The older I am, the more I realise that life is not something we can control. We can try to stay the path, but obstacles will constantly come our way. We can plan for an outcome but that may not be the outcome we end up with. Sometimes we need to explore before choosing the path we really wish to take.
Maybe we end up in a dead end. We might think we're on the right path, only to discover we need to start again. It doesn't mean we've failed. Just as the world is full of shades of grey, we can't judge our life in black and white.
There is always a path around every obstacle if you look hard enough. We may not be on the trajectory that we grew up believing we'd take. Marriages break down, cancer takes hold, people are retrenched. The conventional path we were on shifts overnight. It doesn't mean we've failed. We may not be where we thought we'd be and we may not be enjoying our life at the moment. What we need to remember is we can change again. We need to remember it's a temporary shift and we can find a new path to navigate.
We need to re-evaluate what we see as failure. As the landscape is constantly shifting, there is nothing stopping us from dusting ourselves off and climbing to the top again, should we lose our footing.
One of the best ways to change how we think about failure is to re-evaluate what we judge as success. If we redefine our meaning of success, we won't be quite as hung up on failure. Sharon Jaynes defined success, not as never having struggled, but never giving up despite the struggles.
We travel down limitless paths, exploring options and making plans; some will bring happiness, some won't. However none are permanent. We have the power to alter the path at any point. If something doesn't work out, we try another path. That may fail too, but hopefully we learn to fail better. Success is not a destination, and certainly not permanent. Success is the ability to constantly adapt, to recognise what you need to do to for your happiness.
Success is the ability to explore and not worry too much if you falter.
Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. " – Denis Waitley