If I can say one thing without hesitation it’s that I’ve failed spectacularly.
I mean fireworks, Olypmic parade, commencement speech worthy failure.
The kind of failure you look at in awe. You marvel at its ruthlessness and you quiver before its exquisite power while pulling your children close (probably for your own protection rather than the children’s).
Yes, I’ve seen it.
It’s pure unequivocal proof that you’ve done something significant.
It’s proof that you tried to do something that was important to you. The fact that you failed is just a small, albeit painful, detail in the grand scheme of things.
The grand scheme being that you’ve made it to the point where what you’re doing matters. It matters to you, and it matters to the world (even if the world hasn’t noticed yet).
You’ve finally made yourself vulnerable enough to create something you believe in. The failure wouldn’t hurt so much if it wasn’t.
It’s proof that you worked through, and with, your fear to produce something epic. Sure, it may have been epically horrible, but it was epic nonetheless.
Most importantly, it’s proof that the worst can happen and you can handle it. You can live through it and you can carry on.
It doesn’t matter what you wanted or what your goal was. If you’ve ever felt worthy of an Academy Award for Greatest Failure, then you’ve reached a certain level of seriousness. It’s a level that people make detailed plans to arrive at, but never take any real action towards those plans.
These people have the benefit of avoiding the disgrace you’ll have to face for the rest of your life whenever you think about that failure.
They are protected from the winds that try to knock you down every single day.
They can sit on the sidelines and pity you.
They can criticize you.
But they can never join you.
They can never share the heartache and exultation that comes with being epic. They can find solace only with the mediocre.
Maybe that’s enough for them.
But for you – for you, you aim higher. You reach farther. You fall harder. You get up faster.
And when you’re finally within shouting distance of your goal, you’ll look back at them and tell them they really ought to see how beautiful it is.