Monday, December 14, 2009

Loving Failure

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

—Samuel Beckett.

He failed thousands of times did one T.A. Edison. He was thrilled to fail—well, probably not as thrilled as he was when he succeeded, but I think we get the picture. Failure buoyed his courage and was a self-demonstration of the power he had over his environment; nothing it seems could get him down.

And the very same lesson lies in store for us. We have the same power. But, we’re fear-ridden creatures by default. We almost without thought never challenge this thinking; why has success at every step become so mandatory?

We need to and expect to succeed in our endeavours. It’s the way we’ve been wired, and likewise, it’s the way we’ve been brought up; our parents never bragged about our failures, troubles and crimes—they only bragged about our outstanding achievements. And we no doubt heard plenty of friends’ and relatives’ parents hailing their sons and daughters as geniuses and brilliant sport stars—that’s our gauge.

The centre of achievement is not the halcyon of life. Achievement of itself can be a very emptying thing if it’s not filled with meaning and purpose, innately directed toward the intent of our hearts.

“We always learned more after a loss than after a win.”

—Ian Chappell.

Some will read this and think, ‘What’s this guy on?—who in their right mind likes failing?’ No one likes failing, but we really can appreciate our successes a whole lot more when we contrast them with the costs of our preceding failures.

The Chappell quote stands us in good stead. We have something to work on in our failures. Our successes perhaps provide us little, or certainly less, feedback.

When we approach life with this sort of learning approach nothing can really defeat us, certainly not our failures!

© S. J. Wickham, 2009.

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