It’s not a simple solution. Failure plus failure doesn’t necessarily equal success. Nor does failure plus failure plus failure definitely equate to some higher plateau. So how many times do we have to fall or fail before we overcome, before we triumph? I don’t think there is any certain number, nary an exact equation that will reveal when success or victory will come. And that can be outrageously frustrating.
The petulant reality is we don’t know for sure if this so-called success will actually arrive. We don’t know if the odds will ever be beaten. And that is okay. Life is not an exact science. We cannot measure all our suffering and sweat and somehow determine the prize that we deserve. Failure may come in waves, and it may seem more like a way of life. So how do we find solace in having our face in the dirt?
Though I am not certain that failing again and again will lead to the precise outcomes we ultimately desire, I know they are not all for nothing. Not all of us have the mental dexterity to turn dozens of failures into winning ideas like Thomas Edison or Albert Einstein, but what we can do is find beautiful lessons and moments of love and clarity in the heat of our defeat. Maybe we will never be as wealthy as we want, and perhaps we will never stick to that diet like we know we should. But if our desires are important, altruistic, and rooted in passion we will find joy in the journey, and we will learn to embrace failure. Because all failure means is that we are trying. If we never fail, we aren’t trying hard enough, or we aren’t expanding the talents and abilities we were blessed with.
Like I said, there is not a certain amount of perspiration that will turn into results. But perspiring, opening up our lives to the attempt of things, shedding tears, loving with everything we have, these things are what success really is. So, in a painfully ironic way, failing is succeeding. The true failure is being scared to fail, and wallowing in a sad cesspool of mediocrity for the rest of our days.
If your heart is broken, let it be broke again. If you can’t lose that extra weight, look for a new way to fail. If your career is not where you want it to be, take courage in knowing that many failures await you. As much as the vision and allure of success should motivate us, it is often a glass ceiling. Let failure motivate you. Failure will never really go away, so let it give you joy and push you further than you ever imagined.