Last year, I wrote a post on how the possibility of any kind of success always carried with it the risk of failure. If you’re swinging along on the monkey bars, you have to let go with one hand if you hope to reach the next bar. In doing so, you risk falling down, but you also give yourself the opportunity to progress.
Now take that concept a little further. Imagine that you are swinging along the same set of monkey bars, except these monkey bars extend into infinity. Each time that you let go with one hand to reach for the next bar, you risk losing your grip and falling off. With each successive attempt, you can grow more tired and may become more prone to making a mistake. Fatigue sets in.
If these bars really do go on forever, failure is inevitable. Your body can only take so much abuse. Your body only has so much energy. Steadfastness of a determined mind can keep you going, but being stubborn can only get you so far. Both your mental and your physical limits will eventually catch up to you and, with these infinite bars, you’re bound to fall at some point.
And that’s okay. Homer is right. Trying is the first step towards failure, but you know what? Trying is also the first step toward success. Each time that you reach for a new bar and manage to grab it, you get further along than you have ever been. Recognize that failure is indeed inevitable, but you can achieve all kinds of monumental successes along the way.
Or, Thomas Edison says, maybe you never fail at all. Maybe you just encounter a series of learning opportunities.