I am proud to say that Failure is a friend of mine.
Oh, I know. Just writing that will make a lot of people think, “What? Who wants to be friends with Failure? That’s just crazy!”
I’ve seen them. They treat Failure like some kind of social pariah and either look away when she’s nearby or run like antelopes from a lion.
I understand. In the beginning I too was afraid of Failure. Even worse, I think I hated her.
Until the day I looked her directly in the eye and discovered goodness there. On that day we became fast friends.
It’s been a fabulous friendship. With the help of Failure I’ve accomplished more than I would ever have thought possible. Failure is a fabulous teacher and every time we meet I can’t help but learn something new.
After we had been friends for several years Failure told me I had earned her trust and she let me in on her little secret. She has a child by the name of Tenacity.
Failure introduced me to Tenacity, and before I knew it we too were good friends.
The years went by and I got married and started a family.
One day I asked my good friend Tenacity to come over for a visit. I wanted Tenacity to meet my kids and get to know them. I felt Tenacity would be a very good friend for my children to have.
“Can’t do it,” Tenacity said with a frown.
“What do you mean you can’t do it?” I asked. “I thought ‘can’t’ wasn’t even a part of your vocabulary.”
“Usually it’s not,” Tenacity said with a shrug. “But rules are rules. I don’t meet ANYONE unless they’ve been approved by my mother.”
I stared at Tenacity for a full minute as the gears in my head did a few hundred turns. Tenacity’s mother is Failure. Friend or not, Failure can be scary. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to add the stress that Failure brings to the lives of my children.
Then I looked at Tenacity’s glowing self-confidence. It was what I wanted for my children. Could I not find a way to introduce my children to Tenacity without introducing them to Failure?
That’s when the truth hit me. Failure is a mom just doing her job as a mom. She’s protective of her child and wants to know the people who hang out with her child.
As a parent, this is something I understand. I brought my children into the world so it’s my responsibility to protect them from the creeps and the crazies. After all, without me my children wouldn’t even be here.
I gave Tenacity a hug and did what any good parent would do.
I helped my kids set challenging goals and introduced them to Failure.
Even though we were friends Failure didn’t cut them any slack. Just as I had done, each of them had to meet Failure individually, on her terms. She tested their strength. Challenged their abilities. Played with their emotions.
In the end it was worth it. They passed the tests and every time one of my daughters sets a goal for herself, Tenacity, complete with that self-confidant glow, is right there by her side cheering her on.
So even though I treasure my friendship with Tenacity, who can make anyone feel that no goal is too lofty or out of reach, I value my friendship with Failure more. Failure has taught me a lot through the years.
Probably the most important lesson I’ve learned is that those who avoid Failure will never know Tenacity.
So my friendship with Failure will continue.
Even though, just between the two of us, I’m still a little afraid of her!