Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Virtue of Failure

Success can be illy devious; it alludes us into extended leisures; upon actualizing our goal (promotion, graduation, marriage, etc...) we tend to over celebrate; consequently our drive slows down. 
As the cliché famously says: Success is not a destination, it is journey.
But definitely there are destinations in that journey. In our path we often stumble upon them. We disguise them differently: experiences, learnings, and upward curves... I think we avoid labeling them for what they truly are: Failure. We grow up ashamed of it; toss it to the abyss of memory. Alas, squandering all its fruitful lessons. Failure empowers us, unveils unseen horizons, and keeps us alert. Individuals who ascend from failures' ashes recognize the existence of various unfamiliar paths of success; this in itself cleans the judgmental visor staining our outlook. Failure gifts us with compassion and understanding, thus reuniting ourselves with our hardened humanity. 
In her inspiring speech, author JK Rowling declared that ‘…some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.'
Drawing on this, it’s critical to recognize that we’re not discussing fake success, which I define as laboring unsatisfactorily to gain acceptance of others (parents, managers, peers...), but rather the unreasonable success which manifests our most inner dream, by conquering the demon that awakens us late at nights, that is if we slept at all. 
Conquering that demon leads us to virgin paths; others might have embarked upon parallel paths, but never ours. It's designed for us individually, for we’re the creators of its borders and boundaries.
Poet John Keats dubbed this notion as Negative Capability. He defines it as: 'the willingness to embrace uncertainty, live with mystery, and make peace with ambiguity.'
Allow me to assert the notion further and borrow a page from the psychology literature known as Desirable Difficulty; which states that 'introducing certain difficulties into a process can greatly improve long-term retention of the process material.' Life imposes difficulties upon us without permissions; it's wiser if we prepped ourselves to deal with them. Such practice enables us to extract advantages from disadvantages; we become invincible. Indeed, Economic states that the greater the risk, the greater reward.
Now, when I say Embrace failure, I don't mean to have it inferred that rashness and sloppiness should be celebrated. Rather, it’s a invitation to tackling the unfamiliar, and acknowledging the risky destinations on unknown paths, face them with irrevocable grit and unspoiled determination. This undoubtedly bestows happiness upon us; by doing so, our happiness will contagiously shine and allow those around us to bath in our light. 

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