Failure is not Final

I LOVE a good new year’s resolution.  I mean the whole idea of a fresh start and clean slate puts me in a happy place.IMG_1928.JPG

It upsets me how much flack society gives people for making resolutions.  Naysayers relay statistics about the percentages of people who make resolutions versus people who actually keep them.   They post memes about the overflow of gym activity and celebrities with rolled eyes completely aggravated at the thought of “new year, new me….again.”  I often wonder why someone else’s decisions make them so upset.  How does someone else’s choice to live a better life affect them personally?

New Year’s Gym Meme
New Year New Me Meme

Now, for those who have frequented the gym faithfully and hate the idea of fighting over machines for the next few weeks, I understand the frustration.  But what if, for just a moment, all of us paused and embraced the people in life trying to do better?  What if we encouraged them to continue their journey indefinitely?

I mean, is that not what we preach all of our lives?  I tell my son not to give up just because he does not get it right away – whether it’s riding a bicycle, recognizing letters and words, or playing a simple card game.  I applauded my daughter every time she fell when she was trying to learn to walk.

My biggest obstacle as a teacher is not in my student’s lack of knowledge but in their lack of perseverance.  If the concept is not simple or they do not get it right away, they give up…but then I realize, we taught them that.  We live in a society that judges when you do not get things right the first time.  We laugh and meme our failures.  We condemn the idea of trying a resolution, especially if we have made the same resolution in the past and failed.

When does this transition happen?  When does it become NOT okay to fail at anything, even on our way to success?

A few months ago, I knew that life was completely overwhelming.  And I prayed the same prayer I had been praying for years.  I prayed for balance.

…Organization is NOT my strong point.  I have all kinds of ideas about what I can do and zero ability to focus enough to get them done.  Apparently, though, I am great at getting rid of items that no longer serve their purpose!  Take today for example, my daughter had emptied the all of the DVD containers.  Having picked up these containers almost every day for months, I thought, why do I even own them?  And that was that.  Good-bye movies!!  Hello extra space…immediate organization.  But what if I had let someone convince me that I would never be organized?  That my personality was not conducive to organization?  Even when my friend suggested that I would be back in the same place a year from now with too much stuff, I scowled in complete disapproval.  The idea of a return to complete chaos and the whole cycle of ups and downs disgusted me…

How many people let others convince them that things will never change that they will never change?  Well, I am here to set the record straight.  Failure is NOT final.  So what if you have made the same resolution every year?  It only takes one time to get it right.

I will not bore you with my own resolutions, but I will leave you three ideas for your own:

  1. Do better.  Yesterday is yesterday.  Even it you failed, it is all behind you.  All you have is right now to do better, to be better.
  2. Be you.  Find yourself.  Love yourself, and then be yourself.  Find whoever it is that you are, whatever it is that you love to do, and live life.  Commit fully and never look back.  And if you fail at whatever it is you are trying to do or be, get up, dust yourself off, and try again.
  3. Help someone along the way.  Encourage someone.  Be the reason someone else keeps his/her resolution.  And if you see them fall, help them up.

We are all just people, trying to find our way through life.  We do not always do the right things the right way the first time.  “Success [however] consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”  Thank you Winston Churchill.  So the next time someone tries to criticize your resolution, or remind you of all the times you came up short in the past…Whenever someone tries to tell you that your ordinary is not extraordinary, you look them in the eyes and give them four simple words.  Failure is NOT final.

Happy New Year!!!


6 thoughts on “Failure is not Final

Add yours

    1. Yes. It’s certainly interesting to watch students when they get stuck or even our own reactions when we cannot figure things out. While overt criticism for failure in any aspect is not the entire problem,it certainly is part of it. Happy New Year!!


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