When I was a kid, I played the violin. I can’t say how good I was, but I always compared my playing to my teachers’ playing and to that of professionals like Itzhak Perlman and Isaac Stern. They made it look so effortless, and I was spending so much effort for so little result. No matter how well I did, in my mind, I always fell short. I had made one of the chief mistakes in thinking about success and failure. Not only had I been making unrealistic comparisons, I had discounted my own capacity for improvement. I wish someone had explained things to me a little differently. (Maybe someone tried, and I didn’t listen!)
Failure is not a reason to give up. It is a sign that you are moving forward. If you were not learning new things, you would have nothing to fail at doing. More than that, we learn more from our failures than from our successes. Each time we fail, we grow.
Every now and then, I pull out that old violin. My muscles are out of practice, and the sound I produce is terrible. But now, I can laugh about that. I just put on some Perlman and Stern, crank up the speakers, and play along.
It’s OK to Fail; In Fact, It’s a Good Thing. Click for an article that explains the importance of failure.