Greatness of Failure

by Gokia Vang

J.K. Rowling shares her experiences about failure to Harvard graduates.

It does not take a failure to fail nor winner to win.

Many of us have been told from very a young age that success is key to a beautiful thriving American life. Many of us are afraid that if we fail, we’ve stepped down too low and can never regain steady steps toward our victory prize. Many of us strive for the best, and in the end, beat ourselves up because we’ve failed to reach our desired success. Many do not see the importance and benefits of failing as a contributing factor to success. Some would say that it’s a failure to fail. I’d argue the opposite and say that it’s not a failure to fail, but a fail to not see the importance of it. The importance of failure is that it challenges us in new ways towards success

As P. J. O’Rourke said in The Success of Failure, “It seems a shame that failure is so central to existence and so inevitable.” Failure cannot be avoided nor can it be neglected. I believe that failing is a part of the process of one’s desired success. One can’t succeed without some measure of failure: trial and error. But if that was the case, you must be a god of some kind. Failure is important to the existence of people, things, and ideas that prevails in this universe. For example, if there weren’t failures in the construction of buildings, how could man create skyscrapers that stands alone in the sky? All ideas, people, and creation exists because of trial and error. Because failure is inevitable, metropolis continue to spread world wide.

As Megan McArdle said in Failure is the Key to Success, “I was reminded of the famous Thomas Edison quote: asked how it felt to have failed to invent an electric light bulb, Edison said “I haven’t failed! I’ve discovered 10,000 filaments that don’t work.” Instead of being pessimistic about failing, Thomas Edison optimistically viewed his errors. Like Edison, you should change your perspective to see that you haven’t failed but instead, you’ve just tried something that ‘doesn’t quite work.’ Some things don’t ‘fit’ exactly in life and that’s why failing is important. If something doesn’t fit, the nature of oneself is to strive to find something that ‘fits,’ which in this case, you’ve reached success.

In Ted Talks: The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination, J.K. Rowling discussed about her experiences of failing and what it taught her. She stated,

“Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. Failure taught me things about myself that I could have learned no other way.”

In this way, discovering about oneself is a success of failure. Grounding yourself before reaching out to succeed in other things is greatly beneficial to the path of success. If you truly know who you are and where you belong in life, discovering what you want to accomplish will be easier. You wouldn’t have to waste time trying to perfect things that doesn’t quite suit you. Once a person has failed, it initiates self awareness that the next time they are encountered with similar situations, they can react differently to create more positive results. This leads to success in life and that’s why it’s so important to experience failing.

I believe that failure challenges many of us in new ways that guides us towards success. It does not take a failure to fail nor winner to win. It takes a person who has failed to understand the importance of failing and to finally recognize how to win.