“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” — Confucius
You know, if I didn’t know who Confucius was, I would assume he’s a character from a comic book. Hear me out — people in comic books seem to hold a ton of wisdom that shines through whenever the plot finds it convenient. It’s a cynical approach to their storytelling methods but hey, it works. Comic books are cool, dang it.
Unfortunately, Confucius is NOT a comic book character… as far as I know. Despite this, he still holds a lot of wisdom. Perhaps one of his greatest little tidbits of said wisdom is near the top of this article.
Think about it. Confucius is right. In your honest and genuine opinion, which is more admirable: someone who fell down and got back up, or someone who never fell? Sure, the one person never fell, but that shows that the task wasn’t that much of a challenge for them. They didn’t have to push themselves and their limits. No discipline was used. No personal records were shattered. Jordan Peterson says that we should compare ourselves to who we were yesterday, not who we are today. This coincides with our quote today.
I think it’s important to keep this in mind next time you fail. That’s right, next time you fail. Next time you fall down and your face is in the dirt. Next time you feel like nobody cares. Next time you don’t reach a goal. Failure. To pretend it doesn’t exist is foolish, because if it truly didn’t, life would have no meaning.
Failure tells us when we’re learning. If we didn’t fail, we didn’t learn. In fact, this has been proven by psychologists if my memory serves me right. Knowledge is best gained when you take a stab at getting it right, like a test. If you get it wrong and then you’re told the right answer, it teaches you better than constantly staring at the right answer because it requires you to actively think about it. This is why flashcards work so well.
If our greatest glory lies in standing up after failure, why do we choose to not seek out failure? Why do we stay in our safe little bubbles of knowledge? Why do we choose to never try anything new?
Okay I’ll be honest. I’m on a bit of a roll again. I really should stop writing all these articles in one day. I was going to let those questions be rhetoric, but realized it would be better if I answered them — we avoid failure because it’s uncomfortable. We get a damaged ego, and we feel like we’re incapable of success. The best way to overcome this is to fail a million times. No, a billion. No… fail until you can’t fail ever again. Oh wait, that’s impossible. Silly me. Looks like we’ll just have to keep failing over and over again until we reach our potential.
Standing up is more honorable than never falling. Don’t be afraid to fall.
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