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Inspiration Prompt #22 – A Different Outlook On Failure

October 20th, 2008 by Avital
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Image by Daniele Butera via Flickr

Failure is tough. It is frustrating and discouraging, yet dealing with failure is an inherent part of our lives.

Saying that, I know that most people (myself included) think they must always get everything right on the first try. We do not leave much room for failure and for second and third trials (etc). Many times this perfectionism point of view gets us so discouraged that we stop trying.

This is not the way to go about it. Failure is a natural thing and a learning tool. It only means you should give it another try. Analyze it and see what you can improve and learn from your past mistakes or just do whatever you need to do, over and over again – until you get it right. Just like a child learning to ride his bikes. At first, he falls once or twice but then he gets the hang of it and finds his balance and ride like he’s been doing that from the day he was born.

We should do the same. (Today is my birthday, which is a good opportunity for adopting new and more positive outlooks)

Prof. Randy Pausch,of blessed memory (Sadly, this incredible person has passed away in July), had put it very nicely:

“The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”

Many best selling authors had been rejected time and again. Many renowned artists have suffered a great deal of dismissal and criticism before making their first masterpiece (some became famous only postmortem). Moreover, even those masterpieces and best selling books were not created in one continuous brush stroke or in one writing session. They are based on numerous drafts and sketches, additions and subtractions – they are a result of a long and sometimes tedious process.

Today I am calling you to change the way you look at failure. I am calling you to look past the brick wall and use them as building blocks.

Share your thoughts with me and leave a comment. I’d love to hear what you have to say about this idea.

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7 Comments to “Inspiration Prompt #22 – A Different Outlook On Failure”

  1. ruthi says:

    i’ll start with wishing you a happy birthday. and what a great gift you have given to yourself with this post – and thanks for sharing it with us.
    i believe that we are here to make amendments and acknowledging and even embracing the failure to do anything, regardless if the matter is art or a relationship with another person, is a big step towards an amendment in our lives.

    • Avital says:

      Thank you very much for your kind comment. I hope you will stay with me on creativity Prompt and embrace life one day at a time 🙂

  2. Roxie Yonkey says:

    The brick wall statement is true. If you want something badly enough, no brick wall will stop you. No one has failed until that person has quit.

    • Avital says:

      Absolutely, I see how much true it really is on a daily basis. Prof. Pausch, of blessed memory, was a very special person… Very inspiring!!!

  3. Happy birthday. I’m a little late, but I’m new here. I enjoyed your post very much.

    I think these trying times in particular call for the kind of thinking you described. There will be a lot of sad stories in the months and years to come, but there will also be many triumphs. Seeing “failure” as something which is not permanent has literally saved my life many times. When you’re on the other side of it, at least you can say that you did it when it wasn’t easy.

    • Avital says:

      Thank you for your comment and for the birthday greetings.

      You are absolutely right – when we are in the midst of hard time, it’s difficult to take an optimistic approach, but if you do that – the reward is much greater!!!

  4. ruth foraiter says:

    hi avital,
    its my first time here, and i’m happy to see your amazing site. “hizki veimtzi!”

    waiting to celebrate your birthday together in the holy land…
    love you!