When we confront a given challenge, it is not uncommon that we experience some level of anxiety.
If we investigate this experience, we generally find its source to be a fear failure. I would like to provide a different perspective for such cases:
The point of practice is to fail.
It is precisely through the process of committing & subsequently correcting mistakes that we develop any skill at all. Through repeated recognition of success & failure, we become familiar with the contrast between them, not conceptually, but in a living way. This is the method by which we develop true expertise. If, by sheer fluke of statistics & probability, I happened to succeed in every one of my attempts, as attractive as such an outcome might seem, in truth this would be a pity. I might be called “cursèd” & spat upon withal. Why? Because it would altogether deprive me of the possibility to master the skill in question. Success is born of failure; failure begets success. They are related as the chicken to her egg—and what is a chicken but one egg’s way of becoming another?
Once we have accepted this paradigm of mutual dependence & polarity, our fears dissolve. Our onetime anxiety naturally dissipates with the dissolution of its cause. Ironically, by embracing failure, we ensure success—erstwhile opposites now nuptially conjoined. The alchemical wedding of success with failure is the first taste freedom.
The consummation comes when we allow the perspective of practice to permeate all aspects of our lives.
2 thoughts on “The Wedding of Success & Failure…And they Begot Curly-Headed Glories!”
Like. May I read this to my class when they graduate next month?
Oh yeah, and how are you? Your practice? What’s floating your boat these days.
Hey Duffy! Thanks for reading! Of course you can share this with your class—I would be totally honored.