Failure. Not anyone’s favorite topic. However, taking a different perspective allows one to see the beauty that can only come from failure. It took Edison one thousand tries to make the lightbulb. Some would be dismayed but he took the position that he discovered 999 ways to not make a lightbulb!
I’ve failed at losing weight for 30 years. If you look at it in Edison’s approach, you could say that I have succeeded in discovering how not to maintain long term weight loss.
So many times in my previous attempts something would happen that would cause me to lose heart and then backslide. It usually wasn’t much. A bad day at work, feeling unappreciated, or anything going against my expectations was usually enough to derail me. And once derailed… done.
How did this mindset change? It was in the Bible. Here’s the NIV version of Lamentations 3:23
Because of the Lord ʼs great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
It hit me over the head like a ton of bricks! When my expectations were not perfect, I would quit. But in that verse I finally saw what I needed: every single day is another opportunity to try again. God’s mercies are new each day! I must’ve read that scripture a 1,000 times but never saw how it applied to my weight loss, to my theories of perfection, or to my views of failure. As per usual, the teacher arrives when the student is ready. I was finally ready.
Taking this to heart I was able to cut myself a break when things don’t match perfectly match my expectations and have the courage to try again. Now, when I think of failure I think completely differently.
Failure is really success in progress.