It is okay to be a failure

How is success measured?  Is it by how much money you have at the end of the day; or what about how many people follow your social media sites; maybe it is how many material possessions you have?  If society defines these ideas as being successful, then I do not want to be successful.  If that is society’s definition of success, then I want to be a complete failure.  I want to make mistakes.

Michael Jordan once said, “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.”

He was right.  Although the idea of failing seems negative, there is happiness in learning from and overcoming failure.  If you do not make mistakes and fail then you have not tried.  Trying means that you have motivation, desire, and purpose.  Without purpose you cannot be happy, whereas with purpose you can attain happiness.  Therefore, there is happiness in failure.

But what does happiness have to do with success?  Absolutely nothing.  You can be society’s idea of the most successful person alive, rolling in wealth, loved by fans, living in a mansion, but this does not mean you are happy.  So what is the value of this “successfulness” without happiness?  The answer again is absolutely nothing.  If you are not happy, then life becomes purposeless and you give up trying.

Under these contexts, it makes more sense to measure success by the quality of life, not the quantity of things in life.  After all, when you die, you can’t take your Porsche with you.  So give thanks that you have clean water to drink, that you have the power of knowledge at your fingertips, that you can walk, that you have a mother to bicker with about doing the dishes.  Love, knowledge, and health carry a far greater value than wealth and material possessions any day.

Put simply in the words of Albert Einstein, “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.”

You might still be asking what do I mean when I say I want to be a failure, and I am not saying that I want to become a bum and do nothing with my life.  I have dreams and goals for the future.  But there is value in failure.  You learn from mistakes, grow, and feel a sense of fulfillment from overcoming failure.  If you mix that with happiness, you cannot possibly go wrong.

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2 thoughts on “It is okay to be a failure

  1. I’ve been thinking this for a while and only very recently have begun to understand that the societal definition of “success” is not the definition I choose to believe. That is my primary goal in life–to be happy. I think that is something I can achieve. =) Anything else I do in my life is working toward my own happiness. If there was one beneficial thing I got out of my Catholic upbringing, it was the understanding that your worth and the success that truly matters is determined by your influence on others.

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