Our Inevitable Teacher

One of the bitter feelings in life that we can’t ignore,

As a perfectionist, an intellectual, and an individualist, I always want to say and do the most powerful thing I can. I always want to be and appear to be the best I can be. The principle of imperfection is clear in my mind, but when it comes down to it, I can’t seem to accept it about myself. And I’m not alone.

Now, failure doesn’t just come during random events. The basic definition of failure seems to revolve around a ‘lack of success’ or ‘the embodiment of a lack of success’. It all goes down to expectations.

If I know I’ll be terrible at something and set my standards low, or don’t care to succeed at something, I cannot fail, because I am not worried about success and thus will not feel a lack of success afterwards. So a sense of failure only comes when you want something badly, and try hard to succeed, and do not/cannot meet your own standards. Just when you go for it, and shoot for the stars, you get a mental slap in the face. That stings. As if someone knew that you would be best brought down just when your hopes were at their highest.

Today I felt failure. I believe myself to be a great public speaker, because of past successes that today I was unable to re-create, but on my chance to shine today, I felt as if I botched the opportunity.  And although others may not have felt what I felt, and may have thought my speech ‘good’ or ‘bad’, it is only my own opinions and feelings that matter in the end. I didn’t meet my own demands.

The thing I think we all do is we see ourselves succeed and we want more success. And then more. And then more. Until eventually, as a human being, you cannot achieve what you want. Then it all comes crashing down.

But what we, or at least I, don’t understand, is that people are not made from their failures. Nor are they their successes. Those two things can and do shape a person, but what truly makes a person is the soul that they have deep within them. It’s ridiculous to think that one can avoid botching a chance or not succeeding to the fullest of their capability all the time. Yet we expect these things as if we’re supercomputers, capable of repeated performance. But that’s not what it’s like to be human – every time will be different.  Not only is being a human going to make it impossible to consistently fulfill demands, but I believe that we live life to learn about humility and humbleness. After all, aren’t we but a speck in a gigantic universe that we cannot even fully comprehend?

It’s because the ego and the pride that one holds latches onto material successes to generate a sense of false confidence. But true confidence comes from a place that does not rely on others’ judgments. Think about any and every great leader in history. Though they are portrayed as ‘larger than life’, they too, as everyone does, have/had their difficulties and mistakes on their journeys. But they have also found an inner confidence that conceals many of these mistakes to the public’s eyes, and turns them from a failure to a way of learning something new for the future. In essence, half of a success.

We all fall down and make mistakes. Might as well accept that. Use that knowledge as a tool to propel ever forward.



7 thoughts on “Our Inevitable Teacher

  1. First off, I’m incredibly jealous of your public speaking skills.
    In not realizing your own expectations because my own were so low, I can now see how you must feel. I’d like to say that your speech wasn’t a failure at all- it was simply not your best because it was all generic things we’ve heard from you before. It simply wasn’t as shocking or inspiring as it might have been. For the audience that didn’t know you personally though, my guess is it was a lot more inspiring and insightful to them- so even though I can’t tell if your speech was ‘good’ or ‘bad’, I would’t consider it a failure.

    • I’m sure others, like yourself have different opinions, but at the end of the day, it was how I felt. Nothing else mattered. And so I had to come to terms with it, accept that I’m not always as great as I want to be, or would like to think of myself as. But I appreciate you optimism anyway.

      • I understand that hydrogenated palm oil makes baked goods lighter, fluffier, and last longer.

      • This is not my argument to participate in, but I happen to e aware of the fact that the method of gathering palm oil is highly harmful and destructive to the environment.

  2. How does one know who they are, there I, if they havent experienced sadness, anger,etc??They wouldn’t know what they’re capable of. The feelings, the depths…?Hmmm…..I think when you are born you are born with a personality, but later on when you experience, when you see you start to change, your attitude changes. You start to gain,to become a new person. It carves out what you are. I hope that make sense. :w

    Thank you, Mr.Prose

    • It does, absolutely, although the way I would put it is this: you find yourself. You shed away falsities of yourself and through your explorations and discoveries, find your I, you true self that has always existed.

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