Updated: Dec 10, 2020
I smoked on and off (mainly on) for about 17 years and in those 17 years I quit smoking, at my longest break, for almost 2 years. I say almost because I had the occasional cigarette periodically and discreetly. I probably “quit” smoking at least a dozen times during those years only to fall short and end up right back there again.
Reflecting on my life to this point I realize I have failed a lot of times at a lot of things. My failures undoubtedly stack up to a much larger percent of my total score than my successes. Does that sound familiar to you? Does your score card stack up like mine? Maybe this article is not for you, or maybe you are still trying to have honest conversations with yourself. No judgment, it’s hard to do. We generally aren’t really fooling anyone but ourselves but keeping up the image of ourselves in our own mind is important to us.
Failure is the great equalizer, second only to death. It doesn’t respect anyone or anything. It is not determined by age, creed, color, sex, income, or demographic. It affects all people and if you let it, it will become the bars of your own prison.
Failures pile up into invisible walls that tell us we are no good, we are losers, and we are worthless. Why would you even try, you will fail again; you always fail. We stand paralyzed by our own past failures and succumb to the pressure to give up before we start. We become still and wither in our own self-loathing as we believe the lies that failure tells us. Or do you?
You are here now reading this.
You are looking into The Fallible Man lifestyle, maybe this is not you. If you are shackled by past failures, then keep reading. I need you to hear these words, I want you to say them out loud to yourself.
“I forgive myself for my past failures and I am not a prisoner of my past failures. I have a future and I am worthy of it.”
Failure is a King, but it is a King that deals out of either hand, you just have to choose which hand you receive from. Let me show you.
When a reporter asked Thomas Edison, "How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?" Edison replied, "I didn't fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps."
Albert Einstein did not speak until he was 4-years-old and did not read until he was 7. His parents thought he was "sub-normal," and one of his teachers described him as "mentally slow, unsociable, and adrift forever in foolish dreams." He was expelled from school and was refused admittance to the Zurich Polytechnic School. He did eventually learn to speak and read. Even to do a little math.
Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because "he lacked imagination and had no good ideas." He went bankrupt several times before he built Disneyland. In fact, the proposed park was rejected by the city of Anaheim on the grounds that it would only attract riffraff.
Twelve publishers rejected J.K. Rowling's book about a boy wizard before a small London house picked up Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.
Is that enough, are you starting to hear the message and understand how the King hands out its favor?
"Only those who dare to fail greatly can achieve greatly."
~ Robert F. Kennedy
Failure is the King of all teachers, without it you cannot truly learn anything of great value. If you read a set of instructions and it works, then all you have gained is the knowledge that instructions work. You do not know why they work, how they work or how the whole process works. You only know that the instructions successfully fulfilled their promise. I could fill this entire post with nothing but quotes by some of the most notable people in history. Names you know from history to names you hear on a regular basis now all singing the praise of failure.
To fail you must reach past your own limitations and dare to try something new, different or ambitious. If you fail you have merely learned that that is not the correct way to go about your goal, the only time that it is wasted is if you choose not to heed the new knowledge you have gained.
The people whose names you know from fame and achievement were obsessed with their idea, or passion. Harry Potter is celebrated as one of the great fiction series of the 21st century. It is 4,244 pages, 7 books, 8 movies and a theme park at Universal Studios, not counting the spin offs, the stage production