At one point in my life I gazed back upon the path in which I have walked to see nothing more than failure, to see others’ demands unfulfilled, to see utter disappointment. And as I would look upon the path before me, I would see each step mirroring those of the past.
It was not until these recent years I have come to comprehend the role of failure in life. I was convinced that life’s purpose was to accomplish happiness, which is true, however I conditioned myself to believe that happiness can only come though perfection. I would push myself in every facet of my life. This unhealthy obsession with perfection began to take its toll; B’s on tests and the occasional second place brought tremendous frustration. This “frustration”, however, takes responsibility for the shift in my thinking; I began to look at experiences in a new light, an entirely different point of view. I would repeat to myself “Do not look upon it as a failure but as a chance to learn,” over and over again, “Do not look upon it as a failure but as a chance to learn,” until I would see the silver lining in every circumstance. I have learned that when bad things happen to me I should keep the lesson but throw a way the experience.
As I now gaze to the path behind me I praise each step! Although not perfect, I admire the steps of accomplishment, respect the steps I took in search of knowledge, applaud the steps I have taken to look upon life in a new light. And as I look to the path before me, I now see opportunities waiting to bestow knowledge and wisdom.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.