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The Gift of Failure
by Jean Loxley-Barnard





While seeking ongoing success, an occasional failure can be valuable.  Some of my most precious lessons have been learned through failing.   What else tells us so quickly that we have not hit the mark?  What else reminds of our humanity?  What else shows us the difference?

We all have our area of expertise and love the feelings that success triggers.  They are balanced best, however, by reminders that failure is a valuable part of success.   When we are aware that we can fail, we can pay closer attention and make success more likely.  When achieving is not automatic, we have more value for it.



Humility is the prize we are awarded when we know what failure is.  We become more tolerant of others' failures, more likely to offer a helping hand, less likely to blame.  There is as much to gain from any failure as there is from a rousing success.

One of my favorite stories is about my favorite
President - Abraham Lincoln.  How very human this man was. 
How little conceit he had, if any at all.  Was that due to his
series of failures before his ultimate success?

There are graduates all around every June who are celebrating their personal milestones.  There are others not yet there.  But they know something the Valedictorian does not - the value of succeeding and the cost of failing.  They may be motivated to soar higher than those who have not yet tasted failure.  They will learn, hopefully, to not give up on themselves.

One of my favorite stories is about my favorite President - Abraham Lincoln.  How very human this man was.  How little conceit he had, if any at all.  Was that due to his series of failures before his ultimate success?

Who was ever more in touch with the sufferings of the people than this President?

I believe we are all potential Lincolns.  If we maintain a sense of ourselves as fully human and keep focused on what we believe we are here to do, we can be confident that the journey is right.   All our experiences teach us what we need to know.  We need to learn as much from failure as we learn from success.  They are each part of the whole.




Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 38 years.