You’ve probably heard the question, “What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?”
Well the answer to that question leads me to rebuttal with the statement that “failure is an integral part of success.” We tend to equate success with getting to the destination as quickly as possible only to find that the destination is unfulfilling and yet here we go seeking out yet another lofty goal, in which, we convince ourselves will bring us happiness and contentment.
But I believe that the true success of one’s life comes in the journey.
And it’s not about what would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail… Because to be honest, we do these things everyday – we walk, we talk, we go to the bathroom, we drive our cars, etc. etc. most of the time, without fail. So, the better question is
“What would you keep doing despite how many times you fail?”
The answer to that question is the truth. That’s where your passion lies, no matter how many times you fall, no matter how many times you get hurt or feel defeated; you stand back up and keep going.
This reminds me of a time in my youth… allow me to explain:
My mom took me roller-skating all the time as a child. It was Leo’s roller rink. I still remember the place like it was yesterday. The walls with paint chipping off, the carpets that were filled with years of kiddy sweat, birthday cake and coca-cola drinks, the orange crusty seats that lined the roller rink – the place where parents sat and read their books (at least I remember my mom doing this when we would go) – and of course, the baby blue floor of the roller rink. I had some wonderful experiences at Leo’s and I wasn’t too bad of a skater either – I often won the races and was rewarded with a FREE coke from the concession stand. YES!
Then, there was a new game in town…ICE SKATING! I told my mom I wanted to go and I had no hesitations about lacing the skates and hitting the ice. Surely I would be good, at least decent, with all of my roller skating experience, right? Well, one may be inclined to agree, but much to my surprise and frustration, I was HORRIBLE! I couldn’t stand up on those blades if it saved my life. For those who don’t know, let me just tell you, the ice is hard – really hard – and it hurts when you fall face forward. To make matters worse, I participated in horse shows and had just earned my first belt buckle. As a proud winner, I was sporting this belt buckle on this particular occasion.
Yea…bad, really really BAD idea… because every time I fell forward the buckle slammed down on the ice, ramming it into my stomach. But oh no, I was not going to let this stop me. I kept getting up, and falling down, and getting up and falling down until I left that place with no less than 50 bruises, mainly on my stomach from that blasted belt buckle. Perhaps it wasn’t the smartest thing in the world looking back, but it does provide a great example for this topic.
No matter what the pain or the struggle, I wanted to ice skate badly enough that I kept getting up after the fall. Nobody was there telling me that I had to keep going, and conversely nobody was yelling for me to get off the ice for fear of failure, I made the decision myself. Why?
Because I wanted it enough to keep standing up.
And that, my friends, is a fine example of success. Needless to say, I never really had an urge to ice skate again, as I have a permanent bruise on my stomach (not really), but I found success that day because I did not give up. I am sure everyone has a story like mine, which most likely occurred as a child. This leads me to another point – childlike passion. It’s when we become like a child – not fearing the potential failure or the potential loss – because children don’t even know or understand the “failure” concept. They make the choice to move forward and TRY because they understand that just standing there will get them nowhere. May we all become a little childlike in our adventures and go with boldness toward that which we so desire.
Life is about choices. We all have the same opportunities to choose for ourselves. Sure, people can guide or sway or even manipulate you into certain situations, but the life you are living is because of your choices. So, I think it would behoove us all to sit and think about that thing in our life that we keep doing despite failing, despite falling and contemplate why we keep doing it?
If it brings you joy, keep on keeping on.
Because success is not in the finish but rather found along the path to that destination.
Dream big and live loud because days are numbered and your choices determine your destiny!