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Writing Pillar Blog Posts – Exercise 2
“Failure is success if we learn from it.” —Malcolm Forbes
This post is an assignment for my blogging class. It is supposed to be a 500 – 1000 word post on a failure that I’ve experienced lately, explain how the failure made me feel, and then I need to share a lesson that I’ve learned with you. The unit in the class I’m taking is all about writing valuable content and so far it’s been easier than I expected to write the posts they assigned. Except for this exercise. I am now failing to find a way to write about a failure I’ve experienced recently. Sooooo … I’m failing at an assignment to write about something at which I’ve failed.
I usually don’t consider a failure as a failure because I usually learn something from it. So it’s difficult at best to write a blog post about … failure. My first marriage was an admitted failure on my part. But that was a lot of years in the past.
Life’s Little Failures
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” —Thomas Edison
We all have these; failures in common sense, failures in memory, failing to be polite, failing to be compassionate, failing to be empathetic, failure to follow instructions. We’re human. The best we can do with these is note them and try not to repeat them … too often. Okay, try not to repeat those more than twice. If you screw the same thing up more than twice in the same way and expect different results each time, you’re on your own here. Any advice from me or anyone else may not sink in.
Life’s Big Failures
We see life’s big failures on the news all the time. If nothing else, the news media outlets love to highlight failures and tragedies all over the world. But don’t we define failure subjectively in these instances? Is failure really defined by how it makes you feel or is failure defined by how you or society judges your actions? Do we need failures to measure our successes?
Aren’t life’s biggest failure to not be true to ourselves. To not follow our dreams?
Failure to take a leap of faith.
“I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” —Steve Jobs
There are a lot of entrepreneurs who try to convince us that all we need to do is have an idea or a passion, quit our day jobs and then hit the big time. If not right away, then over time. “If you don’t try, you’ll regret it the rest of your life” or “If you don’t try, you’ve failed by default”. Failure by default. Let’s think about that for a moment. A person fails by not throwing away their current life for a dream. Doesn’t there need to be a starting point to leap from at the very least? A dream needs to have a foundation in reality before the idea can be built.
That would mean that my biggest failure in life is not taking any kind of leap of faith and going after my dreams on a whim or on a wish. So while it’s not a recent failure as I’ve been assigned, it is an ongoing one … or is it? Is it really a failure to not shed a part or most of your life for a nebulous maybe? What if your life is happy now?
My Biggest Failure
I’m sure just about everyone has heard the quote, “Do What You Love, the Money Will Follow”? Marsha Sinetar famously coined the term in her 1989 book of the same name. I believe wholeheartedly that it happens to people, they start doing what they love and the money does follow. Maybe not today, but tomorrow or the next. Friends in my life have taken the leap away from dull 9 – 5 jobs and have made their way in the world with success.
There are multiple stories of people making a leap of faith out of their stifling, comfortable (or uncomfortable) jobs and going on to becoming leaders and innovators in their fields. But for every one of those stories, there are maybe a dozen or maybe more unheard stories about people who have leaped into obscurity. What about the ones you don’t hear about? The ones that jumped, failed, and then ran back to a 9 to 5 security blanket. Or worse yet, took the leap and paid with everything else they held dear in their lives. You don’t hear about them very often.
So, all my life I’ve craved security and because there have been times when I’ve had none, I’m conscious about the steps I take to follow my passions. I have security now in my job and in my life. My unfulfilling job at a huge company is paying for my writing and painting. I have a solid foundation to build on those dreams without compromising my need for a roof over my head and indoor plumbing. My 9 to 5 is providing a comfortable environment for what I love to do, while I’m learning how to do it.
The Road to My Success
I still contend that a failure to leap and have faith that the net will be there to catch you is not truly a failure. Even if it is, failures are necessary on the path to success because without knowing failure, how can we know what real success feels like? My path to my dreams is slow and steady, but not spectacular. I applaud those who are brave enough to make the total leap to find theirs. The world needs both kinds of us.
I’m willing to follow the advice of our former president to guide my steps:
“If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.” —Barack Obama
Thank you to everyone who follows me and who reads my words, I’m going to keep walking. See you around.
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