Finding a Way and Embracing Failure
Aut viam inveniam aut facial.
I will either find a way or I will make one.
I snagged that quote off this post on Kristen Lamb’s blog back in August. I meant to write about it back then, but it slipped through the cracks. I had made a note about how timely it was for me. I have no memory of why, exactly, that was the case. After reading it again, it doesn’t matter. It’s still timely, still resonates, and is still something I should have shared for all the rest of you to go read.
One of my favorite parts of the post is this bit, which can be applied to every aspect of life, not just in regards to writing:
Healthy Relationship with Failure—I have said this many times, If we aren’t failing, then we aren’t doing anything interesting. Expect failure. Better yet, embrace failure.
Scientists once tried to do a biome experiment where all the plants lived in a perfect world. There was the perfect amount of water, sunlight, and nutrients. Sealed beneath the benevolent dome, there were no droughts, no diseases, no thunderstorms, no high winds, and no floods.
They expected the trees in the bio dome to be much healthier and grow much taller than those poor trees exposed to the outside world. But, to their astonishment, the trees never grew very tall. In fact, they looked downright pathetic, whereas the trees in the hard, cruel outside world grew far taller, were more resistant to disease and were, overall, much healthier.
Baffled, the scientists investigated, and they discovered that, every time a tree faced drought, it dug its roots in deeper. When it experienced disease, it developed resistance. When wind broke off branches, the trees in the outside world were forced to channel more nutrients to reinforce the affected areas. This made them stronger…so they grew taller.
The sheltered trees had never been tested, thus they never had to become stronger. Sadly, they never grew to their full potential.
Failures=storms. Embrace the storms. They make you grow.
Honestly, I’ve never really been afraid of failure. It’s fairly easy to do, and there are no expectations. Heck, you don’t even have to try to fail. Success, now that’s the scary bugger. There’s pressure when you succeed. Pressure to keep succeeding, to outdo prior efforts, to get to the top and hold ground. Yeah. There’s not a whole lot of pressure in failing.
Now, wait, don’t go getting the idea I’m condoning purposefully being a failure. Failing, when you’ve actually tried to succeed, that’s where the pain comes in. Those are the storms that either knock you flat, or make you stronger. Sometimes they do a little bit of both. But if we don’t fail, how can we grow? If we don’t test ourselves, how do we know how we measure up?
For me, 2013 is going to be all about doing and trying. Which will invarialby mean it will also be about failure. I’m okay with that.