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Sometimes It’s Okay to Avoid Failure

May 17, 2013

I used to think that people were special because they have experienced so much in their life. I thought that intense love – real love- the kind that would be difficult to forget only happened because of a previous heartbreak. I used to think that tough people had that kind of strong attitude because they’ve dealt with a very hard life. And of course, I use to think that extreme failure was inevitable to be on top. I mean, look at all the successful people: Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg,Walt Disney. I’m sure you can think of a whole lot more at the top of your head. In one way or another these folks had to go through betrayal, lies, rejection and some form of intense failure. In the end, they all came out on top and stronger than ever.

What bothers me though is the excuses people make every day in light of this. They expect to be the next Albert Einstein or Thomas Edison despite of their inability to process what they have to do. They expect to be given a reward for failing, but they easily forget to get back up. That’s where their expectations remain stagnant as expectations. The reality is you don’t have to fail first before you succeed. We have countless icons who rose to prominence not because they failed one way or another but because they fought hard from a difficult starting point. It’s not the rejection or the failure that gets you places… it’s the ability to persevere despite such.

Some people, myself included, are wary of certain risks that may lead to bad circumstances. I’m guilty of burying myself in work and books because I’m too afraid that Mr. Right is really Mr. Wrong who is just really good with words. That, my friends, never came from heartbreak but from mere observation. I’m afraid of applying to a lot of top-notch medical schools because my determination to prevent rejection overrides my fear of it. I would rather avoid talking to people I know I’m gonna get into a heated argument with because I can’t stand the thought of losing through undermined silence. I was in the debate team back in high school, yeah, but those things were justifiable since it depended on skill and facts. Situations like a debate competition reassured me that I wouldn’t lose because of my lack of character but because I did not do enough research. But even then I hated losing and avoided every chance of it.

It’s easy to point out that my lack of a whirlwind love life or fear of failure made me kind of judgmental on those who find it difficult to get back up after a low blow. It also made me ignorant on life in general, and that’s why I had to do something about it. I may still be on a forever-single-and-happy crusade, but I’m beginning to understand the concept of why people need each other or want it each other even. Although I almost had a panic attack in my English class for receiving 2 (or 3) consecutive C’s that could permanently damage my GPA, I learned to get a grip. I also learned to suck it up after totally miscalculating the dates of my Political Science final (apparently it was on Tuesday the 7th and not the 14th) and just answered it with what I knew. Panicking, as I’ve learned, does nothing and so does turning your back on a weird adventure or trying to prevent one of life’s multifaceted challenges. It’s all inevitable and strength comes slowly whether you expect it or not.  It just comes.

One thing that I’ve learned or somewhat realized is that I don’t need to start from deep within the bottom so I could climb to the top with  the kind of strength only gained from a life-changing experience. I can build my strength from career goals or mundane things like a near-below average GPA or going on a date with a guy who thinks Luxembourg is a brand of chocolate and just having an awful time. Nothing big or disastrous. It may be these little obnoxious things that people roll their eyes at, but one way or another these things are an incentive to do better and find better things. Improve. Transcend. And inspire. So maybe you don’t need 200 publication companies to put your novel out there. Maybe you just needed to face less than 10 rejections or self-published it and it becomes a hit? Maybe some crazy person will agree to your outer-space theme park idea and you’ll create some bizarre world. Maybe you’ll avoid eventual failure to focus on your strengths. It’s really up to you how things start or even end. It is your choice of a life.

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