The recognition of failure is a moment of success.
What failures-in-progress are we engaged in?
Democracy is failing because it’s based on the false assumption that the majority of the electorate is aware and informed, whereas the truth is that the most aware and intelligent people are always a minority. Plato and Aristotle knew this 2500 years ago.
Related to this, the two party political system in the United States is failing as people are increasingly dissatisfied with their choices.
Fossil-fuel-based energy is failing. Whether it’s causing climate change or not is moot. It’s a finite resource and it’s dirty.
Printing money to solve complex social and economic problems is failing.
Creating public health policy based in fear and politics already failed, but the recognition of that failure is failing.
Outdated methods of management that don’t honor and support the self-interest of employees are failing, leading to the decline of employee engagement for twenty straight-years, punctuated by the Great Resignation, and now “quiet quitting.”
I could go on, but that’s enough isn’t it?
It doesn’t have to be depressing if you hold the view that failure is a necessary part of evolution whose governing dynamic is the dead-end. It’s true as a society because it’s true for individuals that make it up.
We are all dead-ending ineffective strategies for living life and inviting failure to show us the truer way. There’s no problem with this. The only problem is when we don’t learn the lesson.
In other words, there’s no such thing as a mistake–unless we don’t learn from it. But most of us spend so much energy defending what we think we know that there’s nothing left to learn from the failure. And so we invite another failure of the same kind, stalling our own evolution.
If you want to learn and grow quickly, you need to find the aspect of you that is infinitely curious, has nothing to prove, and is open to all new information without resistance.
This is the soul.
Most people try to improve their egos: make it more loving, more aware, more competent, etc. This is like a monkey riding a bicycle: they can do it, but not ever at the highest levels.
I offer that we all must dead-end the path of modifying the strategic version of ourselves. We can make it better, yes, but we can never make it true. When we realize this, we can begin a different journey. It is the end of the construction of a better self, and the beginning of a deconstruction of the false self.
This is the path to the soul, which is already there, waiting to be uncovered. But besides deconstructing the false self, there are ways to cultivate the authentic one.
That’s what we’ll explore in my upcoming course, Cultivating Soul Essence: Accessing the deepest You. It begins 11:15 am PT on September 22.
I also invite you to listen to my most recent podcast, episode 377 “Don’t Never Give Up,” that addresses the balance between the pursuit of excellence and the necessity of failure.