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By Jemuel Johnson

The astonishing ways failure is your friend

Ever wonder if there are secrets in failure? Sort of like a crime scene with yellow tape. Investigators, forensics and detectives come and scour the land for clues, probing for evidence perhaps not immediately apparent. A fingerprint, hair, document – anything.

Failure is a crash site, be the investigator

Much of the time the scene will have what I am calling "secrets." "Secrets" are the information left in the wake of failure. It would be nothing for me to share that I have been failing my whole life.

Really, I have. But only for the last eight years have I been proud of it. I own my failures. But why celebrate failure? Sounds like a loser mentality, right?

Well, if failure has a crash site, then a person should be able to gather all the information they need about the disaster and come to grips with experience, wisdom, and truth. The failure leaves behind clues for success! I would like to share how failure, to certain mindsets, can have a disastrous permanence or can contain the requirements for grand wizardry.

In good company

"Ever try. Ever fail. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail up." The great playwright and cutting edge novelist Samuel Beckett addressed such matters. This here, Thomas Edison, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." Or, "Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement," says one C.S. Lewis. And lastly, from Henry Ford, "The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing."

These notable figures seemed to have a particular mindset with failure. It is shunned by a great many who have tasted its course center. Let us be honest, failing hurts and terrorizes. Failure is embarrassing and time-consuming. It will suck all the goodness out of a person, leaving the individual dry and lost.

Do not give up

For a lot of us, failing at something means that "I will never do that again." The blow was too jolting, socking our senses and pride right in the soft spot. We thought we had it all together or at least in that direction, and then we simply failed. Of course, this can influence a person to contract, backpedal, and call the whole thing off.

A crime scene with yellow tape

Forget this thing. Just pick up something else because it will be so much easier and one does not sacrifice nearly as much. A person is only human. Family and friends will understand. Well, that is one mindset.

There is another mindset. I had the image of a crime scene with yellow tape, remember? The experts are searching for clues. If we can acknowledge failure and learn from it, inspect it, each one, so that now we are making new mistakes and delving into new territory, we could inspire others to not cower to failure, to persist enthusiastically with new information, knowing that each new failure is chiseling them. In a sense, this mindset is saying to actually fail more. Crazy, right?

No crying in baseball

For example, take baseball: The best batters, Tony Gwynn, Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, don't bat 900 percent. Seven hundred percent? No. How about 500 percent? Of course not. Ty Cobb has the career batting average record in the Major League at .366 percent out of 1000 percent.

In school, imagine if a person had a test score like that. Things would not work out for them. A lot of the time a person already has a preconceived notion of failure or is already conditioned against failure by the time they are young adults. Hating failure is understandable, but is hating failure the best learning experience? So let us explore. Let us fail. Grand wizardry, right ahead!

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