define failure

Define Failure

This goes hand in hand with defining your success. It’s also something I’ve learned I need to do, I need to decide what failure looks like to me. Some things are cut and dry but with a lot of what I do and work on failure is not so easy to determine. For example, how would I define I’ve failed as a writer?

Would I define it as not selling a book, or as never being published, or as giving up? How should I define that failure? For me I only fail as an author when I give up. Until then I just haven’t succeeded yet. I can write thousands of books and have one never see the light of day and I’ll only have failed if I decide it’s time to stop. Even if I die without succeeding, as long as I never quit I’ll have never failed.

The same can be said for my burgeoning move into software development, or filmmaking, or even this blog. These things only become failures when I quit, as long as I never quit I’ll never fail. With that said, just because I don’t fail at something does not mean I was successful at it.

With a lot of things failure can only happen when you quit. You need to define failure for yourself so that you know when to stop trying. For me, I’m not the brightest, I’ve never known when to quit. I will drive myself insane trying to pursue my passions, but at least I won’t have failed by my own definition (the only one that matters).

When it comes to pursuing a passion what could failure look like? If it’s not getting your dream job and for some reason you cannot try again for it then that would be a failure. If it’s something more in line with failing a class or school then you can keep trying until you pass. If it’s not having your business take off or not finding people interested in your art there is nothing stopping you from trying again and again. Sure money might get in the way (specifically lack of money) but I really believe that if you’re passionate enough about something then nothing can stop you. You will find a way to keep trying.

For me, the biggest obstacle on my journey is myself. It’s the fact that I can’t stop the negative talk about myself, it’s the fact that I can’t help bringing myself down. I have to keep reminding myself that even though a part of me keeps saying I failed that I haven’t failed until I quit. That I may never succeed but I’m not going to let myself fail either.

If I don’t define failure then I think lack of success is failure. If I think I’ve failed then I give up and nothing gets done. Remembering that my biggest enemy is myself and using these little tricks to remind myself that I can still keep moving even when things aren’t moving as fast as I’d like is helpful.

Defining failure is just as important as defining success. Even if it is just a way to remind you that you haven’t failed.

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