Success is measured by how high you bounce when you hit [the] bottom
George S. Patton
Why do we really fail? How can we move beyond our disappointments?
Failure is necessary to remind us how strong we are. It is necessary to face failure in order to reap success.I know even to me there is something cliché, or even condescending about the above statement, especially if you are hitting the jackpot in screw ups. If lately everything seems to be veering downhill, well take comfort, you are most likely not the only one. Many older persons will complain about the privilege of the young who seem to live so carefree and contribute very little – a.k.a being professional bums. However, many of us refuse, or even cannot operate, within the conventional role that society would seek to cast us in. We refuse to sit on the proverbial couch while our talents and creativity are forcibly ripped from us and used against us. Our lives become a living meme that is constantly deconstructed and ridiculed;we become someone else’s entertainment.
This is where failure rears its ugly head and threatens to swallow us. It begins, with the fear of abandoning all the trappings that we have been infested with from society. We measure our worth on what others have determined we are worth and how high we should aim. we are told to stay grounded. But what does that even mean? There are many ways to consider this but the vantage point from which I want to do so, is from the restrictive potential of being grounded. It means to accept what has become of your life without much intrusion on your part; being passive and sensible; avoiding confrontation and most importantly, doing what is expected and what the collective views as being ‘the right thing’. But here is the thing; ‘the right thing’ may not be right for everyone. Staying grounded can lead to a nightmare, where your ‘rootedness’ becomes your prison. Life becomes repetitive and your dreams die a slow and painful death.
So what is the alternative? Here again there is no simple nor right answer. we each have to find our own way, to the success our potential carries. Along the way, in the eyes of many in society, we will fail many times – something that a lot of us are unwilling to accept or even consider. failure is only relevant though, in a world were there is little room for exploration and time is limited to expectations. If one considers that adventure, for a lot of persons, has been relegated to a promise of escape via the varying means of manufactured entertainment, then we realize how small and shallow our vision of our world and our potential within this world has become. We fail when we accept what others see as our failures. We only fail, when we accept the space that someone else has determined we belong in. We only fail, when we start looking at ourselves through someone else’s vision. We only fail, when we stop trying and never move beyond what we know and do.
What we each have to come to terms with, is that we do not fail because someone has failed us, but because we have failed ourselves. When we never have a kind word to say about ourselves by being our own worst detractors. When we stop seeing the things we have not done according to the expectations of others and being more honest and resolute about crafting our reality, then we will succeed. If we stop believing in the act of failing, we will come to realize that those teaching moments, offer an opportunity for us to know we can do better, aim higher, be greater by just closing that door and opening another with a new flavor that will add to our success. How high can we go? Really, it’s as high as we want to.