August 12, 2005

Courage

"Success is never final and failure never fatal. It's courage that counts."
-George F. Tiltonood


Ah, success. Sweet, isn't it? Oh, wait--what is your definition of success?

My entire adult life felt like a failure. Yes, I said failure.

I am an artist at heart. I love creating things. For some reason, I think this makes me a bit more "flighty" than the average Jane.

When the word "success" was spoken in my presence I froze. Successful? Me? No. I'm just a stay-at-home-mom. No person on this earth considers that a success. Right?

You see, over the years, I had begun many things. School. At home jobs. Yet none of these ever seemed to have a conclusion. An ending.

These loose strings hanging made me like a total and complete failure. I told myself I was a loser. A wanna-be. Stupid.

Once that ball starts rolling, it's hard to stop it.

Why do we focus on our "failures" instead of the positives?

Then one day, God placed a lady in my path that stopped the madness. After probing, Lynn asked me why I considered those things from my past as unsuccessful.

"Did you learn something from them?" she asked me.

"Yes."

"Then why do you look at it as failure? You tried something, it didn't work. So you tried something else. Look at the knowledge you have."

Whoa. It never occurred to me to look at my "failures" as successes.

As I looked through each situation where I counted myself as a failure, I began listing out points of why it was, instead, a success.

I had earned many life lessons. I couldn't see that, though, because I was too wrapped up in what I didn't do.

Success isn't a final judgement, a red stamp, at the top of your page. Success is trying as hard as you can to see if you are capable of whatever it is you are doing. Success is having the courage to try.