Failure Not Fatal

Which is worse, failing or never trying?

by Jonathan Hilton  Day 37

Nobody in their right mind would ever set out to fail, because accomplishment is what people are all about. Yet I look at our society and I see a significant fear of failure in the eyes of most people.  It is bred from our earliest school days, do what we tell you and succeed never try something your not sure of, you might fail.  I think that history is fully loaded with people who have seen their share of disappointment and failure. Yet these initial setbacks worked as a springboard to future success.  Failure is never fatal, quitting is.

A Harsh but Effective Teacher

learning from failure

At First You May Fall

Failure is a word that has negative connotations attached to it.  Nobody wants to be seen as a failure, associated with a failure or even admit that they have experienced failure.

The perception of being a failure can harm everything in our society, from stock market prices to the power of a celebrity at the box office.  Being a winner is preferable to being a loser. Yet sometimes we all lose.

However if you spend a little time and look at the lessons that you learned over the expanse of your life, you probably learned a lot more from the loses you experienced than from any other teacher you have ever had.  Failure is not a fun thing to experience but learning to deal with it and rise above it is.

Failing Can Open Doors of Opportunity

Once you learn this lesson there is really no goal that is too far from your

finding success in failure

But You May Find Inspiration

reach.  Once you take ownership of what has happened and recognize why you fell short, you can take steps to continue working to achieve that goal. Often your ultimate success was driven by that initial faltering attempt.

One of the best things about becoming involved in athletics as a child is that you get to learn how to overcome setbacks in a controlled environment.

These lessons are directly applicable to life, you will not always get the job, sometimes there is criticism of your work, and you don’t always win.

If you keep striving to win though, and you evaluate your shortcomings honestly, than a person can overcome almost any failure and find success in the end.  That success can extend to any part of your life.

Why Are We So Afraid?

Thomas Edison quote on failureIt seems like today; parents are so involved in the lives of their kids that often children are not allowed the freedom to fail at anything.

Either because they never want their kids to feel bad, or the parents are living vicariously through the accomplishments of their young ones.

Either way, kids are often times taught that everyone is a winner, and participate in non-competitive games, which I think sends an unrealistic life lesson, because life is not that way.

Life has a way of testing you and finding out what you are made of.  Life is a game that you can’t win, you can only play it and a healthy part of it is that sometimes things are not going to work out for you.

I would think that if I had never understood this that the first time failure came to me, I might have a nervous breakdown and never recover.  Yet the hope of accomplishment and being great keeps people marching forward, despite the risks of failing and the pain involved in not getting what you want.

If you work toward a goal then you will have an opportunity to achieve that goal.

Give It A Shot, Then At Least You Know

When it comes to never trying you will avoid experiencing this failure, but you will also never learn the lessons that failure inevitably teaches you.  That all things are not accomplished easily, but if we persevere in our efforts we can accomplish almost anything.

failure is not final

Great thought!

Never trying is definitely way worse than failure, you will never know your capabilities unless you test yourself.

You will never improve physically, mentally or spiritually unless you push yourself a little.  When you push yourself, sometimes you fail.

Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back to it. Learning this lesson will be one of the valuable experiences you will have.  And at least you will know, definitively once and for all, what you are capable of.   You are a great human soul with unlimited potential and effort and fearless acceptance of the consequences will take you there.

Which is worse, failing or never trying?

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10 thoughts on “Failure Not Fatal

  1. Purnimodo

    I agree with you that parents are way to involved with their kids nowadays. Some of my students go to sports and music classes every day of the week which leaves them with no time to explore the world or whatever there is in their own minds.

    I think it was Khail Gibran (and probably many before them) that said that ‘our children are not ours’ it’s a soul and you can guide that soul but no more than that. To claim a life in an attempt to try to life the life you thought you were supposed to be living .. it’s so selfish and cruel. So destructive.

    Sometimes when setting goals it’s good reflect on whether you are fulfilling your own goals and what your motives are. If you are chasing somebody else’s dreams and goals you will only drain yourself (unless they have party became your personal goals too).

    Not easy of course but that’s why we have wonderful bloggers like you to remind us to put those shoes back on and to keep walking.

    With a smile

    And full of love :)

    Reply
    1. Jon

      Aw Purni, you really make my day. Holland must be a wonderful place to live if it is filled with wonderful people like you. I am sure that you have no problems setting goals and following through with them. You have such great talent in so many areas it is just a matter of picking where you want to be a success. I agree about the role of parents, but I have seen many who don’t follow this, and really blame everyone else if their kids even appear to fail. Failure is not a bad thing, it is just a thing that teaches what not to do. Sometimes they are hard lessons, but sometimes they have to be. There are few that are so catastrophic that you can’t come back from them. Thank you so much for commenting my wonderful, talented and inspirational friend. I always feel so much better having read your thoughts. :-) I am grateful for your contribution!

      Reply
  2. djmatticus

    You nailed this one. Not only is worse to have never tried than to fail, but after you’ve failed a few times the success will be that much sweeter. We have to lose sometimes to learn the value of winning. We have to fail, and fall, and be defeated to learn what success, and rising up, and victory truly mean… and to be on the lookout for those around us we can help pick up and send on their way too.

    Reply
    1. Jon

      That is a great point Matt. There are always people that could use a little encouragement and each of us could be the one that provides that kind word that helps someone else keep on moving forward toward a goal. I think that sometimes people are so afraid to fail that they are scared to try. Nothing is ever accomplished this way. Thanks for the great comments and for taking the time to read, I am always grateful to you.

      Reply
  3. MissFourEyes

    I really like that quote “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” so perfect. Never give up, and never fail to try.

    Reply
  4. Kozo Hattori

    Jon,
    I completely agree with you about failure being life’s way of teaching valuable lessons. If it wasn’t for my failures, I wouldn’t be blogging! I also agree about youth sports and activities where everyone is a winner. My 5 year old son is in soccer where they don’t even play real games, yet everyone gets a trophy at the end of the year. My brother’s son golfed in a tournament and asked, “Where is my trophy?” I don’t want kids to go through the humiliation I went through, but I definitely want them to know that sometimes you need to keep trying if you don’t succeed.
    {{{Hugs]}} Kozo

    Reply
    1. Jon

      Thanks Kozo, it is a fine line sometimes between being supportive and overbearing. In my experience anything worthwhile comes with a price tag attached to it. Anything that teaches the ability to overcome obstacles and not to give up is a valuable thing to know and learn. I also would not be blogging if not for a few mistakes and some failure. I was thinking yesterday. I had never written a significant word before a year and a half ago. Not one real word of thought. That kind of blew my mind that it has been such a short time. Thank you Kozo for commenting and I am grateful for your friendship. :-)

      Reply
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