Have you ever made a tasty dinner? Well, did you LEARN anything through that success? (Ummm, will you teach it to me? Cooking isn’t my forte.)
Anyway, did you learn anything when you succeeded? I’m guessing the answer is no.
But “failure” can actually teach us.
When we “fail,” we say something like this.
“Oops, this cake is too dry.”
Now, IF (and only if) we then say, “Next time, I’ll add more milk!” then we have learned something.We’ve learned the WRONG way to make a cake. That puts us one step closer to making a good cake.
Now, the next step may be discovering, “Oops! Too much milk! Next time I’ll use half that much!”
Yep, it can be a tedious process learning to make a really moist, good cake. And when we change ovens, there’s a certain part we have to re-learn. (Uh-oh! A hotspot—better leave it in for a few less minutes, or put a baking stone in the bottom of this oven!)
We only learn if we try to ANALYZE what went wrong, then try again, with something new in our efforts. And often, try AGAIN and AGAIN. Because if we’re trying to do something worthwhile, it’s probably pretty complicated and will take many, many attempts.
Now, if we instead say, “I am terrible at making cakes! I am never going to make another cake, because look what happens!!!” then we learn nothing.
We don’t grow at all. We blame ourselves, the recipe, the oven or whatever, and give up. We haven’t moved forward, we’ve just stayed in the same place. As good as we were yesterday, perhaps, but no better.
The question is, did God design us to fail and give up, or did He give us the reasoning capacity to figure out where we went wrong, and re-adjust our course?
The answer is obvious.
And it helps if we have someone who will kindly and honestly give us feedback. (I can tell you worked so hard. I think that a little butter in the milk will make it even moister!)
So often, we say “Nobody’s perfect!” but deep down, we really think that we should get things right the first time and every time, and it should be easy!
Truthfully, the curse prevents that. (Genesis 3:17-18)
Remember, God had told Adam & Eve to “tend the earth” or “dress the garden” way before the curse. (Genesis 2:15)The curse isn’t that they had to work (tend the earth) it was that they would have to tend the earth through sweat and thistles!
So—we are to meet our “failures” with determination, working to succeed. And the curse pretty much promises that there will be failures!!!
Rumor has it that Edison tried 10 thousand (!!!!!) ways to make a light bulb; and when asked if failing 9,999 times discouraged him, he said, “I didn’t fail 9,999 times. I just learned 9,999 ways how NOT to make a light bulb!”
It sounds funny, but the concept, if not the story, is true.
Success rarely teaches us anything. “Failing,” when we persevere toward success, can teach us LOTS!
But it will take grace, plenty of determination, and lots of humbleness to reach success.
BUT– you WILL reach it, if you’ll just fail, analyze, adjust and try again. And you’ll reach success faster if you’ll fail at a faster rate! 🙂
Click this link to read the first of my favorite three posts! A Creative Word: Self Esteem vs Self Image (Self Image pt 1)