Note: This post can also be found at https://happy2thrive.org/calling-all-failures/
When I first listened to Denzel Washington’s speech I was moved to tears. The profoundness and clarity he gives through his speech stuck with me in the most astonishing way.
In his speech he asks, “How many ghosts are gonna be around your bed when your time comes?”
For many of us, our answer to that question is a lot. We have so many dreams that we want to fulfil, but we never set goals to get them done. As a result, “dreams without goals, will remain as dreams.”
The problem is, we know that we are the only ones standing in between our dreams and our ability to actually attain those dreams. Yet, we remain in this perpetual state of rigidness when it comes to just acting upon our dreams.
We often think of our dreams as this unreachable part of our lives, but I read somewhere that if an idea was planted in your head, then that means that it is humanly possible to achieve it– no matter who you are, where you’re from, and what you do.
With such a massive number of dreams to fulfil, it’s easy for us to feel engulfed by the turmoil created by our external factors. Our generation is taught to fear failure, to fear change, but someone once said that change is the only constant we have in our lives. Mind blown! Change is the only constant we have in our lives!
It scares the living daylight out of us to put so much effort into something and then to fail at it. I never wholeheartedly believed in anything because I didn’t want to feel the pain of not gaining the thing that I believed in, so I NEVER got my hopes up. However, I now realize that we have to let ourselves feel it all- the rejection, the sadness, the happiness, everything- to truly mature.
For example, my junior year of high school, I realized my dream college was UPenn. I put my heart and soul into doing everything I possibly could to be a part of Penn’s Class of 2024. I perfected every detail on my supplemental essays, worked extra hard for the remaining 2 years of high school, flew to Wisconsin alone to intern at a rehab center, hell, I even made an optional portfolio video.
I did all that and got deferred. After finding out about my deference, I took a long, steaming hot shower, in which If I had closed the drain, I definitely would’ve been able to bathe in my own tears. It hurt like hell! I took some time to analyze my failure and bounced back to work my ass off again to make sure my deference letter was absolutely perfect. After I submitted my deference letter, I straight up just got rejected. Once again, I showered it off, cried it out, and analyzed the failure to ensure that I don’t fail in that same way again.
One of the most important things I did learn from my rejection from Penn was that in order to progress through this journey we call life, it is essential that we submerge in failure and be resilient enough to bounce back up.
My New Year’s Resolution for 2021 is to be okay with being a failure. It’s okay for us to be failures as long as we take the time to learn from them and then, to never fail in that same way again. By understanding failure, we can all evolve into even greater human beings and potentially knock out the ghosts of our unfulfilled dreams, one-by-one, that may appear at our deathbed.