I’ve mentioned it a couple of times now but it is something that has popped up again. Plus I have found another idea that I think is important from the bad grade I got in one of my classes. Some see it as a failure, I see it as a mistake/slip that I could have avoided. In any case this is what I got out of it. (For simplicity I’m going to refer to it as a failure).
I failed, I did the opposite of what I was supposed to do, which was to try my hardest. I understand what I did wrong, I know how to fix it and it won’t happen again. But what I think is the most important aspect to this is the fact that failing won’t kill you. I am still in school, I’m still getting good grades in all of my other classes and I’m still going to college. I am not going to end up homeless because of this one failure. It will be something that I will remember just like anything moderately substantial that has happened to me before but it won’t be much more than that.
I shouldn’t be considered a bad student for this and I shouldn’t have a figurative storm cloud over my head as I walk through the halls. In all honesty, it should be a good thing that I failed. We are human, bad stuff happens, mistakes are made and lessons are learned. I have gotten a taste of where I don’t want to be, which allows me to know where I should steer away from for next time. I know what happens when I fail and I know that I don’t want that to happen again.
Take a straight A student who is taking AP or honors classes throughout his/her education. He/she won’t know what it is like to fail, he/she wouldn’t have gotten a taste of the other side of the spectrum. Now fast forward 5 or so years and this same person is trying to land a job. They try and they try to get a job but no one will hire them. Failure.
He/she won’t know what to do because failing is not in his/her vocabulary, it isn’t something that is familiar to him/her. Why do we hear so many success stories about the lowest man on the totem pole becoming a CEO? Because that person has tasted failure and they know it well. In failing they have learned for themselves how to get out of it and achieve a higher status.
Failure is needed to become a better person and to become better at doing something. Take a relationship for example. A failure there could be seen as a fight between the two people. One of them messed up yet they have learned from this experience and the relationship will become stronger because they tackled the obstacle (failure) together.
On the other side of the coin, you will not become great if you consistently fail. Greatness needs to follow failure in order to achieve more. And as with most things in life, failure needs balance. For every failure there should be a success. And even if you are in your later years, you are not perfect because you have failed so many times before and risen above that failure. You will face new challenges that need to be failed to see the wrong side of that event or action.
This is not to say that for every success there should be a failure tagged with it. Succeeding the first time is possible and we feel so accomplished when we are able to do this. If you can succeed the first time then don’t wait for a failure to find you, succeed when you can.
I’m sure I could write a whole book on this topic if I was given the time and I’m sure that there are books out there on this. But these are the basics that I have been through at different parts of my life and also that I have been reminded of in this awesome video (he mentions it briefly at 1:46 but watch the whole video because anyone can learn from the topics that he talks about):
What are your thoughts on failing? Do we need to fail or can we succeed all the time? Let me know in the comments on what you think!