Failure is Underrated

failureWatching an NFL advertisement, I heard the phrase “Failure is not an option.”

Um . . . yes . . . it is.  Failure is always an option, and it gets a bad rap.

The fear of failure is what drives us to do the very best we can.  It is the reason we keep getting up after having fallen.  Winston Churchill said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”  This is not completely true, as failure to pack your parachute could certainly be fatal, but you get the idea.  Winston was just trying to tell us, “Hey, failing isn’t going to kill you.  Suck it up.”

Thomas Edison also spoke of his lack of success.  “I have not failed.  I’ve just found 10,000 ways it won’t work.”  Can you imagine how much greater success tasted to him after having tried so many times?  Granted, Mr. Edison had more stamina for failure than most of us.

“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.”
Truman Capote

You know, sometimes it’s just time to call it quits.  There is nothing more liberating, after having given it your damnedest, than to release yourself to failure.  It frees you to find something in which you excel.  It gives others the opportunity to succeed.  It allows a great idea a better chance.

“Life is full of screwups. You’re supposed to fail sometimes. It’s a required part of the human existance.”
Sarah Dessen, Along for the Ride

Once you have accepted defeat, it is important to own it.  John Burrough said that a man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.  John was saying it’s time to put on your big girl panties and take it like a man . . . an odd man wearing big girl panties.

Be content in your failure.  Don’t forget the mistakes you have made, lest you make them again.  Start anew as the stronger person you have become.

And if you find your big girl panties just aren’t fitting yet, you can always take the advice of Steven Wright:

“If at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.”

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About Jean

Trying to make sense of it all and . . . for the most part . . . doing it. View all posts by Jean

12 responses to “Failure is Underrated

  • Androgoth

    You have found some interesting quotes
    for this posting, but I like your ‘ failure to
    pack your parachute’ quip the most, now
    that gave me a bit of a giggle 🙂

    Have a fun day today Jean 🙂

    Androgoth

  • EverdayLivingPNW

    I completely agree with you….failure is the part of success…if I hadn’t failed in my job hunting I would of never been were I am today (which is perfect to what I want)…I think sports in general focus to much on success and places to much pressure on an individual.

    • Jean

      And there is no I in “team.” I teetered between the football player poster above and the one that said “There would be no failure without U.” 😀

      I have to admit I did like having my kids in sports at one time or another. Even if the experience or the coach didn’t teach them about teamwork, it always gave us something to talk about at home. Some people are just natural team members and some aren’t. From what I have seen, neither is better. The world needs both!

  • Mary

    I like Truman’s quote the best. I knew a guy once that when I asked him if he had ever tried Speed Dating he said to me “No, that would just allow me to disappoint 30 women in one night, leading to excessive feelings of failure.”

    😉

    • Jean

      Ah, the food metaphor! I should have known.

      Heh heh . . . I doubt those women would have been terribly disappointed . . .

      I never had the chance to try speed dating. How exciting to meet 30 people in one night!

  • tricesweet

    I feel like our culture has taken on this mentality that the football advertisement has shown. You’re right, failure is always an option and is so crucial to changing and growing. Love all the quotes!

    • Jean

      Thanks! I was hesitant to use so many quotes. I’m not the kind of person who posts quotes on Facebook and Pinterest. I just thought it helped illustrate the impact failure has on a wide variety of people through history and even now. There are thousands of them!

      Funny, I’ve had “failure” come up in a couple conversations this week. Because I had been thinking on it, I’m pretty sure I had some valid advice!

  • Androgoth

    It’s nearly the weekend so I hope that
    you have lots of interesting plans 🙂 🙂

    Have a wicked evening Jean 🙂

    Androgoth

  • Boomdeeadda

    What a liberating post. I like the modern paraphrase of Winston Churchill, ‘yah, suck it up’. I also like Steven Wrights quote, LOL that’s some good advice

  • Come November

    HAHAHA. The big girl panties. Great post Jean!

  • 25 Songs, 25 Days (Day 21 through 24) | seeking life

    […] Failure is an option.  It is always an option.  Sometimes it’s a damn good option.  Like when you’ve worked 10-, 11-, and even 12-hour days all month, and you have the chance to go rock out at a great show, have a couple of drinks and hang out with friends.  Failing to keep up with the 25-Day Challenge was a small price to pay. […]

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