What is failure, really? Who defines it?

fail·ure/ˈfālyər/Noun

1. Lack of success.
2. An unsuccessful person, enterprise, or thing.

See, well now that just gives me a whole new question. If failure is lack of success, who defines success? Well the dictionary defines it as so …

suc·cess/səkˈses/Noun

1. The accomplishment of an aim or purpose.
2. The attainment of popularity or profit

 

Okay, fair enough. But wait … to attain popularity. So if I’m not popular, I’m a failure? Yeah, I’m not so sure I agree with that. But to accomplish an aim or purpose … I can buy that.

HOWEVER

Who assigns us our aim or purpose? I mean who REALLY determines what becomes a failure, and what is just small roadblock to attaining that purpose? Just because it isn’t attained the first time, does that actually mean we can’t try again? I mean is there a time frame on success?

Yeah, I don’t really think so. Because if that’s the case … I’ve been a failure my entire life … and so have you! (GASP …  did I just write that out loud? Why yes, I did!)

If failing at something on the first try gives you the label of “failure”, then … well … I’ve done a shit ton of failing.

Apparently, I was a failure when:

I tried to walk for the first time and fell down.

I fell off my bike when I couldn’t balance without training wheels.

I wrote my name incorrectly while learning how to spell it.

I added to much milk to my mac and cheese the first time I made it.

I got fired from my first job.

I failed my first test.

I failed my first driving test!

I lost my house.

The first time I didn’t pay a bill by its due date.

The first time I made a mistake while parenting my children.

After not getting an agent for my first, second and third book …

I mean, hell, I’m one big fat failure and a half!!! As are my kids and you and your kids and the kids they haven’t even had yet.

Um yeah, excuse my french and all, but really, that’s a crock of shit! And here’s the truth …

I AM NOT A FAILURE

YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE

I’VE NEVER MET A FAILURE

and NEITHER HAVE YOU!

Wow, that’s a loud truth. And let’s be honest, can you actually argue this? Can you actually say that every child who stumbles on their first word is a frocking failure? Yeah, not so much.

Life is a learning process people! We fall down, we make mistakes, we get things wrong, and we are NOT perfect. But what do we do, we get up, we fix our mistakes, we try again until we get it right, and we accept that we are not perfect, yet we try our best to be as perfect as we can be.

Why am I making such a big deal about this? Well today, I kind of woke up feeling like a failure. I hadn’t slept well … again … my book still isn’t selling, I’m not feeling as thin as I want to look, my back hurts, I don’t feel like getting out of bed, shall I go on? Not necessary. Because all of those things, really mean nothing more than I need to stop wallowing in self pity and get up and do something about it.

Take a damn sleeping pill tonight and get some sleep.

Start marketing my book.

Exercise

Get a heating pad for my back.

Get out of bed (grumble grumble)

And DO SOMETHING!

Look … I just solved all my problems. Just like that. I haven’t failed at anything, I simply just need to wake up, get out of bed, and start over. Try harder. And define my own success!

It’s called optimism. Just because we have bipolar and make plenty of mistakes, some very well due to our illness, doesn’t mean we are failures. It just means that we have yet to succeed. There is NO time limit on success. No where in that definition does it say “if you fail on the first try you suck”.  We need to stop making excuses for not moving forward and start being proactive. We need to stop letting our illnesses define who we are and why we can’t do what we want to do. We are who we want to be. You can argue me all you want on that, but I promise I’ll have a come back for each and every argument. It might not be pretty, and it might not be what you WANT to do, but there is always a way.

So, with that, I shall redefine Failure.

fail·ure/ˈfālyər/Noun

1. Not trying again!
2. Giving Up!

So it’s simple really, never stop trying and never give up. We define whether or not we are a failure. The only person who can label you a failure is you. You decide when to throw in the towel. And think of all the times you could have thrown in the towel but didn’t. What would you be missing out on?

Walking?

Talking?

Living?

Heck … I’d have tossed this website into the ground long ago if I had given up when it first did not succeed. I’d have missed out on some AWESOME friendships. I’d have never figured out who I was. And I wouldn’t be the success I am today. But in all seriousness, I haven’t even begun to succeed!

What have you “failed” at? Did you really fail? Or did you just give up and stopped trying?

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