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Monday, 5 September 2016

Failure or success?

I read a blog last week where someone wrote that sometimes you had to take a step backwards to go forwards, referring to quitting her job to be with her kids. Another person was telling me about their friends' child who quit his fancy private school post trials, just weeks away from the HSC for mental health reasons. Sometimes we make unexpected choices. Sometimes we need to try something out before choosing the path we really wish to take.

Maybe we explore a dead end. Maybe we think we're on the right path, only to discover we need to start again. I don't see this as failure.

I read this article with interest, as I've children heading into those HSC years and we're already discussing alternative routes into the University of choice - starting elsewhere, doing the lacking subject at TAFE then moving credits into the desired Uni course. I keep hearing myself say "There are ways around everything".

I honestly believe that. There are ways around every obstacle if you look hard enough. We may not be on the trajectory that we grew up believing was the proper way to do things. As I've reached this ripe old age, all around me marriages are breaking down, people are battling cancer, others are losing their jobs. The conventional path we were on shifts overnight. Does it mean we've failed? We may not be where we thought we'd be. We may not be enjoying our life that much at the moment. What we need to remember is at any moment that can change again, just as it changed before. We need to remember it's a temporary shift and we can find a new path to navigate.

We need to re-evaluate what we see as failure. The landscape is a constantly shifting sand dune. We may lose our footing but there is nothing stopping us from dusting ourselves off and climbing to the top again.

One of the best ways to change how we think about failure is to re-evaluate what we judge as success. If we redefine our meaning of success, we won't be quite as hung up on failure.Sharon Jaynes wrote 'Successful mothers are not the ones that have never struggled. They are the ones that never give up, despite the struggles.' The woman who considered quitting her job to be with her kids, I would call a success, as she had the luxury to make that choice. The choice she thought was best. To the kid that quit just before the HSC, maybe he avoided a complete breakdown? Now he can work out what he wants to do and achieves that in a more manageable way, or at a more accommodating and supportive school.

While we travel down limitless paths, narrowing down choices and making plans, some will bring happiness, some won't. But none are permanent. We can alter the path at any point. If one path doesn't work out, we try another. That may fail too, but hopefully we learn to fail better. Success is not a destination, and it is not permanent. We need to remember that whatever we are going through now won't last. Things will change. We have that power.


Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” – Denis Waitley 

Linking with #MummyMondays#KCAKOLS 

23 comments:

  1. Yes, I agree. I guess that's part of growing up, learning to embrace and learn from failure, rather than completely avoid it.

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  2. I like that idea, that there is always a different route to get where we want to go.

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  3. There is always a different route. Some are just more scenic than others. Plus I strongly believe there is no such thing as failure. I think we should remove it from our vocab. You may not got the result you were hoping for, but you still get results. It's not failure. Just a different result.

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  4. All the errors or judgement, the things that don't work out, are excellent life lessons. We just need to chose to learn. Life is all change and being flexible is such a life skill.

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  5. Thank you Mel - this is just what I needed to read today. I haven't failed - I'm just taking a different route to the one I thought I was going to take originally.
    Have the best day xox

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  6. Absolutely. Also, you can be on the 'successful' route and not really enjoy it or want to be there. So the initial definition of success isn't always right anyway. SOOOO many destinations, and SOOOO many ways to get there. x #teamIBOT

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  7. Yes, there are definitely ways around everything. Your mental health is always more important than anything; a HSC, what other think of you, money, ANYTHING. As you say, seeing broken marriages, cancer etc certainly makes you rethink things.

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  8. Oh you so wise! I often think there is a flip side or a flip way, even if it takes us a while to find it. As for that quote about redefining the meaning of success, that's pure gold!

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  9. There was this movie called School Ties - Brendan Fraser starred from memory and it was about University students and a homeless man. BF was on the fast track to graduation and a job etc but at the end purposely ditched his thesis to spend time with the homeless man. (Vaguely).

    When I first watched that I was horrified. It felt like he'd thrown away his life. I watched it years later and realised that wasn't the case. He'd not have regrets and I'm sure he (if he was real) would have gotten to where he SHOULD be no matter what. I kinda believe in fate that way.

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  10. I really needed to read this today. You may know that I'm on leave at the moment. I'm working hard to change my career path. I've come up against more than one roadblock, experienced failure (?) and questioned what the hell I'm doing with my life. Am I having a mid-life crisis? I need to remind myself that it hasn't all been a failure and that I am moving closer to where I want to be. Great post.

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  11. I believe in this whole heartedly. Failure is a way to learn and grow - yes it may hurt along the way but it returns you even stronger.

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  12. I love, love, love this. There is always around, it's just not always an easy path.

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  13. Learn to fail better - now there's a good meme waiting to happen. Chin up, move on. #stayclassymama

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  14. FAIL: First Attempt In Learning
    #StayClassyMama

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  15. Such a thought provoking post. Love the quotes too. I need to jot them down! Especially the Denis Waitley one. Hadn't heard that before but very encouraging! Thanks for linking with #KCACOLS

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  16. I love this post. There's a lot of very encouraging things in it and I'm glad I read it today. Thankyou for sharing #KCACOLS

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  17. This made me cry - I love it! I thought I was on a path - my mum worked so hard to give me an amazing education and I did very well at school and university and then got (what I thought was) my dream job - everything had fallen into place. Then I had children and quit as I wanted to be with them. I shocked myself doing this but I had to do it. For a bit I felt like a failure - all my friends had high powered jobs around me and I was raising kids. I was lucky enough to then land a job working from home (we couldn't afford for me not to work at all). This job in no way requires the education I have had but I absolutely love it and feel it has sent me on a different path and I have actually found a passion for something like never before. If I hadn't been desperate I would never have taken such a job, but after reading your post I feel that there was a reason why I decided to quit - I wasn't on the right path. I don't know, that might be silly, but this was a very thought provoking read! #KCACOLS

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  18. I loved your words. My life has changed paths so many times, lots of times making me feel like a failure. As I have got older I have realised that this has never been the case, just life testing me, making me stronger and the choices I have made during this time have never been wrong just different and have made me change for the
    Better.

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  19. The right path for one person may not be the right path for someone else. I remember leaving school after my a levels and much to the disappointment of my teachers I didn't go to university. Sure I got on a course but instead I went to work. 14 years on I'm not regretting that decision and am still working at the same place. And loving it! #KCACOLS

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  20. Yes I agree there is no wrong or right way to do things and you will always end up on the path that you are on for a reason. #KCACOLS

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  21. AMEN to failure. Life just wouldn't taste as sweet without some setbacks. We are so conditioned to achieve, strive, achieve all the damn time that it's no wonder we are all exhausted. Thanks for the reminder. x

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  22. Wow. So good to read and reflect. Thank you as it was timely for me to be reminded of this.

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