A Crash Course in Failure: Being Careless

Failure is not a word that I use frequently.

The word is largely misunderstood. Failure has such a negative connotation among people that it is not recognized as a reasonable result. The ignorance of failure limits the scope of success. When we do not recognize the possibility of failing, we fail to see both sides of the truth coin.

Controlling Life

We believe we can control everything. The reality of life is that there is very little which we control. Commuting to work on a daily basis becomes so commonplace and regular that we forget to realize how fortunate we are to make it to our job safely. While we complain about the troubles of last night or gripe about our boss, the foundation of the building we are sitting in could collapse. Any day, the possibility of getting fired or laid off exists. The company we work for could go under or get bought out by another corporation. Our life plan constantly changes without a hint of direction from us due to uncontrollable forces surrounding us.

Though we cannot control every detail of our lives, we do have some control. Our largest opportunity for control in life is controlling what we think. That is more precisely controlling our thoughts. It is important to think accurately. Accurate thought uses logic to weigh and consider all decisions. Using accurate thought for important decisions like considering the possibility of failure are beneficial to our success. We should envision the possibility of failure in our plans because we do not have complete control of our lives. Somewhere along the way, people have forgotten to think for themselves. Society has deemed poverty the ultimate sin. The possibility of poverty has starved would be entrepreneurs and risk takers into submission. Fear of failure plagues the mind of thinker. Thus, accurate thought has diminished over the years creating a modern day movement of careless thinkers.

Riding in the car of LIFE.

Even though we do not have complete control of what happens in our lives, we must try and take the little bit we are given and make the best of it. Our relationship with control in life is exactly like our relationship with cars. In this relationship, imagine that the car is life and we are riding in the car. We can drive the car or ride shotgun. Careless thinkers always ride shotgun while accurate thinkers try their best to keep driving.

We are the straphangers of life. Life is our car. And like all cars, life needs general maintenance and repair. We can take our car to an auto- mechanic to repair it or we can fix it ourselves. If you know a lot about cars than it is probably a good idea to fix it yourself. You can save a lot of money. If are not knowledgeable about cars then you run the risk of making mistakes. The easiest way to fix your car is to see a mechanic. They can diagnose your car’s issues and fix it for you. Any mechanic can fix your car, but they all charge different prices and the quality do work varies from person to person. Some are tactical enough to do nothing and still charge a hefty price.

Even after regular and routine maintenance and checkups our cars can still break down on us. Hurdles, like a flat tire, can stop or slow us down. Other times, our lives collide with others resulting in pain and injury. Life collisions can be fender benders and others can completely total us. Relationship fallout, a death of a loved one, or an unexpected health crisis can be one of the worst head on collisions while driving the car of life. Any of these scenarios can bring failure unexpectedly to our plans.

The Opportunity of Mistakes

Sometimes, we make mistakes. Most people think mistakes create failure. Mistakes create opportunity.

When mistakes are results of our own decisions, we have the choice to learn from them. This gives us the ability to turn what could result in failure into greatness. Our mistakes can be transformed into positive, learning experiences or driving lessons in life. In these cases, failure becomes the greatest motivator or teacher one can experience. Through failure, we learn that we have nothing else to lose. We can only go further. The worst has happened. We learn what doesn’t work. Failing teaches us that our way is not the best. There are better ways. When we find the best way, we find the right path to success. Failing better is not a belief. We should not strive to fail, but mistakes can be our greatest lessons in life. They are not be feared. Mistakes are our friends.

Common mistakes

Sometimes our car doesn’t start because we forgot to get gas.

Maybe we forgot to change the oil or someone accidently left the car light on all night killing the battery and leaving our car unable to start in the morning.

Both of these are careless mistakes either on our part or the part of others. The most important mistake to prevent is riding shotgun in the seat of life. Nowadays people would rather sit in the passenger seat. They believe it saves them time and energy. They feel safer with less responsibility and trust that the decision to ride shotgun will still allow them to arrive safely at their destination. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Somewhere along the road, the driver takes a wrong turn and they arrive where they had not planned or do not want to be. Other times, the driver makes a mistake and the passenger can be injured. Riding shotgun is great from time to time, but for the most part driving is always more fun and exciting. Passengers only have the luxury of watching what passes by them. They get to look out the window the whole time. They have no choice in stopping to enjoy the moment longer, taking a break from their trip, slowing down, or accelerating. Their interaction is limited like their thinking.

Sometimes we are certain that we are thinking accurately about life only to find out that we are actually being careless. After being in the driver’s seat for a while, speeding becomes a normal routine behind the wheel. Living too fast becomes too easy. By trying to control every aspect of our lives meanwhile rushing to and from work, we forget the important things. Our life passes by until we get a notice. The notice while speeding is a ticket. Sometimes the ticket comes at an unexpected time. Many people get speeding tickets for driving too fast. Our fines depend on how fast we are going. Depending on our speed, time, and location we can get restrictions, fines, or lose our license and ability to drive. Losing our license in the game of life is most certain death.  We need to slow down and pay attention. In life, the fines and consequences are much higher and dangerous than speeding tickets. All the money in the world cannot bring back lost time with your loved ones.

Alas, we will make mistakes. When this happens, it should not paralyze us. Learn from your mistakes. Doing something over and over again expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. Riding shotgun all the time and expecting to get where you want to go doesn’t always happen. It depends on who’s driving.

When our car breaks down, we have choices. Accurate thought is our greatest weapon. We can let our car sit parked in the driveway or along the highway, we can ask for help and fix it, or we can get a new car. If we fail in life the same rules apply. We can sit parked and watch the lives of others pass us by. We can ask another person for help. But, the really amazing person forgets about the junk in the driveway and gets into a new ride. Nothing beats that new car smell.

When we fail, it feels like life is broken. Remember, a car only fails when it cannot be started and get to where it is going. The real question is could you care less about your car breaking down or are your prepared to fix it and drive away?







About Stephan Stansfield

Stephan is the owner, creator, and editor of Peregrine Poise.
He is currently traveling and teaching around the world. When he is not helping others discover their true potential, he finds time to surf, read, and reflect on the important issues of living a good life.


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