Zen Habits: On Failing.

Just hours ago,  I was grabbing lunch with a college friend. We both joked about how we are not good at ‘not doing well’ and laughed about our reactions to bad grades or other frustrations.

I got back to work, stressing about many things and saw this post land in my inbox:

“I Failed”.

EEECK! This is NOT a word I am comfortable with. But instead of running away at that ‘bad/negative/terrifying’ thought, I opened up Leo’s post.

What I found was beautiful honesty, acceptance of self, and ability to reset. I love that the first two themes come first, before the “how to get back on track” uber-planning. While there is mention of “soul-tearing” there is also perspective, that this is just a blip on the map, most days.

While I encourage you to read it, I will share my favorite points.

  • I take a breath. It’s not the end of the world to fail. I just need some space, some distance. I need to see the problem in perspective. When I do, I realize that the failure is pretty minor in the grand scheme of my life, in the grand scheme of the world of lives around me.
  • I reframe the failure. Someone once said there isn’t  failure, only feedback. That means the failure is just a point of information, a part of the learning process.

So, in the words of my dear friend Petro: “Be with your shit”. Be with your failures, your worries or disappointments. And oh, what you can learn.



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