07.30.17 – Permission to Fail


Sorry I’ve been MIA for a month (and a half? My last post was on June 16. Yikes.) now. Life is kinda throwing a bunch of curve balls at me, and it’s been quite the tough journey. It’s been a tough few weeks with road bumps and detours, and it seems like it’s not ending any time soon.

The moment I started on this road, it’s as if I’m going through it on full throttle. Then, all of a sudeen, the road is accompanied by road bumps every few minutes and detours on every block without signs to even signify that there’s one coming up. Straight, right, left, straight again, there’s a speed bump, right, another speed bump, 2 seconds in the air before coming down again. It goes over and over again, and I find myself spending so much time trying to figure out where I’m going that the moment I’ve figured out the previous speed bump, another one appears.

To be frank, I’m getting annoyed and frustrated at it. It’s as if God was like, “Hey, Keith! Here’s a new opportunity for you!” Then, after taking it, He’s like, “Awesome! You took it! Don’t forget the struggles that come with it!” Then boom. Struggle after struggle. Problem after problem. Challenge after challenge.

While the sun is shining on a beautiful July day, I’m here wallowing in the dark with no “Exit” sign and no fire escape anywhere I look. There’s a door, but this isn’t the time or the place to get away from. I know that the door is locked from the inside, but I can exit any time. But it’s as if I have to be here at this particular place at this particular time.

It’s as if I need to be here.

I don’t know the reason yet, nor do I know why I’m going through this tough road. All I do know is that I am going through this tough time, and it seems as if I have been given a new permission:

A permission to fail.

This might seem like a bad permission to have as it does mean that I’m going to fail time and time again, and I agree. I’m not opposed to anyone thinking that having permission to fail is the best thing. Why, you ask? Because this whole month was a month of failures for me.

I failed at becoming the best hire at my new company. I failed at passing my driver’s exam. I failed at becoming a full licensed driver. I failed at keeping my emotions in check. I failed at listening to the concerned voices of my friends. I failed at being sensitive to the needs of my friends. I failed at overcoming my struggles. I failed at overcoming my pride. I failed at becoming a better friend. I failed at becoming a better son.

If I was graded on a letter scale, the month of July for me would have been an F- (if grades even go that low). My effort would have been an A+ (not to brag, but I tried my hardest on EVERYTHING; i just failed at them all.) I would have failed this entire month.

However, I think I’ve learned a valuable lesson in failing:

It’s okay to fail.

In a society that values perfectionism and success, nobody openly discusses or values failure. Many people talk about their failures, and some people find it inspiring that people can get up and be successful, but most inspirational speakers don’t leave me inspired. In fact, they leave me feeling even worse. It’s not their fault, obviously (I’m quite a hard guy to impress). But the fact that schools, parenting books, and inspirational books do their best to ensure “success” just seems like a façade of the unreal.

The truth is, everybody fails. Everybody. There’s not a person in the world that hasn’t failed at anything they’ve done before. But people need to talk about it. You can’t just talk about success and make that your entire speech without talking about failing. Talk about failures. Talk about failing at something that you tried to achieve but couldn’t. Talk about failing at getting a girl. Talk about failing at a course. Talk about failing at impressing the company that you’ve always wanted to work at. Talk about failing at getting something when you’ve always wanted to get it.

Talk about real life. Don’t just talk about the successes of the person. Talk about their failures and their attitude during those failures. Talk about how they reacted or what they did when those failures happened. Talk about what they improved on and how they became a better person because of those failures.

Maybe I’m just wallowing in failures now, but my life won’t end up in a failure. I know God has so much more for me. I just need to wait for the time when all my failures become something amazing.

“It is good for me that I was afflicted,
that I might learn your statutes.”
– Psalm 119:71 ESV

TL;DR – Keith is on a bumpy road. Keith kept failing this month, but Keith kept going. Keith has been given permission to fail. Keith needs to talk about failures. Keith is failing now, but Keith will have something amazing at the end of the failures. Keith remembers Psalm 119:71.