Mark Twain was one of the people I would have most liked meeting, he was known for his quick wit and the author of some of the best known American classics. You would have thought he would have been happy, he was the highest-paid author of his day, but he wasn't happy.
He saw himself as a financial wizard and invested in losing things like a magnetic telegraph, on a steam pulley, on the Fredonia Watch Company, and on railroad stocks among other losing starts- up. He even turned down the opportunity to buy into Bell Telephone.
Twain had used wealth as his only yardstick of success rather than capitalizing on what he knew the best writing. He had lost his perspective of who he really was to the point he almost went bankrupt.
Is there a lesson to be learned from Twain? I think there is; your passion has to align with your talents, if you are going to fail, at least fail in an area you are competent in. That doesn't mean that failure should stop you from moving forward. Sumner Redstone said it best, " Success is not built on success. It's built on failure. It's built on frustration. Sometimes it is built on catastrophe. Make sure if you are failing it is in the right direction and with a solid connection to your skills.
I'd like to end with a Mark Twain quote he should have listed to himself, "There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded." Be part of the first group.