, “I make more mistakes than anyone I know, and eventually I patent them.”
  2. We redefine our goals through failure
  3. We develop through failure more than success.

Janet Fitch says “The phoenix must burn to emerge” and that’s a motif for successful people everywhere: grit, determination, flexibility, imaginative leaps, laughter in the face of defeat, gratitude for what we have – these traits are not developed through success but through challenge, frustration and failure.

Necessity for Success Feature - Success: The Phoenix Must Burn to Emerge
Image credit: Nicolas Hoizey / Shot during 34th international Elite athletics meeting in Montgeron-Essonne 2018

What makes failure worthwhile?

At Satopia we know that overcoming challenges is universal. We’ve also come to understand that one of the common threads that link our hosts is the ability to transcend failure. And we think we know why.

We all admire success – the Olympic athlete who achieves something that most of us view as physically impossible, the entrepreneur whose fortune has endless zeroes, the artist whose creations encapsulate something we always knew but could never express. But we only empathise with those people when we understand their challenges and failures.


The long hours of training, the failed businesses, the years spent in obscurity honing skills, all allow us to appreciate the magnitude of success and to engage with the process of success rather than just its outcomes.

That’s why people enjoy spending time with our hosts – putting failure to work helps us redefine our own experiences, refocus our energies and energise our journey towards what really matters to us. 

“I make more mistakes than anyone I know, and eventually I patent them.”

Thomas EdisonAmerican Inventor & Businessman

From Failure to Success,
Satopia shares the secrets… 

Masterchef Massimo Bottura had an experience of failure that few of us could endure. His restaurant in Modena was castigated by locals who did not appreciate his revolutionary approach to food. He was nearly bankrupted by their rejection but by learning fast, refining his ideas and sticking to his guns he turned things around and achieved three Michelin stars. It’s a perfect example of embracing failure, asking tough questions and growing into success. What makes Massimo such a great host is his humility, his willingness to question and his ability to both teach and learn.


Masterchef Francis Mallmann’s experience was much more personal. He lost faith in his world. Having won plaudits with French haute cuisine, he felt empty and unfulfilled, so he closed his restaurant and walked away. He’s such a powerful host because he can share the experience of feeling unhappy in ‘success’ and redefining his goals to discover what success could truly be. His reinvention has also been wildly successful, but it’s all about personal fulfilment for him.

That’s what makes a Satopia experience so special. The opportunity to take a journey that encompasses both success and failure, and learn alongside some of the world’s most successful people, gives us the chance to learn, redefine and develop. It helps us understand what it means to succeed.

For a chance to travel together with Satopia Hosts around the world, please visit our Hosted Experiences webpage here. 
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Satopia is a global community of inspirational people empowering humanity with passion and purpose. 


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