The F-Word

Let's talk about the f-word- that one that you don't like to talk to your mother about because it's embarrassing and she's probably going to yell at you.

Failure.

There I said it.  Failure.  There I go, I said it again.  Are you scared and uncomfortable yet?  You probably should be (fear is a great motivator).  You can fail at pretty much anything: a relationship, at an exam, at work, at goals you've set or at goals someone else has set for you.  Failure is disheartening.  It's humbling.  It's usually uncomfortable.  Sometimes a failure can be so epic it feels soul-crushing.  Think about the last thing that you failed at.  Was it a big thing?  Why do you remember it?  Did it change you?  Did you tell anyone?  Did it break you?  Or did you try again?

We had exams this week and they were difficult (as they always are).  However, for this block, for whatever reason, people who have never failed anything in their entire life bombed exams .  You should have seen their faces.  It was shock and awe.  They were blown away.  Failure had finally found them; they were no longer infallible.  They looked shaken and perplexed and miserable.

Failure sucks.  It blows.  It's icky and crappy and nasty and often humiliating.  Big failure or small failure, it's no fun.  But if you ask me, failure is good for you.  It keeps you human and humble and honest.  You have to use failure as a learning tool.  Take a moment to analyze the situation.  What could you have done differently?  What are you going to do now?  Will you ask for help?  Will you try again?

Think about it again.  Maybe it's not good if you can't remember the last time you failed at something.  Maybe you're not pushing yourself hard enough.  Maybe you haven't gotten anywhere near your limits of possibility.  Maybe you need to attack a more challenging problem.

Go out and try.  If you succeed, good for you.  If you fail, don't give up.  Try harder.  Ask for help.  Do something different.  Embrace the beautiful miasma of life that is being human and know that failure isn't the end of the world.

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