So here you are, this is everything you have been working for. Everything you have dreamed of. You have trained with a sense of dire urgency, never taking your eyes off the prize at the end of the road. You have poured your blood, sweat and tears into this, in order to methodically craft every minute detail enabling you to accomplish the goal you set yourself. You can taste it, you can now see the life you’ve always desired beckoning to you. You arise and prepare yourself for the occasion, never allowing your mind to stray too far from the task at hand. The day comes for you to prove your worth and abilities, and when it all matters the most, you fail.
So what do you do now? You are heartbroken and devastated by the results. Everything you have been working so hard for, all now seems to be for not. You find yourself questioning all your preparation. All your sleepless nights and early mornings now seem to have been wasted.
“Is it really even worth it anymore?” The question lingers on your mind constantly, spiraling and raging out of control like a hurricane of uncertainties and self-loathing. All along on your journey, you had never envisioned failure, and the all too apparent reality of it now is a monumentally bitter pill to swallow. But little did you know, this was the best result you could’ve hoped for.
So where do you go from here? Do you blame the world for your defeat? Do you point the finger at all those who succeeded where you have failed? Do you blame the system which seems specifically crafted to guarantee your demise? Or….Do you reevaluate your own position and tactics? Will you challenge yourself like never before? Will you rise to charge headlong into the beast of failure and doubts with a dedication you yourself are not even sure you posses? The entire prospect boils down to but a single question. Will you let this event destroy you, or rebuild you?
Failure is as human as it gets. Every single person will fail, there is no avoiding it. For all those who have tasted the sweet nectar of a single brilliant success, they have endured the sun spoiled mayonnaise flavoring of a hundred failures. No one person will ever be able to succeed in all grounds they tread upon. It goes without saying I know, “nobody’s perfect”, but yet I continue to be astounded by those who cannot accept failure. Those that would rather blame the world for their troubles, rather than rise up and craft themselves anew. You cannot control the way others view you, but you can decide what you will do about it. By our very nature we cannot be perfect, because we are free. We are not machines built to solve every problem or complete every task exquisitely. Don’t like the result of your efforts? Then approach them again as a stronger and wiser person. Let failure be the fuel that ignites your passion.
In the age of safe spaces, trigger warnings and participation trophies, the art of losing has all but been lost. Ironic isn’t it? Children are sheltered from an early age, coddled with the idea that they can do absolutely anything they set their mind to. I completely understand the prospect of wanting to instill hope and determination within the younger generation, but at what point does reality need to take hold? Should students be protected from dissenting arguments because they are afraid it may hurt their feelings? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that people should be needlessly accosted by a bombardment of hatred, but it is crucial to acknowledge criticism, and do your best to better yourself from it. After all, criticism is the only way anything ever improves. The problem is, criticism and insults have become all but synonymous in many people’s eyes. The world is a ruthless place with ruthless people, who are willing to do anything to get what they want, and no amount of hugs or sheltering will ever change that. Call me cynical if you wish, but the harsh reality is that people don’t care about your feelings, they care about results and facts.
You hear a lot of talk about equality nowadays. Everyone needs to be treated equally, which I wholeheartedly agree with. But what does that actually entail? Should equality be the defining factor which governs society, or should meritocracy? What is more important, equality of opportunity or equality of outcome? By taking these two topics, you can begin to see the eventual endgame.Equality of opportunity is capitalism and the free market, equality of outcome is communism and the rigged market. There is a certain quote, which should always remain in the minds of all those who ponder these questions. A society who puts equality above freedom will get neither.
People should be treated equal (obviously), yet not treated as if they are equal to everyone else in every way. In other words, everyone should be given the same opportunities, protections and rights as everyone else, but when it comes to discussion about personal ability and intellect, we are not equal. Some people are simply better at certain things than others. That may upset some people to hear, but it is the truth. I greatly admire those who are able to effortlessly paint and design beautiful masterpieces. I would love to have the ability to do the same, but I realize I will never create in the way that they can, because my handwriting sucks. I love music, and would love to have the ability to be able to sing vocals for a heavy metal band or perform a magnificent duet with Carrie Underwood. But alas, my singing voice is the eardrum equivalent of a live turkey being force-fed through a blender. Woe is me.
The somewhat grim reality of life is that there are some things you will never be able to do, and that’s OK. Our strength as a nation and as a world does not come from all of us being exactly the same, but rather in what makes us different. Our different opinions, experiences, lifestyles, traditions, ways of thinking and talents all culminate into one giant amalgamation of American badassery. Diversity, freedom and meritocracy are our strengths, let the communists boast about their “equality”. Do not disparage yourself for your weakness, instead focus on your abilities, and use them to achieve greatness. Make a name for yourself and acquire the things you want in the way that only you can. Do not let failure nor victim hood rule you, and never forget the all too important art of losing.