Sometimes I feel I’m a slow failure….either that or I’m simply succeeding more slowly than I’m failing.
It’s all in the degrees right (Charlie Brown, anyone)?
We often associate failure with losing a race or a match, or missing out on a job – definitive occasions, sudden and dramatic moments where you feel like you suck, before hopefully picking yourself up again.
But more often than not, failure is far less absolute and much more gradual. We experience failure as things not (quite) working out – be it a relationship, a business, a blog that feels like it’s going nowhere fast (very slowly actually).
And often failure is (only) in our perception of it.
When not shining is failure
I reckon it’s the failure by degrees that can be hardest to take.
How (and when) do you accept it? When are you a quitter and when are you a realist? There still has to be a point in time where you call it quits, or does there? Does failure simply morph into success if you let it marinate long enough?
Part of the problem is the way we deem failure to be anything other than shining – and what is shining but others seeing your light, and others sharing your light so more people can see it.
Does it mean your light isn’t bright because some (or lots of) people don’t see it? You may be radiating your little heart out in a bright constellation, where bigger stars hog the limelight. Had you been shining out on there on your own, or in the midst of a little old galaxy, you might have been noticed?
How much is luck?
This may sound sour-grapes, but there’s an element of luck in getting your shining star noticed. Consider the nature of celebrity vs accomplishment. Sometimes fame and achievement combine and we celebrate the best of the best. But often there isn’t much to celebrate in celebrity beyond 15 minutes of fame (and often fortune).
So what do you do when luck doesn’t seem to come your way? Pray, meditate, give it your all, give in, or give up?
I don’t think giving in (which implies you’re letting someone else ‘beat you’ – and who is really your enemy – your self-talk?) or giving up is the answer.
But consciously deciding not to stay on a particular path can be very brave. And giving your all, by definition, is courageous.
Redefining success can be even braver.
What if success is shining brightly, even when your star doesn’t stand out in the sky? What if it is in giving your best, even while others are ‘better’?
Better still, isn’t giving your best always success?
That means success can also be expressed in failure, if you have given your all.
I love the way yin and yang can be twisted (did you see my last post on helpful twists to detox) in different ways to shape success within failure.
To me stars are simply to be enjoyed in wonder and awe. My eyes search out those lesser-glowing stars, even as I appreciate the stellar show-offs. I understand that the dimmer stars are simply further away from my view.
There is no either/or when it comes to shining. There are only constellations and the same light that is multiplied, magnified by the many. We are all stardust. There is always a great big sky to twinkle together in.
Do you like to star gaze? Do you have a favourite constellation? What’s your take on slow failure?
Meantime speaking of stars, I have a new kid’s meditation video that is designed to helps kids stress less at school. It takes them on a meditation journey through the universe and asks them to imagine stress disappearing like shooting stars. Hope you like it.