Monday, January 5, 2015


Monday morning, 3.43 a.m.

     There has been so much written about the pros and cons of failure that it seems pointless to address the subject, but at 3:00 a.m., what the hell else am I going to do. As I have failed to put myself back into a sacred slumber, here is my seven-decade take on the topic.

     Failure does not build confidence. Failure sucks. Failure does not make you stronger; it just pisses you off. Failure is not fun; it is feckless.

     Thinking about all one’s failures is counter-productive, but I will list some of mine so yours might pale in comparison:

  1. First grade - failed to get Brent S. to like me.
  2. Second grade - failed to get lead in school play.
  3. First piano recital (age 5) - failed to play any of the correct notes in piece
  4. 1947 - failed to like my new baby sister
  5.   ten years later - she still irritated me
  6.   8th grade - failed to get Dave K. to like me
  7.   9th grade:  failed to understand why algebra mattered
  8.   9th grade:  failed to win class presidency by 25 votes our of 697
  9. 10th grade - failed to get Jerry L. to like me
  10. 10th grade - failed to make it into Madrigal singing group
  11.   college:  failed to understand why Botany and Zoology would help me in life
  12.   college:  failed to handle my alcohol well at fraternity parties
  13.   marriage:  failed to understand why cooking mattered
  14.   life:  fail to understand why some people are selfish, inconsiderate and rude
  15.   this morning:  fail to understand why a little caffeine wakes me up so I end up writing drivel like this.

     SUCCESS works; failure doesn’t. In my humble opinion, the only thing failure does is help you realize you are human. It humbles you so you don’t get arrogant and full of yourself. It bonds you to other humans trying to understand the same things. 

     Success energizes. Success builds confidence. Success makes you feel damned good. Success breeds success. I will not list all my successes, as that would just take up too much time, and I have to take a caffeine break here. Just trust me that there have been many, but they all took focus, discipline and perseverance. 

     I have read countless stories about famous people who have failed. The fact that they succeeded and are on such a list doesn’t tell me that failure helped; it tells me that they worked through their failures and didn’t give up. 

     I have not given up going back to sleep.  zzzzz.