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How Failure Is Teaching Me How To Live A Meaningful Life

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” – J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter & The Sorcerer’s Stone

It’s hard to admit, but I’m what you would call a successful failure. Whether it’s acting, music, writing, or trying to lose weight while eating Taco Bell, I’m good at failing. We often hate admitting failure, usually opting for positive self-talk about giving it our best shot and just coming up short. In all truth and honesty, the word failure is demonized, when in actuality, it should be acknowledged as a lesson in life that we would otherwise not know.

“The greatest teacher, failure is.” – Yoda, Star Wars: The Last Jedi

As I sit here in one of my favorite coffee shops, I think back on so many dreams I’ve had in my 34 years thus far and it makes me want to cry. So much failure. So many missed opportunities. So many moments that will be lost in space and time. And yet, even so, I must thank God for the lessons He taught me in those seasons of failure, as I am continually learning to seek God in my present, not just the past or the future. It’s easy for me to travel back to the past or drift into the future within my mind, but staying in the here and now has always been a struggle. For whatever reason, failure has taught me that there’s more to life than just reaching my dreams. Finding God, loving others, and enjoying the moments I’ve been given are just as important as what comes next.

It’s hard to thank God for the lessons learned in our darkest moments. Trust me, it makes me a little sick to even say those words. Thankful for failure?! I don’t want any more failure in my life, but to believe that I’ll never fail again is folly. Failure is part of life in a fallen world. Without failure, we wouldn’t remember our own fragility as human beings. We would become invincible in our own minds, and I don’t want to deceive myself into believing that I’m my own god.

If you’ve wrestled with failure, what if you began looking for the lessons that can come from the heartache? There is something to learn in all circumstances, yet failure seems to have a strange way of teaching us what we can never learn in any other way.

It’s OK to admit that you’ve failed. You’re human. The key is to never stop dreaming, creating, and living for what we know is true. The Father will be with us in both failure and success. You’re not alone.

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