“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” Henry Ford
In life, we tend to celebrate our successes and victories. But really, it is our failures, struggles and hardships that imbue us with valuable knowledge and experience; each failure teaching us what to do differently the next time.
Imagine a world without Thomas Edison (who reportedly was asked once how he felt about failing so many times prior to his invention of the light bulb, to which he replied that he did not fail; but instead, found 10,000 ways that did not work), Henry Ford (who failed and went broke 5 times before he succeeded), Walt Disney (who was fired by a newspaper – for lack of imagination and no good ideas) and all of the other inventors, business mavericks and sports legends who chose to learn from and persevere through their failures.
Learning how to lose gracefully, how to fail and try again, how to persevere ~ these are the lessons that leave us with the richness of experience and knowledge, teaching us to be resilient. When on our mats, we often say that to learn how to balance, we first need to fall out of balance. I believe that our lives off our mats are no different.
If everything came easily, we would take things for granted, placing little or no value on our achievements and successes and on the character that is developed and molded through perseverance. It is our failures and feeling physically, emotionally or mentally uncomfortable that pave the path of perspective. These are the times that enable us to develop a deeper meaning to this thing called life.
Kathryn Schulz, author of “Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error” wrote that “the capacity to err is crucial to human cognition.” To err is human. But it is important to remember that our failures do not define us; instead, they provide us with the building blocks to construct the person each of us becomes.
In this holiday season of thanks, let’s embrace our challenges and failures (on and off our mats) as the stepping stones necessary for success. These are the moments that provide us with the perspective that enables us to value the journey of fails that serves to teach and guide us.
When next on your mat, try to be patient with yourself and find resiliency in your practice as you face those challenging poses. For it is those that present the biggest challenges from which we have the most to learn.
See you on your mats!