I don’t believe in failure
Cause I know the smallest voices, they can make it major
-from “Seven Years” by Lukas Graham-
I heard this song for the first time today. I was in the car, driving home from school. This song is a really good song, with a unique beat and beautiful, heartfelt lyrics. The DJ had compared it to the “100 Years” by Five for Fighting. I wouldn’t put it quite at the same level, but it’s very similar in a lot of ways. But this specific quote really struck me at the time. I just watched the video a second time and didn’t notice it as clearly. Obviously, it was one of those things I really needed to notice at the time.
I like this quote a lot, and I think if I can implement it, things may feel a little better. Recently, I’ve been getting really down about my body failing… and I’ve been feeling like I’m failing at things because of it. This quote, though, hit a major chord. It’s true, you might fail at something very small, but the voices in your head won’t let you forget it and play it over and over until it consumes you. The tiniest voices really can make every tiny failure massive.
Now, the “I don’t believe in failure” part of the quote. I’m not saying that everything is actually a success, because trying to put out a fire with gasoline would definitely be a failure. However, if you think about it, most of the things that we consider failures really aren’t… but we let them get to us because they go against our vision of how the situation should have gone. You meet someone new, hear their name, and then try to use it again later; awkwardly, you call them the wrong name. Most people view that as a failure to remember the name. Well, sure. However, it’s also embarrassing enough that when they correct you the correct name will likely stick quite well into your brain. See, not a failure, you learned the correct name.
That’s what I think about when I hear the “I don’t believe in failure” part of the quote. I hear the willingness to shift the perspective and find the little success in the situation. Failing isn’t really failing, because each failure has its own lesson; you get to learn what doesn’t work so that you will be better prepared later.
How does this apply to me?
Well, I have been feeling like a total failure. I realize my body is doing all of this without my permission, but it still feels like I’m somehow failing… like my fear and failing inner strength are failures on my part. This quote reminded me to step back and look at it more objectively. I’m not failing, these emotions are perfectly natural given the situation. My inner strength isn’t failing, it’s resetting and building itself up. Like muscle: exercise tears up the muscle fibers and rest allows it to heal stronger than it was before. My body is just forcing me to think about life more creatively. My comfort zone is being stretched and I’m being forced to break out of my rut. Humans are creatures of habit, but variety helps keep the brain young.
Because of this quote, I’m going to be much more conscious of how I think about things. When I hear my inner voices saying I’m failing, I’m going to try harder to find the positive (there is always one, even the gas on the fire example has the positive of teaching you not to do that EVER again). I challenge you to try to find the little successes in your perceived failures too.
Here is the whole video, by the way, it’s a fun listen: