Tag: failure

fractured

Good Enough

Sometimes we accept the worst solution because we can’t have the best. But the better thing is available and right in front of us.

  • You decline $40,000 because you can’t have $80,000.
  • Because you can’t save $20, you end up spending $30.
  • You might stay up too late, and instead of going to bed, you stay up even later.
  • You might be hungry, and instead of eating something adequate, you stay hungry.
  • You refuse to eat a chocolate chip cookie because you really wanted ice cream.
  • You might need to exercise, but because you don’t have time for a two-mile jog, you do nothing.
  • Because you can’t solve a complete problem, you don’t solve any part of it.
  • Because you can’t get an A, you might fail a class instead of getting a C.
  • You don’t write anything instead of writing something that’s not quite right yet.
  • You don’t help someone because you’re afraid that you can’t do enough.
  • Or in an attempt to find the perfect place to live, you end up miserable living where you are at.

Just do the better thing in the first place instead of waiting for something perfect to come along.

And sometimes when you go forward with what is good enough, then the best option becomes available.

 

fractured

Accepting the unfinished

It’s okay to let things be, even though they are unfinished and incomplete.

I have written books that will only exist in computer files, rough and unread. I have made plans for houses that I will never live in again. I have started learning, only to forget.

Incomplete. Unfinished. Wanting. Imperfect. Partial. Lacking. Fragments. Inadequate. Deficient. Garbled. Half-done. Meager. Rudimentary. Undeveloped. Unpolished. Rough. Sloppy. Failed. Broken.

But I am not looking for perfection. In everything I try, I grow. In everything I attempt, I learn.

And that is enough. It is enough to learn and grow and to move on and leave the fractions behind.

Sometimes the attempt teaches us so much that it does not need completion.

My life is a whole, not because it a collection of what I have completed, but because it is a collection of unrealized ideas that slowly became who I am.

And there is no use in finishing something without potential. Realizing problems and moving away from them is not failure, but wisdom. 

Sometimes, I keep trying. Today . . .

I move forward.

essay, inspiration

recognizing the blessings in the fabric of your life

My post yesterday was about not achieving your dreams and how that’s okay. But I think we need to realize sometimes how privileged we are to even to be able to dream and set the goals we have in the first place. There are so many people who are merely focused on survival. We often don’t realize how blessed we are because we are seeing our life through a specific lens of what we’re used to.

We usually compare ourselves to people who live similar or better lives than we do, forgetting all the people who struggle and live in a different way. We don’t see outside ourselves. We want to serve and help, but we don’t really want to empathize.

Even though I have dealt with failure and rejection and disappointment, I have four children, a good marriage, a comfortable home–I have so many good things in my life. I have accomplished a lot, but more importantly, life isn’t about the accomplishment anyway.

Life is more about experiences, the stories we tell ourselves and each other, and the ability to keep going and keep trying. Life isn’t about being happy and successful, but about the journey on the way.

So many times, we get so narrow-minded in how we look at things. Our standards and measurements that we apply to ourselves and others are often inaccurate. We could do to love each other more, to be more understanding of different situations, and to see a bigger picture.

I don’t think we can ever the perfect perspective in life–it’s always cloudy and inaccurate. But we can try to recognize the love we have from our Heavenly Father. We can know that eventually, we will be able to make sense of all the difficult things.

During the journey, it’s always good to take time to recognize the blessings that are contained in the very fabric of your life.

essay

when life doesn’t go according to plan

There is this idea that you can set your goals and dreams and go for it and achieve them, but then there are thousands (or millions) of people who have a different reality: they have goals, they work towards them the absolute best they can, and then they fail.

A writer gets rejected, not just for one book, but for dozens of them.

A lawyer hopes to change the world and help people, but ends up working on messy divorces and collecting money.

A young college student wants to study mammals, but ends up studying insects and then getting stuck in a job as an underpaid lab assistant.

People get rejected constantly: they interview for jobs and then get the call a few days later that someone else was chosen. They apply to their favorite school and they don’t get in.

There are those dealing with even bigger problems: infertility, major health problems, death, tragedy, and so much more.

We don’t celebrate those moments. We don’t talk about the failure. We often hide it. We don’t see articles and books about people who have repeatedly dealt with disappointment without the eventual positive conclusion–in most stories, failure is merely a stepping stone on the pathway to eventual success.

But so many people don’t get that success and have to reframe their life and kill their dreams.

I am sort of tired reading about self-help books from successful people about how other people can be successful too. Because that’s not how the world works. We have humongous failures and mistakes in our life. We have persistent weaknesses and constant rejection.

And that’s just as human and real as those successes. And we need to talk about it more–and not just in a way where we keep encouraging people to keep going until they finally succeed, or we romanticize struggles with an inspiration moral at the end.

We need to embrace that there are average people doing average things and that is what makes the world work. For every major success, there are usually so many failures without any happy conclusions.

(I’ve probably written this exact same thing before, but I don’t mind repeating myself.)

fractured

reality

reality is never quite what you expect

more full of joy than you imagined

yet pulling back at you is the struggle

everything is bigger than you imagined

complicated

 

what do you want to be when you grow up

becomes a fairy tale because

your dreams are merely fantasy

and you are instead left with that fact

that dreams never really come true

because life is different from your thoughts

 

failure is an unexpected detour, turning onto

the unending route of reality

the destination forgotten because it never existed

 

and yet this is not a roller coaster of ups and downs

it’s a journey in a landscape

failure is not a trench, but a valley of everything

 

unexpected

better

inspiration

The joy of a simple life

I am currently reading a self-help book that drives down the same, worn-out path of trying to convince the reader that they can accomplish a lot because the author has accomplished a lot. If the reader follows the path of the author by doing specific things, then the reader will also be successful. And usually success is defined in a specific way, such as wealth, career accomplishment, and general productivity and happiness.

This is a false narrative.

We all live different lives. Some of us won’t ever be successful in certain ways–we have struggles, and sometimes those struggles never go away. You may not make much money. You may struggle to spend your time wisely. You might struggle with mental health, making daily happiness seem impossible. You might fail in career goals. Your family might fall apart in a way that can’t be put back together again.

It’s a lie that we can all achieve a certain kind of success.

But that’s okay. Because you don’t need that sort of success in your life anyway.

We are given are specific circumstances. We do the best we can, and we make mistakes. But we keep trying. And while we do want to be the best we can be, that may mean that we live a simple, unnoticed live, filled with problems.

My Grandma Jane lived a simple life. She was an incredibly talented woman in many different ways: computers, crocheting, sewing, bookkeeping, genealogy, and more. But she dealt with a huge amount of challenges in her life–health problems, infertility, financial struggles, family difficulties, and trying to overcome her own weaknesses.

I love my Grandma Jane very much and she means a lot to me. She helped others in small and simple ways, and that was enough.

Sometimes we get so caught up in being successful in the certain ways we want that we forget that the small and simple things we do are so much more important.

I don’t want to live in a big house and have lots of money. I don’t want to get the best grades or a high-profile job. I don’t need to start a successful business or publish books or whatever.

Because my life doesn’t have to be successful in those ways at all. I want to love and serve in small and simple ways. I want to keep trying even if life become difficult. I don’t need to be noticed, because I am already loved.