We often attribute failure to something negative, it can become something we allow to affect our self esteem, our mood, and even the way we treat those around us. Failure can become the skeleton we keep in the closet that always seems to come fumbling out whenever we decide to try something new. We look back at failed employment, failed businesses, and even failed relationships and begin to think, maybe I’m not good enough, maybe I’m just destined to be nothing and do nothing.
I recently read a Jim Carrey quote that said, “It is ok to fail at what you don’t want so you might at well do something your passionate about.” Looking back at my journey, I can’t even count how many times I have failed. Decisions I made and pursued head on only to realize this probably wasn’t such a good idea. Working dead end jobs that I was miserable at but did anyway because I felt I had to, only to quit and move on to something else I ultimately became miserable in. Many people don’t know this but I have started 4 businesses in my lifetime and all but 1 have become utter failures I look back on and laugh about sometimes.
A big part of my story is the time I spent in prison for a crime I did when I was 18. One of my biggest fears as my release date got closer was that all my peers would be well off in life and I would be starting all over from the bottom. Even though I quickly realized the people I was hanging out with at that time were still up to the same old things with nothing to show for it, I came out with a hunger to succeed. A hunger which often times became an addiction, an addiction that had to be fed with doing more and more. Through this I have learned that failure, other than God himself, has been the lead contributor to the success I have had.
It is failure that has forced me to leave situations I had no business being in. Failure has allowed me to see through people who were no good for me. Failure has forced me to create my own path and pursue what the scriptures state as the road less travelled. Failure has been the reason why I am able to have a cup of coffee with my wife every single day at 9am. Failure is the reason why I am able to pick up my daughters from school everyday. Failure is why I am able to spend the entire day with my 3 year old at home. Failure is the reason I am able to do what I love and am most passionate about.
I have learned to embrace failure, something I am doing my best to pass on to my children. Failure is something I no longer fear, failure is the tool I now use to keep me focused on my calling. Whenever I fail at something I am trying to do, I don’t let it beat me up, I learn from it. I never want to be the guy who gets to the end of the road and says, what if? What if I would have taken that leap of faith? What if I would have started that business? What if I would have mentored that child? What if………
I would much rather fail than live a life I was not designed to live.