You only fail if you haven’t learned anything

“Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” Henry Ford

It’s easy to look through the history of one’s life and categorize certain events or experiences as being failures. I hate that word. By definition the word failure speaks of a person or thing that is unsuccessful or disappointing.

Okay, there are parts of my life I wish I would’ve handled differently, but to say that I was “unsuccessful” or that my life was somehow “disappointing” because of it just seems a little harsh.
I believe the only reason something should be classified as a failure is if you haven’t learned anything from it.

If you’ve gone through a string of relationships or friendships and still can’t love someone unconditionally; if you’ve bounced from job to job but never gained any valuable skills or understandings; if you’ve never learned anything from the ups and downs that plague our day to day existence, then perhaps your life IS filled with more failures than triumphs.

Be leery of anyone who tells you there’s nothing left to learn in life. The fact of the matter is you are never done learning, regardless of how old you are or what level of status or intellect you’ve been able to achieve.

I’m human and therefore have experienced my share of challenges in life. From family squabbles to unemployment, I’ve battled through with some difficultly, but have managed to come out on the other side with invaluable lessons.

Learning is what helps us grow and build character. It allows us to understand our mistakes, realize our shortcomings and prevent them from happening again in the future. It turns all of the occurrences so many of us label as “failures” and repurposes them into an invaluable educational tool – a textbook to life if you will.

Back in high school my driver’s education instructor told me to “expect the unexpected.” That’s true when driving and very true in life. And while we may not be satisfied with every facet of how our lives have progressed, know that nothing is a mistake or a waste of time if you’ve learned something indispensable from it.

Benjamin Franklin once remarked, “Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.”