Just like going potty, it’s something we all have done, are doing, and continue to do in one way or another. What sets people apart though is how they perceive, learn, and improve from their own failures. I’ll be the first to admit that when I was younger (middle school through college) failure often times felt like the end of the world. Even the small stuff could flip my day upside down. And when I talk about failure I mean everything such as being late to school/work, embarrassing yourself either intentionally or unintentionally, not getting the grade you wanted on a test, or even not passing a mission on a video game! These things and so much more can give us that feeling that we have failed…and it isn’t pleasant.
Let me give an example. Firstly I went to Catholic school as a kid. When I was in 6th grade, my class led the school in prayer one afternoon. When it came to my part, I was to stand up in front of the entire school and recite a section of the rosary. This meant saying a particular prayer multiple times. As the kids before me went, and I continued to inch forward toward the microphone, I kept saying the prayer in my mind over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over so I wouldn’t mess it up. What I ended up dong was saying it so many times in my mind that it become a blur. By the time I reached the microphone I could barely recite three words of it. The teacher standing next to me began to very lightly recite it with me as to keep me on track. I was humiliated to say the least for those first couple attempts at it. I left not only words out of it, but complete sentences. I turned a multiple line prayer in about three or four lines in the midst of my own confusion.
That was the day I learned to not over think things. I actually went on to perform in school plays in middle school (7th and 8th grade), even taking on lead roles. I learned that I was the cause of my own destruction. No one else was bothering me. Firstly I was friends with most of the people I was performing in front of. And secondly I enjoyed entertaining people, so I needed to get past the inner part of me that ate away at my sanity and allowed to freak out when put in a more uncomfortable situation. This was as a middle school student that I learned this. My ability to learn from myself has always been very strong. I do realize that not everyone possesses such a skill, but I do believe that with enough time and support from others that anyone can learn from their failures.
These days my biggest fails come from finding myself in a conversation with someone I don’t know very well, talking about something I have no knowledge of. For a while I would try to keep up with conversations about things I knew nothing about, such as sports. I don’t watch sports nor does watching any sport interest me. I enjoy playing certain sports like golf, tennis, or basketball, but I do not watch them. So what I learned is that it’s easier to just simply say that I really don’t keep up with sports. I am able to do it in a friendly way that doesn’t come off as I’m not interested in the conversation, but instead conveys that I won’t be able to contribute much to it. Socializing and networking is a big part of my job and I’ve failed plenty of times but I keep going and keep improving.
Failing to me these days is not anything I dwell over anymore. If I mess something up at work, then I just take the action required to fix it. If I embarrass myself then I have learned to laugh at myself. Why take it the wrong way and be upset about it? We all do stupid things sometimes, and me accidentally making a fool of myself is certainly not the end of the world and it isn’t the worse thing that could happen to a person. While I’m slightly embarrassed in a public setting there are thousands of starving people in the world fighting to survive. So yeah…I think I’m good to just laugh it off and keep going.
When it comes down to it, never giving up is the key. It’s the some old thing that your mother or father have told you for years. If you want something don’t give up. I’ve sunk thousands of dollars into bad partnerships in the past and lost it all. Did I give up, accept a job at the first place that would offer me one, and then choose to be miserable the rest of my life? No. HELL NO. Yes, I was upset about it for a while, but eventually the time came to get back up and try something new once again. And as for those who are living miserably because of a bad past…let me be the first, second, third, or one thousandth person to tell you that it IS A CHOICE. If you’re miserable because of your past then it’s on you. But you can turn your life around at any time. Don’t worry about the rest of the world. Get some rest tonight and wake up tomorrow ready to give life a second chance….and if that doesn’t work out, then recharge again and give it a third, fourth, fifth chance. As many as it takes to live a more happy life. You only get one life and I only get one life.
I’m choosing to be happy.