What if failure is just a compass, not really failure at all, but redirection?
When you walk through the parking lot and trip on the way to your car, do you stop and memorialize the spot you tripped over? A week later, would we still find you in the parking lot at that same spot that tripped you up? No way, you get to your car and go on about your day. Perhaps you notify maintenance about the hole in the parking lot; or throw away the shoes you were wearing that proved hard to walk in; or you simply decide to stop texting and walking. The only thing that stumble in the parking lot did for you was redirect you. You made some quick decision about how you would re-route in the future. That’s all. My guess is you didn’t even tell anyone you tripped. It was a non-issue, inconsequential.
Yet when we get tripped up in other ways, we have this tendency to get hung there. Our children make decisions different than we expected and we camp out there. Our boss doesn’t like how our project turned out and we are still looking at it a week later. Our friend mentions something we might want to re-consider and we can’t get past the fact that they had the nerve to say that to us. Our interview doesn’t land the job we’d hoped. We memorialize these moments of stumbling. We’re the ones who label them as failure and decide to stand around and focus on them, build a monument to them, re-live them. What would happen if we just went on, used the trip up as a compass that simply re-directed our path?