When questioned those dying patients at their final stage of life about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, research found that common themes surfaced again and again. The most common regret on the list is:
I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it. Most people will never accomplish their dreams for many reasons, but the biggest when it comes to choice? Is the fear of failure. The fear of being ripped from beneath that comfortable space in society where people expect you to be.
But will you be content in dying and not giving your dreams a voice or a chance? All because of a little thing known as failure? Something, that if you choose you could take and learn from it. You could ask yourself “Why did I fail?” and, “Is it a bad thing?” You can even smile about it. I know it sounds weird – smiling over failure. But look back right now and think of everything you’ve accomplished in your life.
You can’t and never will find one thing where you succeeded before failure. You didn’t wake up already having the knowledge of swimming, riding a bike, walking. You didn’t wake up and know proper English and Maths. At one point you probably failed a test and was forced to relearn the theory until you knew it.
You failed, and you did it. Failure is the natural process of growth. No one just creates perfection the first try. No one just wakes up one day and runs a marathon, writes a book, creates a painting, invents Facebook or the next thing to save mankind. And if you can conquer failure, you can conquer anything you want in the world.
You’re meant to be you. Except ironically, you’re not living you because you allow all your dreams and aspirations to drown in failure. You need to study so you can learn and then one day you can teach, one day you can show and tell. You can be an example to your children on what success is. You can be an example of someone who challenged failure and became great. Or you can be an example of someone who had dreams and aspirations and with the fear of failing, accomplished nothing. Forgotten.
So next time you hear failure slip from your mouth you better taste it. Because anything that screams failure also screams a possibility for success.