The Celebration of Failure
The notion of celebrating failure is foreign to most of us. I should be one that understands it well, since I’ve had so much experience with failure.
You’ve heard the various stories about inventors like Edison who think of failure as one step closer to success. We must dig deep into the people’s motives to understand whether outcomes should be be categorized as a failure or fantastic success.
Pure motives trump ulterior motives, once those false motives are revealed.
Today, regardless of what side of the aisle you fall politically, motives are being revealed as false and simply for vote getting. The two sides cannot be consistent and only want the other side to fail. This is not failure worth celebrating for either party.
Many years ago, a group of jealous brothers wanted to rid themselves of their dreamer of a brother, their youngest and a daddy’s boy, named Joseph. As the story from the Bible is told, rather than kill him, they sold him to a caravan of travelers from Egypt and reported to their father that he was killed by a fierce animal. The motive for the brothers? Joseph dreamed one night that his brothers would one day bow to him.
It was probably stupid for Joseph to share that dream with his brothers, but dreamers really don’t care. Tesla, Westinghouse, Edison, all sounded idiotic to people in their social group at one time.
Well here’s a failure to celebrate. Thinking that they would be rid of Joseph forever, an amazing series of events occurred that left Joseph as the No. 2 most important man in Egypt, following jail time from escaping yet another plot against him. Since Joseph was good at revealing the true meaning of dreams, Pharaoh, the leader of Egypt, listened and believed Joseph when he predicted many years of great harvest followed by many years of famine for Egypt and that region of the world.
Being put in charge, a great place for a dreamer, Joseph developed a complex plan to store the plenty and have it in place for the years of drought that were certain to follow, an undertaking that was hard to sell in a time of plenty.
(A quick time out from the story. An excellent business is one that develops storehouses for the riches from their good times and thinks ahead to invest today, during times of plenty, for the potential times of challenge that might be ahead. Also, understanding motivation is important, as well. The Wright Brothers found their success from the pure motivation of the challenge ahead of them. Much better funded competitors found no success because their hearts and minds were focused on a financial reward of great wealth. They never got had a pure motive, which is what got the Wright brothers off the ground.)
After depleting their supplies in the midst of the harsh famine, Joseph’s brothers who had sold him many years earlier into slavery, came crawling into Egypt after hearing that that nation had been prepared for the famine and food was plentiful there.
In an unbelievable validation of his dream as a young man, Joseph, now unrecognizable as a wealthy and honored leader, witnessed his brothers bowing to him begging him for food.
A celebration of failure sounds mysterious and not at all possible. Failure is where lessons are learned, and wisdom is earned. Iron sharpens Iron.
The heat of the fire is what strengthens the blade and keeps a sharp and strong edge. Joseph, once put into a pit to die, but instead rescued into slavery, suffered immensely, but kept on dreaming. To have compassion on others, one does well to feel the pain first for themselves. It’s said that rescued people, rescue people. Joseph and his brothers understood that sentiment.