Commonplace 7

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

Fail better. At first, that sounds crazy. By definition, failure means “the lack of success” or “the omission of expected or required action”. Beckett’s text is very interesting because it makes the reader see failure in the way which I believe is the most correct. By failing, one discovers what doesn’t work. As the great Thomas Edison once said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” By accepting that failure is a reality, we are more willing to take risks. When we lose sight of the pressure surrounding failure, we strike success. And what is success? What does it mean to be successful? While many times success is objective, it is also very subjective. Rewind to sophomore year. My high school’s soccer team made it to the playoffs, but I had been struggling with a knee injury the entire season. Everyone around me told me to rest so I could be fit for next season. My doctor, my physiotherapist, my parents, even my friends thought I should take a break. But I told my coach I was good. I worked extra hard to get fit, and indeed I felt okay for the games. I thought I had succeeded. except I would later learn that I didn’t. I was out my entire junior year because I had aggravated my injury, and by the time senior year came around, I was nowhere fit to play nor did I feel like it because I was too afraid it would happen again. I had failed. But from every failure, there’s a lesson that comes from it. And I learned my lesson. My point is that what Beckett wants us to realize is that failure and success are intertwined, and to achieve either one you must first try. “Ever tried. Ever failed”. Life is a process of trial and error, and the essence of this lottery is the lessons we get from it. It’s what makes us grow as human beings and what guides us towards success. As Denis Whitley once said, “Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead-end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.”

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