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Hope Forward: Surviving and Thriving through Emotional Pain: Failure

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I recently came across the speech that JK Rowling gave to the Harvard Graduates of 2008, titled "The Benefits of Failure." So many times we are in the dark, lost and not sure which road to take. Tempting to just stay in pajamas and wait for another day. We somehow think we are suppose to know what we want. And how to get it. And even if we do know, we are not sure we can risk screwing up, being disappointed, disappointing someone else. Sometimes we are scared of success as well.

Especially when your mood is in the gutter. When things are looking really dark. Seems like it's really not worth whatever collosal effort it would take to say, get out of bed. But sometimes it pays to push yourself. Even if it's just, well, especiallly if it's just, to do the next right small thing. Like go to class, or go to work, or take a long walk, or get to your 12 step meeting. Whatever it is that you are dreading having to do. A lot of the time, it's the dread that's the most dreadful. Once you are up and out, things are a little less awful.

So what does this have to do with failure? I am not sure exactly. I've just been hearing a lot lately about desire. And about frustration. And about not being able to be where you want to be, or be with who you want to be with, or have things you want to have. Or get rid of things you want to get rid of. And I am really understanding that it is all very painful to bear. So painful, in fact, that attempting to take a step out of the comfort zone and into action, and risk failure, is just not worth the effort. Except that it is. I know that sometimes you have to be in the right mood to do something. I also know that sometimes the right mood may come in about twenty to thirty years, so you need to push yourself a bit. Gently. But push. Small things count. Hot showers, long walks, writing, reasearching options, writing graditude lists. Every effort counts. Even when you really have your doubts.

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