“There are defeats more triumphant than victories.” ~Michel de Montaigne

Steve Jobs, though wildly successful, also failed often and badly. Therein, lies perhaps the larger lesson of his life: Sometimes you have to fail to succeed.

No one emerges at the top. Even those born lucky eventually get a turn on the wheel of misfortune. Anyone with a résumé of accomplishments also has a resume’ of failures, humiliations and setbacks. Jobs was fired by the company he co-founded. Yet it was during this period of exile that he picked up a little computer graphics company later called Pixar Animation Studios, the sale of which made him a billionaire.

This is to say, to fail is human. To resurrect oneself is an act of courage.

Jobs himself recognized his failures, he recalled sleeping on the floors of friends’ dorm rooms and walking seven miles to a Hare Krishna temple for his one good meal of the week.

Fear of failure isn’t only an adult concern. From an early age, we are plagued with anxiety about performance. This seems a natural-enough evolutionary development. The less accomplished eat scraps and enjoy the company of human leftovers.

J.K. Rowling’, the “Harry Potter” author, eulogized her own valuable failures. “Failure gave me an inner security that I had never attained by passing examinations. Failure taught me things about myself that I could have learned no other way.”

But what is the valuable lesson in failure? …could it be the realization that all creative effort occurs in the “here and now”?…and pursuing success as a future goal is only a distraction blocking insight ?…and also in the “here and now”, there is no experience of failure but instead only a continuous passionate interest in discovery ?

“Our business in life is not to succeed, but to continue to fail in good spirits.~ Robert Louis Stevenson

2 Responses

  1. The real important failure is the failure of the ego !

  2. Good post! Here’s an apt quote:

    “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
    ~ Thomas A. Edison

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s