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Saturday, 10 October 2009

Why Failure is Better than Success

As an "A" type personality and complete over achiever I never realised that value of failure.

According to my previous beliefs, gaining weight is one of the worst things that could ever happen to me [even typing that sentence makes me realise how ridiculous that thought is - is is hardly worth worrying about compared to death, disease, divorce, and abuse]. Even so, by my glorious and virtuous (*sarcasm*) standards, failing at losing weight was to be avoided at all costs.

But the things I have learned over the past two days have made me realise that without that failure, without that weight gain, I wouldn't have made the progress that I have.

I have discovered that doing the 'wrong' thing or getting the 'wrong' results is a great thing. It challenges your view of the world and is a catalyst for growth and self awareness.

Here is a simple practical example to illustrate my point. I have finally given myself permission to eat 'bad' food, the stuff that wouldn't be considered as taking great care of myself.

To my surprise, after dining on real pancakes made with flour and the best fish and chips in Sydney, I learned that I didn't even like either of them any more. If I hadn't 'failed' I would have gone on using my willpower and discipline to resist them. Now no effort whatsoever is required to pass on the fish and chips because they don't taste that good.

I have the freedom to break all the rules because there is a truth to be discovered. Instead of seeing failure in the face of not meeting my high expectations, I see that I have courage I didn't even know I had.

What could I discover about my life if I didn't eat enough protein, if I didn't let my boss tell me what to say in meetings, and if I didn't try to make the pain go away?

Spectacular failure is priceless feedback if I take notice of the results and learn the lessons.

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