“I failed.” “Good. Now go fail again.”
Failure. For some reason, failing at something feels like and is viewed as a bad thing. But honestly, in all actuality, is it really a bad thing? It’s said that Thomas Edison learned 99 ways NOT to make a light bulb before that 1 that worked. I’ve read that award winning author James Patterson was rejected by agents and publishers 31 times before someone picked up his first book. Stephanie Meyer and JK Rowling had similar stories. I’ve also learned that with each failure, I’m a little closer to success. So, in today’s world of standardized testings, judgmental individuals all over the place, and such, when we fail, is it really and truly something bad?
According to Dictionary.com, Failure is defined as 1) a lack of success, 2) nonperformance of something due, required, or expected, 3) a subnormal quantity or quality; an insufficiency, 4) deterioration or decay, especially of vigor, strength, etc., 5) a condition of being bankrupt by reason of insolvency, 6) an unsuccessful person, enterprise, or thing. Even with all of these descriptions of what failure is, I still don’t believe that those descriptions completely sums up what failure actually is.
I think failure can be a learning experience. Over my lifetime, I’ve failed at many things. I cannot play the violin - yes, I tried, and it was NOT a pretty experience. But for as much as I’d love to be Alison Krauss or Charlie Daniels, I know that my forte is not in the strings! And I’m totally ok with that. I do not feel like less of a person because I cannot play the fiddle. In high school, I failed the first two six-weeks of Algebra I. I learned that I needed help, boatloads of help in fact, but I also learned that math was not something that came easily to me, and that I needed to work harder in order to pass it. I don’t feel any less because of my difficulties in math, I just know now that I have to do other things than most students, in order to completely understand the subject matter, and again, I’m ok with that. I have had a failed marriage. It doesn’t make me any less of a woman or person, it just means that I now know and understand what a marriage shouldn’t be. Sometimes I fail as a teacher. When I fail to recognize a problem with one of my students, or I fail to see one for their true potential, or I fail to get past my own mindsets in order to be a competent and proficient instructor. Does this make me any less human? No, it just reminds me that I am human and that there are certain things that I need to work harder for each day. Sometimes I fail to be thankful for the many blessings that I have. That definitely makes me human, but it also reminds me that I do have so much to be thankful for. So failing at something isn’t always a bad thing, if you can learn from or you can find something good in that failure.
At the moment, my failure is in my writing. Or, I guess I should say, my lack there of. I started this blog with a fire and a determination that I was going to update it weekly. But, considering my last post was in March and the one before that was July of last year...well, I do believe I’m a bit off track. I hope to start a new trend as of today. I cannot promise a new blog post every day, that’s for certain, but, I have a lot of things that I’d like to write about and to share with anyone who reads this. I also have some ideas for discussions to get you all involved in my blog! I may be writing about the antics of my animals, or some social injustice that I perceive at the moment, but I’m determined to try again!
So, yes, I’ve failed. I’ve learned. And now I’m going to go fail again, so that I can continue this lifelong learning process of mine!
Until next time (which hopefully will not take another 3 months to accomplish!)
Comment on things that you've failed at and have learned from. I'd love to hear other's take on this subject.
**Special thanks to whomever posted this picture on Facebook that I was able to snag. Thanks to Game of Thrones for the scene that’s depicted in the picture.