Success and Failure

Success is just failing over and over again, until you succeed. ~ JP ~

Let’s face it. No one likes to fail. In fact failure in western society is looked down upon with disdain. We are taught from an early age that we should do certain things in life to “succeed”, examples of this are that we should go to school and get good grades moving from grade to grade getting ever more “successful.”

Success in our culture means winning. Losing is not even a thought amongst most of us, because losing is failure. Failure is painful because most of us have been trained from a very early age to believe that failure is bad, that failure is to be avoided at all costs.

We have been lied to by our parents, teachers, employers and society.  It really isn’t their fault though, the “failure is a bad thing” mentality was taught to them from their parents, teachers, employers and society, and
so it was passed on to us like a virus. Failure is not a bad thing and with the right mindset “failures” can be a launching pad for further reflection and subsequent course changes in our life.

Failing must be looked at with an eye towards change instead of an end game. We all fail, every single day. Everyday millions of people beat themselves up for not doing something the “right” way.  The Greek philosopher Socrates has been attributed with the quote, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

I agree. When we do or don’t do something and then feel like we have failed, instead of berating ourselves we should take Socrates advice and examine our actions with an dispassionate observer’s point of view. Examining and thinking through actions/inactions will help in discovering the real reasons for the supposed failure.

Failure is only as permanent as we let it be. Failure is a teaching tool, a moment in time and should be dwelled on it order to grow and change, but not to wallow in. The next time you feel like you have failed yourself or another, give yourself the space to step back and realize that you are human and that it happens to everyone. Failure can defeat you or propel you onto bigger and better things with the mindset of self-forgiveness and inner reflection.

Go out into the world and fail big! Success however you define it is always built on the ruins of failure. Always.