On Failure

Fail better.  That’s the undercurrent in our society.  It’s okay to fail if you succeed.  We love the story of the under dog; the one who failed, worked hard, and then succeeded.  It’s a narrative that fits into our bootstrapping, feisty vision of ourselves.  But what if you fail and fail again, and again, and again?  What then?

I’m having a hard time with failure myself.  There have been a couple of set-backs in my health and I feel like I’m back where I started, weeks or years later.  I’m not failing better, I’m just, well, failing.  I want to hope that this is temporary, that I’ll go back to succeeding or at least failing better, but it’s hard to see right now.  Trying to remind myself that my 90 seconds of jogging yesterday was easier than on Tuesday doesn’t go so far when I remember how a month ago 3 minutes of jogging was just as easy.

How do you stay optimistic when you seem to be making negative progress?

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