Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Emerson makes the point of perseverance, and as I wrote previously about it I want to give you the encouragement to continue to get up. It is failure that creates the necessity to invent!
Not long ago there was a man who had everything before him. A good mind, strong body and great prospects. The world at his feet. Yet at twenty one, he is told in a hospital that one third of his lung needs to be removed due to a benign growth.
The doctors say everything will be fine, the lung will regrow and life should continue as normal. The doctors were fixing what they could see, but what they could not see was the damage they would be doing to a young mind.
The operation was a success, the years passed and the lung has healed and regrown, life continued and in a way, modern medicine has cheated what should have resulted in the loss of a life. So it was for the young man to try to piece together this gain over death and what he could make of it!
Failure has been a part of everyone’s lives. For some it is very outward and for others it is the small little gashes that cause never ending pain on the inside. It is also this failure that results in us gaining the strength to get up again and carry on!
Now to be an inventor you need some sort of problem to solve. We all have this ability. Look at a baby trying to eat, they will, regardless of what you try to do, eat with their fingers. Using such objects as knives and forks are pointless in the quest for sustenance.
Henry Ford tried to overcome a problem and in so doing invented the car. The same could be said for Thomas Edison and the light bulb or James Watt and his condensing steam engine. All these men were solving puzzles and finding solutions that worked.
Getting up from bed after the operation was very difficult. I couldn’t breath and I ached! To climb 10 steps to the bedroom would require a rest of half an hour, and then only to realise I needed to go back down again.
Recovering was easy from a physical point of view, but mentally I was both amazed that I had survived, and broken that I was no longer the fit healthy person I thought I was.
It was the sense that overwhelms you at the end of a sports game and your team loses. You wanted them so desperately to win and now there is a void. The world was all there for me to take and it was now in some way different and I didn’t know how to get back up!
Being an inventor requires some sort of motivation. It is either the burning desire to understand something and make it better, or it is fixing something that is broken. However, each has at its core something to drive it forward.
It is time to stop looking at the failure, setbacks and wrongs as something bad. They should be looked at as your motivation for invention. You had to cope, you had to get back up and you had to make a plan.
Name calling, only made you stronger later on and viewed new ways of dealing with it. Inability to vocalise your words – writing your thoughts down made it clearer for you. Standing tall when others were trying to persuade you that what you had chosen in this life was wrong only led to you being a more mature well rounded individual.
Failures should not be dwelt upon, but they are events that happened to us. What they should be used for are springboards to push us back into the realms of our inventions. The ways that we overcame those setbacks.
The setbacks may have changed the perceived path you were on, but realise, there is no path ahead of any of us. That is the fallacy. Just look back now at your life, you aren’t walking in another person’s path, you are walking your own path and you are making your own way with each step of the way. If you choose to follow someone, you chose it, but it is still your own path with your own decisions.
Life is so precious and for me the quest to understand it has been a driving force since I was a child. To appreciate its beauty and be cradled in the arms of exploration has driven me to invent new ways of looking at the world. Yet there is the fundamental belief that still needs to be understood, I am a part of this world, not just a casual observer, and so are you!
There are others I can turn to, there are inspirational characters to watch and gain strength from, but ultimately it is still me that must put it all together and make the connection.
When faced with certain failure, don’t fear that the headlights are too bright and you will not succeed. This is a learning curve, a way to make you stronger, a way for you to invent a new way of looking into the light.
This life is full of amazing experiences, but you are the most amazing of them all, because you faced the storms and you are still standing. Working through the tricky bits, figuring out the pain of failures past, but you are the ultimate inventor.
To think you did that all by yourself too!
Act anyway, that way at least, you will keep moving to eventually find the right place to be at!