Failure sucks. I used to think that this obstacle, this humiliating blow to my aims and goals would be the end and I should just pack up and flee the country. But then I found ice cream, Thomas Edison and my parents all of which moulded a new perception within me and allowed me to see failure as challenge and not a defeat.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison
Thomas Edison has most definitly achieved more than anyone individual can imagine possible. That may be a slight exaggeration, but contextually he worked in a time were technology was contingent, nobody knew the extent that which the technological boundaries could be tryed and tested. If I was Edison, I would have taken the 10,000 failures as personal failures and literally self-destructed because I am certainly not as resilient as he. But my advantage lays with my many failure follows an abundance of Ben & Jerry’s- who’s the real winner here?
Nevertheless, what I’ve learnt it that we can not let failure be a force which drives you away from something you love because that means you’re not in control of what you want to do. I know that failure is horrific, believe me I have had many of them. I’ll fill you in on my most recent failure, the dreaded driving test. What is so irritating about this is that I am a fully competent and I may even brand myself a good driver hence why I booked my test. On the day I was a body of jelly, nerves wriddled in and out of me taunting me at potential failure, which I already had encountered a week before so you can imagine my determination to add a triumph to my wall of gloom. It starts well (I mean really well) me and ‘Matt’ are driving along, I ensure I am doing my checks, keeping my speed at a legal level and I start to smile because the money I invested into driving lessons seemed to be the most rewarding investment I could’ve made. Then BANG, we pull over and he asked me to do my manoeuvre. This could’ve gone SO well, however long story short my reverse round the corner probably looked a little something like this…
I was depleted by the time we got to the test centre, then I had to endure the “you would’ve passed with flying colours, had it not been for the manoeuvre”. Granted, this is not a grand scale of failure but I’ve come to terms with the truth that failure is subjective, we all have our own individual failures. Yes some may be on a grander scale and some may be deemed meticulous in the eyes of others, but this does not detract light or pain from one another because the concept of failure is still a universal bullet that infects it’s victim with a feeling of disappointment, frustration and emptiness.
Just quickly, I do intend on passing my driving test soon, my confidence was not knocked enough to give up. Plus having a car would me frequent pizzas and McDonald’s!!!
That is why I think it so important to change our idea of failure, no one likes to be told they have failed because it is a setback. How many people do you know, or even yourself, have worked so hard for a period of time, invested their all only to be met with bitter dissapointment? Too many. So if we see failure as a learning curb or even just a new challenge we can grow from these and become stronger. I like to compare it to cauliflower, in a last post I mentioned my disdain for the white devil, but as a young child it was ‘imperative to my health’ therefore I was forced to eat it and I’ll be fair if I held my breath and thought of chocolate buttons the impact of the taste didn’t make me gag. For me, it’s kind of like failure, the more it happens (which recently is everyone freaking morning) the less painful it gets.
I hope all have experienced failure at some point and would love to know how subjective it really is? Are there those of you who brush it off like a hair on your soldier? If so please teach me how you can because I admire that. Are there those of you like me, we try and see the best of our failures but there is only so much we can take? Or are there those who give up and try something new because the blow left a crater?
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