Sunday, June 9, 2013

Failure IS an Option

Let's be honest.  I am not what you would call studious.  I have never been and probably never will be but, I have always respected smart people and admired their ability to think.

In January I did something that a lot of people will think is nuts, I did something that some will not believe...I applied to Western University to start my Doctorate of Education.  (I'm still surprised I completed a Masters of Education).

"That is not big deal", some might say.  But if you knew me, my educational background, and the fact that I am not so bright, this application will come as a shock.  Why would I apply for such a tough program when I am not so bright?  Well, because I can.

Here is a picture of my grade 7 first term report card.  If you look closely, you will see that I failed math and my work habits sucked! IMPROVEMENT NEEDED across the board.

While preparing the application for the EdD I spent a lot of time reflecting.  I realized that I have overcome more than my share of failures along the way to this new goal.

- I realized that I failed a few subjects in school and even a university course but that didn't make me dumb, just pointed out that I was lazy.
- I realized that I had a few meetings with people who I greatly respected telling me that I should never be a school administrator but that didn't make me not a leader.
- I realized that I have lost friends not living up to their expectations but that didn't take away from me being a best friend to Megan.
- I realized that I shed way too many tears over relationships that I thought were "the one" on my way to meeting Lennie the true "one" in my life.

By Merriam-Webster's definition I am a failure;
       1 a : omission of occurrence or performance; a failing to perform a duty or expected action
          b (1) : a state of inability to perform a normal function (2) : an abrupt cessation of normal functioning
          c : a fracturing or giving way under stress
       2 a : lack of success
          b : a failing in business
       3 a : a falling short
          b : deterioration, decay
       4: one that has failed

I have failed to perform, I was not successful, I have fallen way too short of many goals (just read my blogs about trying to break 6 freak'n hours in the marathon).

My failures have been hard times, often with me figuratively falling down.  What is your natural instinct when you fall?  To get up, brush yourself off, walk straighter and faster right?  Well, I have gotten up every time.  Some times more slowly than others but I always get up - usually with the help of great people in my life.

I can hardly wait to start Western for the EdD program (yes I got in).  It doesn't mean that I am a success but it does mean that I have overcome failure.  In my world, failure IS an option in order to grow, learn, and be better than you were yesterday and that is something we all should be striving for and modelling for those around us.

When was the last time you failed and what did you do about it?