Oprah on failure

When you fail at something, it is God’s way of telling you that you’re going in the wrong direction.
Oprah Winfrey

Not necessarily so. This could suggest we use society’s or someone’s perception of success and failure to define our path and our self.

Here’s another take from Oprah I like better:  So go ahead.  Fall down. The world looks different from the ground.

There are countless people we revere today who were considered failures in their lifetime, but chose to endure. I’m glad Van Gogh and Max Raffler didn’t quit painting (see July 24 entry, below) and Emily Dickenson didn’t quit writing poetry. I’m glad Kerouac didn’t quit writing after his 9th book was turned down. I’m glad Michael Jordan didn’t quit when he was cut from his high school basketball team. I’m glad Siddhartha Gautama left the “successful” life of a prince and sought his own calling, though his family considered this a failure.

What’s “failure”? What’s the “wrong” direction? We can define these only for ourselves. When we start defining them for others, or when others attempt to define them for us, that isn’t truth, it’s just opinion. And if you think you’re a failure, check your self-esteem and think again. Maybe you feel like giving up or you already have.

Consider someone with huge confidence—Thomas Edisonand his famous quote about inventing the light bulb. “I haven’t failed, I’ve found 10,000 ways that don’t work.” How many of us would keep trying after our 9,999th “failure”? It boggles the mind. And I’m not just talking about material goals. I think also of aspirations towards peace, intelligence, wisdom, courage, patience, grace, kindness and compassion.

I’ll end this with the immortal words of Yogi Berra:
  Slump ? I ain’t in no slump. I just ain’t hittin.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s