Failure. We as individuals are conditioned to think that failure is to be avoided at all costs. I mean, no one wants to fail, right? It is a scary idea failure, but I welcome it. Actually, I do. And I want to fail in the next few years. Yes, you did read that right (go ahead and look again if you don’t want to take my word for it). To be fair, I hope I don’t fail, and it certainly isn’t a goal of mine (I promise I don’t wake up in the morning and think to myself, “I hope today is when I fail”). But in the grand scheme of things, isn’t now the best time of my life to fail (Or any young person’s life)? Perhaps not any young person, I’m mostly aware of the many privileges I have been fortunate enough to have through no actions by myself. But right now, I am responsible for only myself, no one else is dependent on me, financially speaking anyway (emotionally speaking…. Nah, just kidding), and the world is mine to do with what I will. Well, maybe not that last one. But really, what is the worst that can happen (don’t answer that)? But what better time is there in your life to fail?
Why does failure appeal to me? Because I think failure and success are two sides of the same coin. When we are successful, we are constantly looking for the next thing to successful at. We often get caught up in a competitive rat race, comparing ourselves to our friends, our peers, our idols, our mentors, and random strangers on the street. And this constant act of deciding whether or not we measure up can be incredibly draining and debilitating.
Stop for a moment. And think about the last year, the last month, or last week. What is the last thing that you did that you are truly proud of? Think about that thing, action, accomplishment, or milestone. And think about how long you dwelled on your success. How long was it? And why was it that you moved on probably far quicker than you should have?
Why do I think failure is important? Because failure makes people stronger and more resilient. It challenges people to improve themselves and learn from there mistakes. But perhaps most importantly, it forces people to stop and remember the countless little things (that often aren’t so little) things they are truly grateful for. Friends. Family. Experiences. Moments of feeling alive. And successes.
Actually, coming to the end of this, I think I know the real reason why I value failure. If you fail, that means you have tried. And that might be the epitome of being alive. Perhaps even the meaning of life (not 42). If you failed, that means you took a risk. You took a chance. You followed a hunch or a whim. You decided that the status quo wasn’t enough. Failure means that you tried. Trying is living. I hope I never stop trying, and I hope you don’t either.