“Its never too late to be who you might have been” George Eliot once said. I love this quote for a couple of reasons. One, it conveys the fact that we often hold a false belief that it is too late to do what we want or that we are unable to change due to our external circumstance. Two, it is a statement that oozes the fact that it is ok to change our minds, fail and to reconsider. As proactive as we know we need to be, self growth is not high on most people’s priority list. We are an outcome based society. We are not satisfied with the notion that by doing anything we will reach a level of satisfaction since neurochemistry and biological sensations are all temporary. I know, we have all been told that we are the “best” and that if we aren’t then we awe must try to be. As Simon Sinek mentions in his book The Infinite Game,We might be conditioned to expect everyones highlight reel thanks to social media, but that is not the full story. Failure is what gets people anywhere. If we take a step back we could rethink how we see failure so that we bake a cake of success where the ingredients all entail a healthy dose of emotional intelligence.
- Failure is what helps you learn:- There is no doubt that if you fail at something, it will teach you things that nothing else can. The inevitability of uncertainty in life, the fact that you will never be on top forever, the fact that your way might not be the best, the fact that perhaps there is a better idea out there, are all experientially learnt through failure.Growth is the most important thing in our evolution, failure makes the lesson of growth inevitable.
- Failure helps you realize the past does not define you:- An essential aspect of failure is that it is proof that things don’t necessarily go the way you want them to, and that no matter what mistakes or lessons you learnt before in life, or where you come from does not mean life will hand out the outcomes you want. We are attached to our identities of self this is what leads to disorder as once things do not go our way our identities get threatened. Failure helps to conclude that there is no fixed identity, in order to keep growing till death, we have to have fluid identities. This takes away the pressure for being one thing forever and thinking that failure is a fixed state and winning is a fixed state, thereby alleviating the negative emotions associated with them.
- Failure is fun (Once you realize it helps you grow) :– Bear with me here, nothing in life which doesn’t involve some level of sacrifice is worth having, by this principle it is certain that if you work towards things that end up in failure there is an element of passion that can drive you to the next important project or facet in life. Without failure, the adrenaline rush, the passion and drive that is required for the zest of life will not be as impactful on your psyche. This can create a positive loop hole for you to learn to love failure because it sets you on a default setting of “try again to see what I am made of”.
- Failure cultivates humility:- The ego hates failure. It hates failure because it cannot feed off on it and the realization of failure attacks the false ideal of success humans hold as essential to their existence. Humility can only occur once we realize we are not all that and neither is anyone else. This means all we can do is focus on growing as individuals and help each other to make the ride worthwhile.
- Failure helps the creative process:- Coming back to point 3, failure sets you on a default pathway which sets you on a process of imagination, imagination is essential for creativity , and its the failures that help us get to the state of true creativity as it sets you on a discovery course within your mind to find solutions and to try different things. Failure helps your mind explore options and change course, his occurs leads to innovation.
The human mind is always working in our favor, even though it consistently gets it wrong a lot of the time and misinterprets certain things, its intentions are to support your wellbeing. It asks you to give it a chance by helping it out through reasoning, conscious decision making and self care. Failure if embraced consiously can deliver on all counts of human satisfaction.