If You’re Going to Fail, Fail Better

In western society, we’re judged by how much money we make and by our position. Perfectionism and hard work are highly valued, and unfortunately, lead to burn out. In America, more people visit the doctor for stress and for stress-related illnesses than for any other reason. Failure is not tolerated.

Image result for Marina Abramovic

Marina Abramovic

Why not?

Performance artist Marina Abramovic said failure is a teacher. Artist Enrique Martinez Celaya agrees with her. Celaya says the art process leads to many failures. The avant-garde believed that failure led to success. Eastern religions believe in “failing better.” After all, failure taught Thomas Edison to repeatedly innovate. Regarding the lightbulb, he said, “I have not failed. I just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Image result for Enrique Celaya

Enrique Martinez Celaya

As a writer, I wrote for many years before my first book was published. Now I realize that failure and rejection should not depress or discourage us. Failure makes us develop a thick skin. It teaches us to innovate, and it leads to self-discovery. Remember, Mozart and Van Gogh didn’t become famous until after their deaths. But even if you don’t succeed in the world’s eyes, let alone become famous, it’s the process of making art that creates unspeakable joy and leads to self-discovery.

So don’t shun failure. Welcome it!

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