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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Succeeding at Failure

There I am again. Thinking of what I should be doing right now. Ignoring past accomplishments. Ignoring the importance of relationships and only focusing on individualistic task driven goals. I should be doing that, but I'm doing this. This is so overwhelming. But.... I am creating this. 

Society makes us surface and shallow. I am not pointing the finger at society. It should be rather apparent that society convinces us that personal achievements and financial success lead us to a happy and fulfilled life. We are constantly barraged with statements such as, "If at first you don't succeed, try again!" As positive and blankly motivating this statement is, it still leads us down a blind and unfulfilled path. We think that simply focusing on what we want to do or what we think we "need" to do will ultimately pay off in the end from all the "hard work". 

"There is no easy road, kid." 

If you fail, the first thing you should do is ask yourself questions. 

Why did I fail? Why am I doing this? Are there things I could be doing that play more to my personal strengths? Failure is an option. Failure is just a sign post word we put for things that didn't quite turn out the way we wanted them to. They say that expectation is the root of all heartbreak. Having high expectations for yourself can be just as poisoning as blind ambition and pursuit of a unfulfilling goal. 

Failure is a teacher. Failure is a motivator. Failure is a game changer. Failure allows for inner awakenings that influence the way we "create" the world around us. Failure inspires self knowledge. 

All in all, the word failure is always colored with a negative crayon. We see failure as disappointment thrusting us into an unnecessary binary perspective that we are "less" than the "other" successful people around us. It's us versus them. Someone's success is directly or indirectly with someone else's failure. 

This whole idea of success plays upon the idea of quantifying or qualifying achievement or the pursuit of a goal that will make us feel more complete in the future. We think that success will ultimately define our own self worth and intrinsic human value. 

A: " I am not happy with what I am doing right now, I must create or pursue something in order for me to feel better about myself and live life." 

B:" Hey! You ate that burrito pretty successfully didn't you?" " I mean you finished the entire thing!" 

A:" Yea, but it's not what I really want out of life. It doesn't fill me or help with my agenda." 

I have written before that authentic success is living moment to moment. Being aware and present with the flow of life turns every failure and success into lessons and valuable experiences. 

That feeling of failure you get is your ego identifying with what you do and placing value to it. It is confusing accomplishments and shortcomings with your overall being. When you are aware and present, then you can observe that hungry ghost and know that each success and failure are only created from an illusory sense of self. You can watch that irritated demon do dances around your brain and not pollute the river of your self worth. 

Success and failure are terms we have all  been conditioned to follow from society. We think that failing is bad and that we must conquer that failure by trying "harder" and achieving success. When you are at totality with what you are doing, there is no reason for the false dichotomy of success and failure. The mere concept of these terms are not used to inform you. They are used to enslave you. They enslave you to a sick society that praises "being successful" to self worth. 

When you understand that success and failure are creations of "the mind", then you understand the suffering it causes. Pain goes hand in hand with pleasure! 

I decided to keep the title of this article as   "Succeeding at Failure" to illustrate the absurdity of the statement. If you succeed at failure, you are simply assigning yourself to a false concept. You are saying, " I am good at achieving something that didn't turn out the way I wanted to in the first place because I lack the self knowledge to see that a failure is only a lesson for me to pay attention to and learn from so I can execute the task at hand better in the future." 

Simply recognizing your failures as lessons is success in itself. 

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