A Virtuous Cycle of Failure
“The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things.” – Rainer Maria Rilke
If you’re not “failing” you’re likely not doing anything worthy of your efforts and talents.
Consider you have two (at least… ) sacred aspects: your labor and talents.
Your labor is your effort, your hard work, your doing – you actually moving.
Your talents are the things you do very well, and that you enjoy – and most importantly, allow you to enjoy yourself (there’s nothing so rewarding as you doing something well and realizing it at the time).
And now, a note about “failure:” many people hear the word and think shame and regret (of some degree)… of putting themselves “out there” and it not working out.
Please replace that definition and mode-of-thinking with the following:
Realize that every action produces a result, so there’s really no such thing as failure, there are only undesired or unintended results. But it’s all information just the same.
Everything we do has a lesson in it, if we look and are willing to learn.
So, to circle back to Rilke’s wisdom above, if you’re going to “fail” – and thus, as I suggest, learn – why not reach a little higher and further each time.
I like to think that Rilke was being a bit playful when she chose the word “defeated” above, or at least she has her own, less-than-conventional definition of the word.
I imagine she sees defeat as an athlete sees conditioning their body and growing their capability: muscles, coordination and personal resolve must be tested and exhausted in-the-moment so they will grow stronger. And to work hard is to grow in strength and fortitude.
Thus defeats (“failures”) lead to victory.