In my opinion, it doesn’t ‘matter what word you use, the underlying issue is that you’ve tried something & it hasn’t, for whatever reason, worked out!
There seems to be a stratum of society that cannot (or does not want to) accept that we fall short of what we set out to do. That’s called, in my dictionary, failure. BUT I don’t view the word failure as inherently negative, which seems to be the initial impression of many. Interpretation of a word often reflects our/others response to the situation than to the situation itself.
I guess where I’m going with this is, it doesn’t really matter what words we use to describe the experience (some may may prefer the positive slant, others like myself, may be less worried) but what DOES matter is how we deal with that occurrence & how we take what we’ve learnt & apply it.
At the heart is the fact that something hasn’t worked-out how we’d wished. That may be something small or it could be something significant. I think a key matter here is that we’re prepared to learn from the experience & improve, or change what we do, or change how we approach something that it will be different next time, hopefully achieving why we want.
We can never take back what has been done (no matter how serious) but we can learn & we can move towards our target. I think they call that learning.
Most of the significant discoveries in life have come from repeated failures: the electric light, the television, the radio, the Dyson cleaner!
If we say, “Failure is not an option,” I think we’re restricting ourselves to a life of repetitiveness & dare I say it, boredom? Little or nothing will change; it will be the way it’s always been. If we’re in this position it may be worth asking, “What am I afraid of: what has happened in my life that has put me where I am, maybe even feeling like a rabbit caught in headlamps: frozen & unable to move?”
I think that in many cases, we have so removed the concept of challenge & competition from our lives since very young: there are no losers; everyone is a winner; we’ve all tried our best. Whilst that is a great sentiment the reality of the world we live & work in is increasingly distanced from those views. Our children are being even less equipped to survive in the world they’re growing-up in because we’re making them unable to handle challenge, competition & yes, failure is not allowed!!
It is often those times of challenge in our lives, those times when something significant enough happens that we’re pulled-up short & forced to re-evaluate. We can no longer just drift along the same path. We have to evaluate where we are, what we’re doing & we do have to make changes if we are to move forward.
I’m a big believer in not changing things where they don’t need to be changed, but I’m also passionate that if we are to improve we have to sometimes be challenged hard enough to want to make the change. Like a dog sitting on a nail, it can whine as much as it likes but until the nail hurts enough for the dog to get up & move, nothing changes. I’m also a big believer in grace & forgiveness, two dirty words today, that are keys to enabling failures to be changed into successes.
Whilst there are many disconnections & too many imperfect opportunities, I think we each have responsibility to make it easier for ourselves & others to fall short of expectations, regroup & try again. As I’ve said before, I think that’s called learning.
So be gracious to yourself & others & hopefully, we will begin to see positive changes where we have influence.
I think the only time when failure is not an option when those around are unable to accept it & help those doing the failing to move forward.
After all, none of us have lived life thus far without making a mistake?
I’d be interested to hear your views.
Until next time …