As we walk down the path towards individual freedom and liberty, it is critical that we take time to reflect not only on the successes we experience but the failures as well. This process is not so much a focus on failure as it is recognition of the processes necessary to learn, adapt, and overcome.
A significant number of new business start-ups fail. The Small Business Administration writes: “Census data report that 69 percent of new employer establishments born to new firms in 2000 survived at least 2 years, and 51 percent survived 5 or more years.” Eric Wagner, a contributor for Forbes magazine, writes that “…8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months.”
This article is not to debate the statistics of failure, but rather to focus on resilience.
Being resilient is one of the most important qualities one can have, especially if you have chosen to walk the path towards individual freedom and liberty. As a matter of fact, I believe that it is our inherent resilience that allows us to make the choice to walk this beautiful path.
With that said…why is it that so many people continue to conform to the restraints that society places upon us through various avenues such as the media, education system, political correctness, etc?
One of the primary reasons people continue to conform to these sets of standards is fear. Our society has been conditioned to believe that it is not normal to think outside of the box. We have been led to believe that living life a certain way is the desirable way to live. More often than not, the way that we are living is not the way we truly wish to live. At what point in your life did you reach this realization?
Moreover, when you finally did reach this realization – what did you do to change your reality? I suspect that there are plenty of times where people reach this conclusion, but actually taking a step towards making a change can be terrifying. We don’t know where to begin. Furthermore, when we decide to take that first step…we often find ourselves walking on a road less traveled.
There comes a time, where we cross paths with another person who is actively changing their reality.
“Comes a time when the blind man takes your hand…Says, ‘Don’t you see?’”
We begin to see. We begin to wake up. We begin to see that making that change is not only possible…but we begin to understand that making the change and experience the challenges that come along with living a life on these terms can be gratifying. We regain our humanity.
Change is not easy, though. For many of us, we’ve spent a lifetime developing habits. We have developed behavior patterns over decades. It is no small feat to begin re-patterning our behavior. However, it can be done. It all begins with the decision to act upon the thought that sometimes creeps in at the most unexpected times…yet never leaves once it enters your gray matter. This very thought is what we ultimately desire to be. These thoughts are resilient.
The last article I wrote for Brink of Freedom was titled, Growing and Cloning Blueberries 101, Part 2. At the time I wrote this article, springtime was underway and my cloning experiment ultimately failed. As a matter of fact, it was a colossal failure! Looking back and reflecting on the cloning experiment back in May, there are a number of reasons why it wasn’t successful – none of which are really relevant at this point in time. The important thing is that when I finally realized that the experiment was unsuccessful – I chalked it up as a learning experience and simply kept moving forward.
There were too many other things at stake for me to get hung up on one element of my life not working out the way in which I had hoped. Failure is a critical part of success…though we have been led to believe differently. As Pauline Estrem writes in an article titled, Why Failure Is Good for Success:
“Society doesn’t reward defeat, and you won’t find many failures documented in history books. The exceptions are those failures that become steppingstones to later success. Such is the case with Thomas Edison, whose most memorable invention was the light bulb, which purportedly took him 1,000 tries before he developed a successful prototype. ‘How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?’ a reporter asked. ‘I didn’t fail 1,000 times,’ Edison responded. ‘The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.’”
The reality is that life is full of failure. This isn’t an inherently negative observation…but it is reality. If you read the statement “…life is full of failure” as a negative statement, this simply validates the observation that we have spent a lifetime developing behavior and thought patterns that encourage us to see this as a negative. When we begin to reframe our reality and see it with a different perspective, we begin to see the truth that while reality is full of failure, reality is also full of success. We also begin to experience more success when we realize that the resiliency of re-patterning.
My initial thought was to take the time and write about the various steps I have taken to re-pattern my life, but I have decided against it. This article went down a path I did not expect it to when I began writing, which seems even more appropriate, given the content of the article. However, I do want to stress that the change in our lives begins with the realization and understanding that resilience is key.
May we all begin to embrace the failures in life and view them as one of the thousands of steps towards success. Let us understand that both our successes and failures will help us learn, adapt and overcome the challenges we all experience in life. May we begin re-patterning our thought processes in order to reframe reality with the understanding that doing so will allow us to view life with a different perspective. This will truly allow us to more effectively walk down the path towards individual freedom and liberty.