The Nature of Failure


We all fail. In big ways, in small ways. We probably fail a little bit every day: items left unchecked on the to-do list; a dishwasher unemptied; running late even when we swore we’d be on time.

It’s a regular, run-of-the-mill occurrence. So why does it seem to count more than anything else?

When we fail, especially when we fail in a big, inescapable, unmistakable way, it seems to cut the light around anything else, creating a huge spotlight we think everyone else can see, we think everyone else can’t help but see.

We can’t win all the time, can we? Perhaps we’re lucky if we win even some of the time. Life is like an endless carnival with strings of booths packed with giant teddy bears. Everyone wants a giant teddy bear. There they are, seemingly for the taking.

But not everyone gets one. Sometimes we get the small inflatable unicorn. It’s not a giant teddy bear, but you know what? It’s not bad. And sometimes you throw your rings at the bottles and you don’t hook a single one.

What do you do? You can keep trying until you get it, or you can move on to the next booth. Lamenting the teddy bear isn’t going to get you any closer to it.

Failure is a part of trying. Whether you keep trying or move on to something else, well, only you can decide.

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