Success Through Failure 1 - The Meaning Of Failure

Sep 13

Success Through Failure 1 - The Meaning Of Failure

Tue, 09/13/2011 - 12:27 — Thabo Mokete

We know what to do with success. We celebrate it and we enjoy it. But quite often we are at a loss what to do with failure. There is meaning in failure.

We can start by mentioning what failure is not. This is probably the most obvious: Failure is not success. The goal of success was not reached.

Secondly, failure is not the end. We really need to get that straight in our thinking. Failure is not the end.

Failure can appear in different ways in daily living. It can appear as a performance that comes short of the required standard. You could be at a place where you must write an exam, or perform physically or mentally or otherwise. Your performance may be good or bad, but if it does not meet the required standard set, then it's failure. Whichever way one looks at it.

Another way is one that is internal, where we know what to expect of ourselves. But we find ourselves not fulfilling those expectations. We do some things that don't meet our expectations. That's failure.

There is also an instance of failure that is attached to people that are important in our lives, around us. People we hold dear have expectations of us, and we are often obliged to meet those expectations. If our actions and behaviour does not meet those expectations, we can speak of failure.

There is a common theme that runs along these scenarios: There is the expected goal, and there is a the actual performance or action. There is a gap between the two.

This gap of failure can only be grasped through understanding, and not through self-accusation, guilt, disappointment or blaming others.

Failure then means we need a deeper understanding of ourselves in relation to what we are trying to achieve. There are two parties to be understood deeper: There is the self and the object we are trying to achieve.

If we have failed to achieve something that we had hoped to achieve, it means somewhere along we missed an important understanding of what was required of us or of the object.

This is the crux of it: Failure means there is a need for a deeper understanding. And that's all that it means.

Yes, some people have put it like this: If you fail at first, then you must try and try and try again. But do you keep trying the same thing over and over hoping for different results? No. What it means is that at first you tried, but now you want to get a deeper understanding, then try again. If you fail again, you missed. You missed a critical understanding. You need to try it again, this time go deeper.

At the point where we get an understanding of who we are and what we are trying to achieve, success is inevitable.

There is no mystery between success and failure, but there is a gap called understanding. It's not a moral issue, it's all about understanding. Deep understanding.

So we find that the moment of failure is a time to take a journey inward. Not a trip of guilt, despair or anxiety. Take a journey that begins with curiosity and wonder, going towards self-discovery. Failure is a moment of inquiry about ourselves.

We all could benefit from a having a way of self-inquiry, asking ourselves questions that lead to uncovering the secret mysteries hidden in our own personality.

A lot of great work been done by other writers in giving us methods of self-inquiry. Use one of these or develop your own, Socrates had  his. Life coaching is also another way to get someone who will ask questions that lead you deep into your own personal centre. All self inquiry methods have one thing is common: They focus on the personality. This is the critical thing about failure.

It is not that there are people who sabotaged  you or did not support you enough that led to your failure. Neither is it the other party that did not do their own part. At any stage of our lives we always have enough support. What we often lack is the critical understanding of our own selves.

The answers are already there, we just need to ask and discover.. That's what failure is all about.