Opinion: Failures serve for learning, inspiration

By Bailie Myers
Ranger Editor

Bailie Myers, Ranger Editor

When you think of winning, what comes to mind? Do you picture a trophy, medal, respect or attention?
I find myself associating winning with success. If I win something that I have strived for, then I must be successful, right?
A group of the AC Ranger staff went to a convention in Dallas last weekend. We competed with other college students in various contests that challenged our skills as writers and journalists.
Then our entries were judged, and the winners were to be announced at a dinner that night.
As I awaited hearing the results, I was trying my best to prepare myself just in case I didn’t win anything.
It was the typical routine I’ve practiced since I began entering writing contests years ago. ‘‘Keep cool, don’t sweat it. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t place.’’
When they were through reading the results last weekend, it hit me. I didn’t place.
All the preparing was for nothing. I was just as disappointed as I could have imagined. I had the “It’s the end of the world” moment.
Obviously that’s being dramatic, but when you are in that moment, the moment of realizing something you worked for was thrown aside as if it were commonplace, ordinary or just not good enough, it doesn’t seem overly dramatic.
That moment is your world.
Although this time, it was different from any other time I had lost something. It was different because I allowed myself to be disappointed, I accepted it, I learned something from it, and all it did was make me want to try even harder.
Why am I writing this column, advertising to you, the readers, that I lost? So many people don’t want to admit when they have failed in some way. They are fearful.
I want to be fearless. I want people to know that I am riddled with faults and misunderstanding but that those things don’t define me.
Every day that you wake up, whether you are feeling awful, tired or hopeless, you have an opportunity. You have an opportunity to be the next Mozart, Dickinson, Einstein or even more important, the original person that you are.
You are winning every day.
Abraham Lincoln lost eight elections before winning the presidential election. Did he let all those failures keep him from going forward?
No, because they weren’t failures at all. They were stepping stones.

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