Recently, a friend forwarded me the speech J.K. Rowling gave to Harvard graduates entitled The Fringe Benefits of Failing and the Importance of Imagination
Why is it so hard to think there are benefits to failing? As a child, I was conditioned to think I was supposed to be perfect, and the inability to live up to those standards created a vicious cycle of insecurity and doubt, which only recently I have been able to look at and move through. I was taught that failure was wrong and believed there was something wrong with me.
It's so hard to look at the benefits to failure, especially when we have invested so much of ourselves, given 110%, put it all out there. Failing well is hard. Yet it gives us the opportunity to learn on several levels. Let's face it, there are places where we can improve, and we have the chance to look at those places and work on them. The outcome may have had nothing to do with us, in which case trusting that the right time, the right train will come along. And then we are asked, how much do we want this? If the first avenue didn't work, how many more avenues will you seek before calling it quits? Can you persevere through this loss or hardship?
In 2001, the loss of a relationship and the death of my mother sent me reeling into fear, doubt, sadness, anger. I began training in martial arts and went back to creative journaling classes, which gave the tools to flow through the chaos I was experiencing. I would have not been where and who I am now without those experiences, so I am thankful.
There is a beautiful song by The Poozies
called Another Train that is a reminder that there is another path for us, it just may not be the one we expected.