A common trend of thought that goes through the minds of the masses is, “Failure is not an option.” Day after day, humanity strives to achieve the ultimate goal. The top of the mountain, the cream of the crop: Efficiency at ANY cost. Pure 100% perfection. And humanity is willing to do anything, sacrifice X amount of sleep, X amount of life years, just for perfection.
And I find it nothing short of ludicrous.
UFC fighter Chael Sonnen puts is best:
“When doubt seeps in you got two roads you can take either road. You can go to the left or you can go to the right and believe me, they’ll tell you failure is not an option. That is ridiculous. Failure is always an option. Failure is the most readily available option at all times, but it’s a choice. You can choose to fail or you can choose to succeed. And if we can plant seeds and let him know, ‘Move your feet, keep your hands up, stay off the bottom.’ That is the road to victory, or self-doubt and negative talk, and that is the road to failure. But failure is always there, and it’s okay to recognize that. If I can leave you with anything today, in my long journey through this is, one, it’s okay. Two, it’s normal. And as athletes and especially as men, as male athletes we hate to admit weakness to ourselves, and when you’re dealing with something and you got some kind of a hiccup, yeah, first thing is acknowledge it.”
Failure is ALWAYS an option. THAT is the fact of life. The bottom line is that it is impossible, on any scale or any stature whatsoever, to be a perfect creature in this life. Every aspect of the daily grind is flawed. Every tree has its worms. Every apex predator has its weaknesses. Every armor has its chinks. Every religion has its biases. The idea that failure is never going to be an option is both imbecilic and dangerous. By canceling out failure, a person commits the ultimate failure: failure to acknowledge his or her weaknesses. To put it simply, if a person cannot comprehend that he or she is capable of failure, then it just makes a loss 3x worse.
I believe in the idea that with every achievement a person gains, there are at least 3 things that person has failed in. Even a master surgeon has failed in something, as sad as it may sound. Every lawyer or lawman has failed in his or her life at least once. The people who are in careers that would seemingly require 110% perfection have indeed failed at something whether it was a test, an exam, a project, to attend a family gathering, an important meeting, a crucial appointment, perform at a certain level in whatever job they are in.
But while failure is unavoidable, to recover from it is a choice. A person can choose to wallow in the recesses of failure or pick oneself up and move on. But the first step is acknowledging that it happened. Self-awareness is next to the beginning of progress, in my mind. A person has to understand that he or she failed, is capable of failure, and must commit to cleaning up and moving on from it.
There is nothing wrong with failing. Failing is just an aspect of humanity that will NEVER go away, as is the choice to move on from failure. Refusal or incapability to acknowledge failure as the most readily available option is poison to the body and the mind.
Show me a person who has never failed and I’ll show you a person who has never succeeded.