Failing

Finish Line

Finish Line (Photo credit: jayneandd)

I’m a believer in the notion that anyone can do whatever they put their mind to. At least, I struggle to be a believer. I tell myself that as long as you don’t give up, and focus, and never take “no” for an answer, that things will turn out your way.

But that obviously isn’t always the case.

Take an Olympic race. Hundreds of people from all around the world have the same goal. They train, focus, and become the best in their events. Then, one day, all of the best compete. And only one person wins. The rest lose.

Or do they? Maybe being among the fastest in the world is winning? Maybe if a runner hasn’t become the fastest in the world they should think about what they can do better than others? Maybe not being fast enough isn’t the goal, just the satisfaction of running?

If we haven’t achieved what we’ve set out to achieve, then perhaps the race isn’t over. Maybe we need to train more, learn a lesson, maybe we just need to have a better day. Perhaps we need to realize that we were made for another calling.

I still believe that if you don’t give up, you will make it somewhere. It may not be to first place, but it might be very close. If we are wise, we will be thankful just to be in the race.

Not everyone can be the best. But hopefully, everyone, all of us, can be among the best. We just have to keep running.

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12 thoughts on “Failing

    • I think you are right. Nothing really turns out the way we plan it, but we can have a general idea of where we want to be. I think at the end of the day, what really makes us happy is being appreciated fore what we do. That in itself is hard to find.

  1. If the goal was to be in the race then they succeeded.
    I define my own successes. I believe in having smaller goals on the way towards a longer term goal so that I can enjoy the journey. And I have changed my goals, they are not set in stone, I can and do change and that means what I want to achieve changes too.

  2. I totally agree. I truly believe in setting reasonable goals and working towards them, instead of sitting around feeling sorry for myself and envious of others. Reasonable is the key though,or failure is guaranteed.

    • True, but each person has a different notion of “reasonable.” For Mark Zuckerberg, it might be redefining the social order of the world. And for others, it’s paying the rent.

      • I agree. Aiming to travel business class and staying in the four seasons would surely guarantee that I will never step out of my house!

  3. I think it is very important —
    Strike that.
    I think it is IMPERATIVE that at some point in one’s maturing, one begins to define failure for oneself.
    Yes, only one person can win the Olympic race on any one day. But on another day, or in another year, another wins. Is there only one person who is “the best?”
    Is being a very very fast runner not enough? Who defines enough? I hope that it is the same person who defines failure for him/herself. And also —defines success.
    (I’m very old, and I’m close to being able to do this at last, if not quite all the way. You have my testimony, however, that you can do it!)

    • Thank you for that insight. You are right, there is never only one “best.” There can be many. And each of us must know what our best can be. The difficulty lies in knowing you could do the best, if you just had the opportunity. It’s the difference between being ready for a chance that never comes, or not being ready when the opportunity arrives.

  4. True, Daniel, true.

    But there is an alternative to the chance that never comes —
    It involves rejoicing in the race, and then letting go of the ONLY Syndrome, you know, that this one path is the ONLY one possible for what you want to do.
    It then switches to the OTHER chance that you do take, the other road you then set out to explore. You (and your creativity) may never make THE way, but you will make A way.
    (I mean to be really encouraging; I hope it comes out that way! And BTW, my definition of “your best” is what makes you feel fully alive doing it.)

    • I really appreciate your addition to my stream of thought. I think you are right. It all involves following your own sense of doing something worthwhile, to you. Perhaps that is the thing that I’m searching for, to say “yes” to. I know what I want it to be, but it’s so late in coming.

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