Failure

I was born to make mistakes, not to fake perfection.

Drake

I was walking on our dusty treadmill wearing a wireless headphone blasting motivational speech for 40 minutes non stop. Oh, you read that right, I did say that I was on a treadmill last night. A lot of people have a treadmill in the house, either collecting dust or being used as a laundry rack in the basement. We all had that moment, probably part of a new year resolution, when we feel like we can make a change. At the beginning of last year, I bought this treadmill and had it placed on the second floor, on the way to my bedroom. It was designed to act like a constant reminder that I am supposed to use it, get moving and lose weight. Yet, it has been deserted for almost 2 years, till last night.

It was cold outside. My body felt this urge to go for a walk. So I went on the treadmill. It was making a bunch of squeaking noise but luckily it was still functional. I started to sweat a lot after 15 minutes but I felt pumped. My mind was quiet and my chest felt light. The machine showed that I successfully burned 300 calories after 40 minutes of walking. That’s like…half a cookie worth? Yeah?

I still felt great. Not because of the 300 calories, but the fact that I accomplished something that is good for my body. We have a tendency to over-exaggerate our “failures”. If I can’t lose 10 lbs after a month of diet and working out, then I failed, and I quit. If I can’t get 1000 subscribers after posting 10 articles, then I failed, and I quit writing. If I can’t seem to get that job that I really wanted after 3 interviews, then I failed, and I should give up on applying. This type of similar stories are happening around us every day. We are so afraid of failing that we will stop trying all together.

Then a few years down the road, we hear some successful people sharing their journey. Shockingly, they often start their story by telling how many times that they failed. I don’t even need to provide any famous names here. Just try thinking of one successful person that you admire, he or she must have many failures before getting to where they are now. Magic! So the difference between me and J. K. Rowling or Dwayne Johnson (don’t ask me why these names popped up in my brain first), is our attitude towards failure.

The ones that succeeded are the ones who kept on trying. Failure is nothing but a lesson.

Am I a great writer? Far from it. How much money do I get from writing? Zero (actually negative if we count the annual fee for keeping the website running.) Do I love writing and want to be an influential writer? Absofreakinglutely! Then get back on that treadmill and keep on walking.

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