Friday, March 16, 2012

The Other Side of the Failure Forest

Remember this post when we talked about how success changes people? I’m still thinking about that, and it occurs to me that there’s another side of this coin. Not everyone succeeds. Some people change their goals completely, go in different directions, or flat out fail altogether.

Let’s face it. Just because we want something doesn’t mean we’re supposed to get it. Just because we hope doesn’t make our desired outcome best for us. And just because we fight doesn’t mean we’re going to win, or even that we should.

When this happens, when we adjust our thought processes, daily habits, and goals in order to reorganize the paths our lives are taking, how much does this change us?

I mean, yes, obviously we should (theoretically) be stronger for the lessons we’ve learned along the way. But after we discover that maybe we’re not cut out for that thing for which we’ve been reaching, or maybe that we’ve been reaching in the wrong direction—do you think that changes us too?

We all have a different purpose in life, different talents, different needs and desires and abilities, so it makes total sense that we’d have individual paths to success. And along the way we ALL experience failure of some sort or another.

The question is how will we deal with it?

Will we let our disappointment swallow us whole? Will we let hurt bury us? Will we allow heartache to still our hands and minds and creative process until we work no more?


Will we rise above it, set a new path, pick ourselves up, and start again?

Once again, I think it comes down to choices. We get to choose how we react to these circumstances. We get to choose what we do next. We get to choose which road to take at the next fork.

Me? I have decided that just because I only see two roads doesn’t mean I can’t forge my own path. And that, my friends, is EXACTLY what I intend to do.

See you on the other side of the forest.


Julie Daines said...

Great advice. I love the road analogy. There must be something negative in the air this week, because I keep seeing a lot of blog posts about forging on, not giving up, embracing failure, being strong.

I love how supportive the writing community is.

Carolyn V said...

I love this post Nichole. I agree that sometimes what we strive for isn't supposed to be the way to go. Things have to change. And that's okay.

Angie said...

Great post! I think failure can change us for the better in more ways than success does. I just posted on Elana's blog that I wouldn't be nearly so happy right now if this journey had been an easy one!

L.T. Elliot said...

This is something that continually settles atop my thoughts. What if? What if I strive and work and fight and what if it just isn't meant to be?

But then I tell those thoughts, "Screw it. I'm going for it anyway." And I just hope in my heart that in the end, it's going to work out.

You doing okay? Need a hug?

Nichole Giles said...

Julie, you may be right. I wonder if agents and publishers are catching up on their holiday query logs and lots of people are getting rejections in bulk? I don't know.

Carolyn, yep! Things do have to change, and change really can be a great thing if we let it.

Angie, I totally agree. How can we know true happiness if we never know true pain?

Laura, you are the sweetest! I am doing great. Just renewing my determination to forge ahead full speed.

Thanks so much for the support, everyone!

Mary E Campbell said...

I think I'm afraid of success sometimes. There's a lot of pressure that comes with success and I think it's the pressure more than anything that changes people. Of course what do I know - I haven't achieved the fame kind of success yet. I can't see success changing you though Nichole - you're too grounded and sweet.

Windy Aphayrath said...

what a great and thoughtful post! break out the machete, i'm carving my own route!