There is no Failure in Trying

I started a blog like I do with every other passion in my life: with reckless abandon. If you asked my friends (anyone who actually reads this blog) about the projects I have done in the past, they would say that I am always starting something new. I start new projects all the time; but my passion for them fizzles out, and they are abandoned to be half-complete ideas. I don’t find anything wrong with this; in fact, I would encourage others to do the same. It’s not that I can’t complete a project–I am just willing to try anything that catches my interest to see if it can become a life’s work.
I joined a local writer’s group in my area (although I need to go to more meetings to really call myself a “member”), so most of my friends come from that group. Those I see and speak to most often are all accomplished writers, which is a huge boon to someone just starting out. They put up with an endless stream of story ideas that I talk about passionately and want to pursue, only to abandon them after a month. But no matter how many months of story ideas go by, they are always eager to hear my next idea.
This has taught me a few valuable lessons, all of which can be applied to daily life:
1. Any idea, no matter how unlikely, is worth exploring.
2. Just because you abandon the idea does not mean you have failed. It simply means you are continuing to search for your true passion.
3. All steps you take towards a goal are forward. Even the setbacks have something to teach you, and abandoning an idea all together does not mean you have given up on your goal as a whole.
No one in history ever set out to do something knowing with 100% certainty that it would work. Yet they still tried. Going against the odds is a remarkable human trait, a trait we take for granted. All projects, no matter how small, start off as unlikely to succeed, due to our lack of experience, knowledge and confidence. Yet we witness so many successes that started off this way. If you don’t explore the chance, you never know if it will be your next success.
Moving on from a potential passion does not mean you failed. You have simply come to the realization that it was not for you. You should be proud of that fact! You’re willing to step out of your normal routine and put a little bit of yourself on the line to pursue an idea. That’s no small task. You willingly opened yourself up to the possibility of defeat to broaden who you are as an individual. The best part of this practice is that it will become easier with time: you will build a tolerance to “failure” and strengthen your resolve toward your goals.
All steps show your forward progression, even the setbacks. That is a hard concept to apply to your daily mindset. One of my favorite quotes comes from a deplorable person (a topic for another time), Thomas Edison: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” I try to apply this quote to every project I start with a few modifications: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 pursuits that don’t work for me.”
So when you start a new project or explore an idea, remember that failure is not on the table if you look at it from a different perspective. You are instead taking the time to learn more about your interests and what your true passions are, no matter the outcome. Trying out your ideas is a form of self care and working on yourself. All knowledge you gain on who you are as a person is good knowledge to have–it allows you to make more informed decisions on what you need and what you need to avoid.
So go pursue a project, something you have your doubts about finishing or even getting past the planning stages. No matter the outcome, you will have learned something about yourself. I can guarantee that the next idea or passion you pick up, no matter the outcome, will be your life’s work: finding out who you are and what you need.