“Personal Commentary on the Value of Failure”
Failure is one of the most valuable human experiences under the sun. Those who learn from failure become the people strong enough to impact the world around them. Failure is hope differed from a goal. It doesn’t mean rejection. It is not something which defines a person. It is an experience in which a wise person looks back at her and says, “Thank you for shaping me into a better version of me.” Very little is learned from goals achieved without failure in the process. Honestly, a person desiring to become a better version of his or her self will embrace challenges which stretch him or her enough to arrive at failure before success. Arriving at success immediately means the goal did very little to stretch a person and the growth achieved is more static than dynamic. The goal for the human condition should be to achieve dynamic personal growth through the achievement of both failures and successes.
Although failure is a necessary part of life, there are also failures which are avoidable. One of the best ways to avoid a crushing failure is to recognize no person knows everything. A wise person learns how to discover what he or she does not know and apply the knowledge toward success. This can be achieved through both research and wise counsel. Had Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, been willing to listen to his older advisers, he would not have caused the fracture of the kingdom of Israel. This is because the failures and successes of the old can function as wisdom for the young. Another way to avoid unnecessary failure is to recognize one’s weaker areas and form a team in which others have strengths to compensate. Consequently, humility enough to recognize one’s deficits achieved through failures is a necessary part of learning to be successful. Perhaps most importantly in avoiding failure, is the decision to put every effort into learning from one’s mistakes the first time. After all, repeating the same thing over and over and expecting different results is how Einstein defined insanity.
Personally, I am a rather successful failure because I have had experiences which have broken me enough to create in me humility to be teachable. Being teachable is simply a fancy phrase for being able to learn from one’s mistakes. I have made enough glorious mistakes to be entirely aware of my propensity to make them. There is no need to fear failure when a person arrives at acknowledging it as simply a vital part of the growth process.