Redefining Failure

Failure is definitely not an easy thing to deal with, especially for me. My motto for a good part of my life growing up was “Never try so you can never taste failure.” Pretty depressing, but it’s liberating to admit that as truth. I only try when I know I have 0.01% chance of failing. Being (very much) risk-averse has its own advantages, but I was 99.99% missing out on any true excitement that comes with life. It partly explains why television was my best friend growing up (Friends, shoutout to y’all!!!). Looking back now, I can totally chuckle at my own timidity, knowing I’m not alone in this world.

What has been an interesting subject to me lately is how I define failure itself. I believe we breathe life to whatever we choose to name. We label our own accomplishments, victories, failures, mistakes, even happiness, with our own brand. The unfortunate part is that sometimes we let other people define them. That’s something I constantly try hard to avoid (and sometimes still fail, for irony’s sake).

Okay, back to giving life. What is it about our mind that is so invisibly powerful? How can something so intangible control so much of our lives? (Borrowing this statement from a devotional I’m currently reading, hehe)

I’m sure we all realize that we are more than simply physical beings; our invisible souls reading this being evidence of it. Just how much more powerful is the invisible is over the visible really? For a good part of my life, the risk-averse girl in me has seen and heard devastating loss, illness, violence, abuse happen to people close to home. With each story my heart shattered and tried not to empathize too much because it hurts, thinking how I could ever handle such misery.

More surprising to me than them though, a lot of those people pulled through as happier, stronger, wiser individuals. I’m pretty sure by a public audience standard, their lives would be as good as ending right there and then. Y’know, those scenes in movies that make you go “my heart just can’t take this!”. But their stories lift my spirit up with the passing of every dark cloud in my life.

A few days ago I watched BBC’s cover story on May Willis, a 110 year old woman born in 1910 and is one of the oldest people currently living in the UK. She said she’s “enjoyed every moment of it”. Somehow I believe that that’s not a lie, no matter how some pessimists might view it. I don’t believe she’s had 110 years of butterflies and rainbows, but I believe her invisible soul conquered with enjoyment what her five senses could not, more than just a few times a day. A happy heart does prove to give you a long and enjoyable life.

So, don’t be afraid to redefine your every moment. Narrate your own story. Each mistake is a lesson, each failure an opportunity to rise and be victorious. My long-time best friend yesterday reminded me that “the best stories are those with epic plot twists”. At the end of the day, no one else will read through the book of your life from start to finish but yourself. Wouldn’t you write something you would enjoy reading yourself?

Hope this adds a piece of calm to someone’s storm today! Stay at home and stay refreshed :)

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