“So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged.” -J.K. Rowling
In an effort to inspire me, one of my friends made me listen to the commencement speech J.K. Rowling gave in front of the graduating Harvard community. Her speech was an inspiring one. She talked about the benefits of failure to a multitude of people who are easily branded as some of the world’s over-achievers. She speaks about how a failure can be liberating.
As with my other post, I’ve expressed how failures can move us to achieve more. It opens up a new path for us to explore and conquer. It gives us the opportunity to rise up despite the setback. It tests our level of conviction in life and, it pushes us further to commit until we achieve.
In fact, at times, a failure is a blessing in itself. It deviates us towards another path of growth and success–a path that we would not have considered if we did not fail in the first place. Sometimes, we wrap our minds with the idea that there is only one specific path in order for us to become successful. We become too scared to fail because we think that life will begin to crumble unless we get to achieve our goal–the way we wanted it to be.
Then again, as human beings, we must acknowledge that we can’t control everything. No matter how passionate we are, at times, we really are doomed to stumble and fall. When we gain the courage to stand up from this fall, we find ourselves traversing alternative paths that we have not considered before. We become more open-minded and are given the chance to consider a different path towards maximizing our potentials, talents and wit all the more.
Call it Divine Intervention or what, failures are sometimes painful blessings that lead people towards the right direction. We may not understand it at the present moment but years from now, usually, everything starts to makes sense. We become wiser and realize that it was in fact necessary for us to stumble first, to be deviated towards another path, in order for us to become the person we were set to be. Eventually, in the future, we do not regret the failure that has hurt us deeply but rather, become thankful that it has happened to us.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that everything has been set out “planned” for us. We do, to some extent, have control over our lives. Once we fail, we are given the choice to decide what we’re going to do right after. Should we stand up once again or should we just give up? Should we give it another shot or should we traverse another path instead? There are many choices that we can make. What’s important is that whatever decision we come up with, that decision is grounded on hope, faith and determination. There is so much more that we can do in this world that usually, it only takes one failure for us to plunge into a multitude of different opportunities.
Life goes on, my fellow sojourner. So should you.