I’ve been thinking a lot about failure lately. (I should point out that I started working on the first draft of this post more than a week ago, before my beloved Red Sox were eliminated) It was timely that, courtesy of my friend C I found an article from the New York Times entitled, “What if the secret to success is failure?”. While most of the article is about rich, upper-class kids and their over-performing, overprotective parents, it made some good points about what we expect from our kids and what we do that sabotages them.
I, personally, am a fan of failure. At work we really have a culture of Yoda-isms “do or do not, there is no try”, that sort of thing. Well, that’s great…up to a point. But sometimes, I just want to try something that I’m pretty sure I’m going to fail at. Juuuust for the sake of trying…and failing. And why the hell not? The way I look at it, when you die you shouldn’t regret the things you did, you should regret the things you didn’t just throw yourself into.
Failure teaches lessons that winning never does. How to deal, being the most important lesson. Deal with losing. Deal with not succeeding. Life goes on, and often, there are more important things going on. It’s how you deal with failure that defines you, and whether or not you give up. Can you change course? Well, we’ll see won’t we?
I’ve had some spectacular failures in my life….and I’ve learned from every one of them. They are what they are – don’t ask me if I’d go back and do things differently because if it’s a non-issue I’m not answering.
I watch son J fail at things and do my best to help him understand that it’s how he faces those failures that will make him the man his is, or will be. Hard lesson for a five year old.