We took a walk with a new friend the other day. Our conversation focused largely on the turning point we both found ourselves in in our lives (like many people we knew), and the new paths we envisioned taking. She said didn’t feel she had much courage or taste for risk-taking. In the course of our few hours together, she happened to tell us about a business she had tried to start in India years before that never got off the ground. She had risked money, time and energy; she traveled to India many times and worked with artisans whose crafts were rare and endangered. She clearly had many big adventures and learned A LOT. “It was a failure”, she said.
We were startled by the word. FAILURE. It sounded so absolute, and so completely opposite to the story she had told us, which was full of courage and daring and learning. Like many people we know, she couldn’t see it in herself. We wondered if there was a word for NOTFAILURE, for the times when things don’t go as planned, but are still full of riches.
We need a new word. What would that word be?
Meanwhile, just for the hell of it, we searched “Failure” on YouTube and found a trove of videos of “Famous Failures“. Yeah, this is a Nike commercial, but it’s still true.