A recent post on Eleni Zoe’s blog has got me thinking. Yes, I do sometimes read non-dog-related things, but that’s not what I am thinking of. The post was about failure. More specifically, it was about how failing itself can be a success.
Being me, my thoughts first went to my dog and how Shiva never shies from a chance to fail. She doesn’t let fear stop her from doing anything. Just this morning is a perfect example. For the first time this winter, I noticed the surface of the lake by our house was frozen over. Curious, Shiva and I headed over to investigate. I wasn’t brave enough to step on the thin ice as I could see the water moving underneath. My dog, however, pranced right over, not even hesitating in her steps. Despite her confidence, the ice cracked under her paws and she sunk right through. She immediately jumped back to the safety of land. I think she was more surprised than anything.
I tossed a few pieces of kibble onto the ice, wondering what she would do. At that motivation, Shiva screwed up her courage and stepped back out on the ice. This time she didn’t care if she fell through, she was getting to that kibble! In just a short time she was having a blast crashing around in the ice-filled water. She proved that sometimes failure is necessary and leads to better things. If she hadn’t fallen through the ice in the first place, she never would have gotten over her fear.
This episode made me think about some of the larger failures in my own life that turned into major successes:
– After university, I failed to find a job in my field. Disappointed with the reality of post-school life, I took a job at a hotel. A job that introduced me to some of my closest friends and a future roommate who encouraged me to finally move out of my parents’ house. Most notably, if I hadn’t worked there, I never would have met my PH.
– I failed to save up enough money to attend law school. Desperate for change, I moved to Calgary instead and discovered the non-profit sector, starting me on a career path I never anticipated. I may not make a lot of money, but let’s face it. If I’d finished law school, I’d be dealing with mountains of student loan debt. And we all know even as a lawyer I’d never make the big bucks. Knowing myself, I’d spend a legal career defending children and abused women, or doing some sort of pro bono work. Destined to be poor!
– We failed to find a decent way of life in Calgary. Depressed and tired of living in my practically brother-in-law’s basement, we packed up and moved East to Halifax. I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. While I miss my friends and family something fierce, I have never been happier.
– I failed to train my dog myself. The bullying methods I’d learned on television were not working. Shiva was getting crazier by the minute. So I hit the Internet and found a fantastic positive trainer who has now become a good friend. If I hadn’t failed, I never would have discovered agility or this awesome world of pet blogging.
It’s funny how things turn out, isn’t it? Even though I have spent a great deal of my life fearing failure, it seems I should have been embracing it.
Do you have any successes you can attribute to an earlier failure?