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TRIBEWORK is about consuming the process of life, the journey, together.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I Did Not Fail. I Just Found Ten Thousand Ways that Didn’t Work

I WONDER IF THOMAS A. EDISON actually said this. I suspect he did. And I believe he propels us toward an unconquerable resilience when we do accept this truth—the catapult to salacious learning. So what about when it comes to finding a mate or getting that elusive job we’ve tried to get for years?

You struck out once and then twice—again and again over the years the relationships don’t last the distance; time and again there is the same depressingly grizzly result. Similarly, the career advancement opportunities don’t come up; there’s always a “reason” you’re ‘not quite the right person for this job.’

You think, ‘Is it me?’

Well, it could be. But there’s bound to be a range of issues involved—some of which we’ll never see or know about, well, until it’s too late, unless that is we’re using these failures as a platform to eventual success through learning.

‘Eventual success’ doesn’t mean success is around the corner. It means it could be off at a distance or even not there at all—but the difference is we have the faith to not give up on the good thing we desire.

God wants us to have the desires of our hearts but he won’t give us the desires of our hearts—the way we want them—until we routinely put him first (see Matthew 6:33). When we put him first on a more or less continual basis we’ll find he conforms our desires into a good thing for us and relevant others i.e. we’re not simply thinking of ourselves. God never works for us where we’ll work against others.

And this learning business can be confusing... ‘What, learning? Did that at school; wasn’t much fun…!’ Life learning is different. For starters, we’re intrinsically motivated to learn how we can create our own happiness—the abundant happiness God’s calling us to. ‘Okay, I’m starting to see something now...”

To have an interest in ourselves, certainly as it applies to success with others, is a key life goal to get on board with. We should all want it.

What does learning involve? Humility. Acceptance of failure. Celebrating little successes as they come. Never totally giving up. [Add your own!]

Edison’s quote is inherently about learning. All geniuses are innate learners. They’re inquisitive and curious about life in eccentric, irrepressible ways. Nothing, it seems, gets them down for long.

Learning is about perfecting the right we do and negating the wrong. It’s about growth. Growth never goes backwards—well, not for long. It keeps looking forward, not compromising. And any of us that want that sort of resilience that keeps us coming back for more—hopefully the “good” more—would do extremely well to bear this unconquerable truth in mind.

If at first we don’t succeed, try, try, and try again we do. But, what are we learning? It’s no good failing to succeed if we’re not learning something good that’ll get us closer to our inevitable goals.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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