My Terrific College Failure

In my prior essay, Dare To Fail … Terrifically, I used the swaying rope bridge in Indiana Jones as a metaphor for overcoming the feeling of unease that inevitably comes when you try something new.  When I look back at my life, I wonder how it would have turned out if I had avoided all of my wobbly bridges.  For example, when I was twenty one, I was a junior in college.  Even though I had never seen a computer in my life, I decided to take a computer programming course as an elective.  Unfortunately, I entered a course with Computer Science majors, using a scientific language (FORTRAN), programming scientific applications.  I happened to be an Accounting major at the time, in the business division of the school.

Believe me when I tell you that during this class, I was swinging and swaying on that metaphoric rope bridge.  I vividly recall my feelings when I labored away in the computer lab as my peers came and went; completing their projects in a fraction of the time it took me.  As I sat there late in the evening, sometimes alone, I felt utterly stupid, thinking “What am I doing here?”  Long story short, I failed the course terrifically.

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Dare To Fail … Terrifically

Courtney Benoit at Bat

Definition of Failure: The condition or fact of not achieving the desired end or ends; e.g. the failure of an experiment.  The condition or fact of being insufficient or falling short.

Did you ever hear this one, “Failure is not an option?”  To this I say, not only is it an option, in measured quantities it might be the best possible medicine you can ingest.

A failure proves that you are willing to take risks – to learn, feel, change, grow, love, live – and ultimately to be free.  And, although things might not work out this time, you put yourself in a position to succeed … eventually.  That is how a failure should be viewed – as putting yourself in a position to have success down the road.  I don’t understand why some people lose sight of this critical key to learning … and growing.  Our own personal history demonstrates it vividly.

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