No Better Teacher (365 Days of Spirited Living – DAY 217)
“It is fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”
— Bill Gates
There is no better teacher than failure. And failure is no more effective than when we choose to learn what it attempts to teach us. Really, the only thing we can do with failure is stop, drop, and roll with it. We would be wise, and in fact, do ourselves a favor, to allow it to change us and shape us into better people.
As the public, we usually only see the success of individuals and companies. We don’t see the dorm room model of Facebook or the first prototype of the Apple computer. We see these things in all their glory and admire the genius of their creators and the success of their companies. The struggle is what we rarely witness.
By not being exposed to failure, it is easy to compare ourselves to the success of others. However, when we do this, we do ourselves a disservice because we only see one side of the story. It’s a lot like comparing yourself to your favorite celebrity. All you see is the glitz and the glam and desire that life. But very many times, behind all of that is some level of pain, heartbreak, or failure.
Before you wish to be like someone else or have what someone else has, make sure you’re willing to endure the pain or failure they had to endure to get to where they are. It’s important to understand that every single person has been called to walk a journey that is defined equally as much by its achievements as it is by its defeats. When we question our abilities and second-guess our decisions, we fail to realize that adversity is a prerequisite to progress.
If you wish for a safe life, then it is possible to live without any major failure. But a safe life is a cautious life that takes no risks, no chances, no attempts, and in that regard, fails by default. If you never fail at something, you might as well not have lived at all. If we live so carefully as to avoid failure, we will never really appreciate success when and if it comes.
“My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with failure.”
— Abraham Lincoln