One man’s failure is the same man’s success

Alison Grafton, Health and Science Editor

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You probably have heard the common piece of advice, “failure is not an option.” This advice was given by Gene Kranz, who gave this advice as a flight director of NASA. However, since most people will not be working on a once in a lifetime space expedition, this piece of advice is not valid.

     Sometimes failure is what you need. Not succeeding at something can tell you that it’s not for you. If you always lose at swimming the 100 Butterfly, it may not be the stroke for you. Yes, you could try to work harder to attempt to get better, but if you put that energy in something else like the 100 Breastroke and the 200 Freestyle, your energy is put to better use.

      In some circumstances, the failure will make you work harder. It enhances the natural desire for  winning that most people have. But people need to learn that winning is not everything. In life there are so many things that you do not win. Even through defeat there are valuable lessons to be learned. If you won everything in life, you would never grow from the challenges that you face. Challenges, especially from failure, help to make you a better person.          

    Often times, winning something does not leave you with any more advantages than if you lost it.  Living through an experience is more important than the outcome.

Failure is not something that affects just one person, it affects all of us. It is a common misconception that if you do not win than you do not succeed. Success is what you make out of what you put in. You can be successful in many things, even if you fail overall. Victory does not mean receiving the blue ribbon, but instead reaching personal goals. These goals can be something as simple as drop 2 seconds in the 100 Breaststroke, even if you did not score any points, or encounters as large as graduating college, even if you were not at the top of your class.

    Your life is your opportunity to make mistakes and fail. So accept the D on the history test, welcome the reality that you will never place in the 100 butterfly, because it is not about the failures, but the things you learn along the way.

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