Failing gracefully


While the world’s obsessed with successes I’m at the deep end pondering if there’s much to learn about our failures. Much more than we give it credit.

Of course, I’m not suggesting that we’re like Edison, who failed 10,000 times before inventing the light-blub. No, not even close! I think we’re much worse because we might have failed a million times and still haven’t got it! But, of course, that wouldn’t stop you from exploring further, getting uncomfortable and finding new pathways that’ll lead you to some major wins in life. That’s what normal but determined people do, not giving up.

I think embracing my failures, more than anything else, has made me so much stronger and self-aware.

My instructor at the bodyweight training workshop I attended last month said, “if I can only go half way down while doing a one-arm push-up, that’s okay. Stay at your sticking point for a while. Get used to that discomfort and sensation before coming back up. That’s failing, but failing gracefully. Overtime, you can’t help but get through that sticking point because you’ve spent enough time there.” I you read that again, you’ll realise the instruction has several parallels to our lives. Right?

The most foolproof way to get through a sticking point in our lives is by spending time there. Experiencing the struggle at that point has the power to inspire you to get creative and figure out a better way to get past it. And putting in the work will ensure that you will get through inevitably.

I think the key difference between failing and failing gracefully is that the former prompts you to give up or look for alternatives while the latter forces you to get creative until you find a breakthrough. Sure, a lot depends on how willing you are to experience that struggle, pain and discomfort. I guess that depends on how hungry you are to win in life. Right?

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