We have all had moments, periods in our lives, of failure. Life itself is composed of failure. If you have never failed at anything, you’re either severely in denial, or not human.
Actions speak far louder than words. This is also a fact, and another large ingredient in the soup we call life. If you fail at something, that says nothing about who you are. How you react to failure tells the whole story.
Say one loses in a game of chess, and rather horribly at that. There are several reactions
English: A large chess game inside Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, MD, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
one can have to that loss (or any loss for that matter). One could take it and practice/train diligently until they are at a higher level of skill. That would be an example of learning from past mistakes (exposing the queen, playing recklessly, etc.). I see this response as an immense show character. Defeat can be agonizing, but it’s also a great teacher and something we can all learn from. Never giving up.
I’m not sure I can take that on just yet… but I’m not discounting the possibility entirely! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
On the other hand, one may take the loss, and decide they will never be worth anything when it comes to chess. This may seem like it’s an over-exageration, but now that I think of it, I’ve made that very claim on my ability in playing football, box, or wrestle. Those things are scary to me, and I don’t have natural skill in those sports (I’m a tiny guy). So I have closed those pathways for myself.
Chess is only one example. Now what if one says they will never be worth anything when it comes to any board game? To any game at all? Suddenly, they’re diminishing their possibilities in life. Any opportunity that comes with any game – meeting new people, learning about one’s self, really anything at all – is now impossible, as this hypothetical example of mine has deemed games of any kind as not worth their time.
In many ways, they’ve given up. They’ve taken failure, and let it beat them down permanently. And once you’ve fully given up, purpose in life is gone.
We all have things we’ve given up on. I could quite easily follow that path and keep giving up, on all sports, on anything physical. But I don’t, because I won’t close any more pathways for myself, because I still have a purpose, because I’m not yet ready to start dying.
Moving beyond my examples, this goes far deeper than just chess, just games. It’s about a fundamental attitude towards life. Are you willing to fight for your dreams, your ambitions? There is no easy way to achieve them, as they won’t simply fall from the sky and plop into your lap. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: life will knock you around, hard.
Can you get up and learn from the fall? (Photo credit: laverrue)
Like I said before, actions speak far louder than words – how will you react to getting knocked down?
As the famous japanese proverb put it: fall down seven times, stand up eight. Despite the pain, the struggle will be worth it. But without a struggle, without a conflict, you’re not putting the effort into life to feed the fire that is your ambition. With time, it’ll die down, fade away.
When you stop trying, you start dying. If you have a purpose, get up and start living.