An open letter to my children.
We live in the same house but as you have grown older the time we spend together has slowly dwindled. We run about in our busy lives, you in your pursuit for excellence and me in mine. Our paths crisscross through the day, we share mealtimes and bedtimes, we talk about your day and mine, we laugh and tease, we hug and squeeze, you share and vent, I advise and caution. There are so many things that I want to say to you that get left unsaid in the days that roll. Today I’ll take up one of them. Failure.
When you were little people and learning to walk you never thought that you couldn’t and as I watched, you stumbled and got up again never giving up till you mastered the art that was so easy that you looked at me in wonder as I applauded at your success. Over the years there have been many battles that you fought, that to many may seem not so significant, yet, for you they were hurdles that you had to cross. And cross you did, with two people who stood by watching, with our hearts beating wildly, your father and I applauding quietly. There were many you avoided, you said they were not worth the pursuit. We prodded and pushed, but, we couldn’t convince and so we silently acquiesced. The pain of failure though hard to bear, is a reality that we all live with, but never, never fear it, my children. The desire to succeed should exceed your fear, for that will be the turning point of your lives.
There are many people that you admire and hope to be like, you feel that they had it easy and achieved fame because they were lucky. They had their own share of struggles and hurdles both large and small. Let me share some examples. I smile as I anticipate the rolling of your eyes, there she goes again with her examples you will think. Bear with me a bit more, I shall not share too many.
Your heroes of innovation Jobs and Gates did not success at the first go and despite the pressures they faced to give up they did not stop till succeed they did. Einstein, Newton and Edison all faced failure in school yet their names today are synonymous with genius. JK Rowling was jobless, penniless with a dependent child and her success story is your favorite book series. Trained as a Barrister he failed when he couldn’t cross examine a witness in court yet went on to lead our country into freedom, hailed a Mahatma by the world and an iconic symbol of Peace, our very own Mahatma Gandhi.
Like I promised I’ll stop here, for now. Your dreams are big and you will learn to take risks. Many times you will succeed and at other times you will fail. It’s when you fail that you must find your second wind and push on for that is when you turn the fear of failing on its head and make it the Failure of Fear.