It’s More Difficult To Jump Than To Fall: Failure Is The Easy Part

by Paul Hudson

How amazing would it be if winning were easy?

Winning, coming out on top and considering yourself successful all take much effort. In fact, if winning isn't a challenge, then you didn’t really win, did you? You sort of just went to pick up your trophy.

The outcome of any competition doesn’t matter quite as much as the challenge that the competition presents, as well how we face that challenge.

Did we meet it head on? Did we take that leap of faith – faith in ourselves and in our abilities? Did we jump with one eye closed, knowing that even if what we see frightens us, we understand it is what we need to do?

There are several points in our life when we reach such a chasm. When we do we have to make a decision – we either jump across or we jump in and fall to the ground.

The chasm’s width depends on the challenge at hand.

Life's chasms come in all different shapes and sizes. The edges aren’t parallel and the width itself varies from different points along it.

The distance from one side to the other is the distance you are going to have to jump in order to make it to the other side successfully. The chasm is the challenge.

The question is whether or not you’re willing to jump it. Being a smart, rational person, you will surely compute your chances of making it over to the other side alive.

There is always a chance that you won’t make it over. You could slip. You could not get a good enough running start. A strong gust of wind could blow you back or laterally. Hell, a bird could swoop down and hit you smack-dab in the face.

The larger the chasm, the more chances there are for you either to make a mistake or for the world to screw things up for you. The true challenge is calculating the risks on your own and then making your decision. Can you make it across? More importantly, are you willing to risk falling?

Many people, although comprehending the importance of the width, fail to recognize the significance of the depth of said chasm.

You either have to get across, or make it back down to the ground. You can’t simply turn around and pretend you never reached the chasm – we cannot simply forget our journey and the decisions we make – but you can climb down its walls. Have you ever climbed down such a steep slope? I haven’t... not literally, anyway. But I can’t imagine it being a simple task.

Even by climbing down the chasm and back to solid ground, you are putting yourself at risk. If you decide to jump and you end up falling, it could potentially be devastating – it really depends on how strong you are psychologically.

The very same is to be said about giving into your fears and climbing down instead. The risk of falling while climbing is just as dangerous, more so even. Climbing down gives us the illusion of safety, making us feel comfortable. Falling when you least expect it can destroy you.

The truth is, regardless of what you decide to do – jump or accept failure and fall – you have a high probability of getting hurt.

You reached this chasm, and now it’s a part of your life’s journey; it can’t be erased. If you decide to jump and end up failing, then you have to be prepared for the fallout.

If, on the other hand, you decide to climb down and aren’t able to deal with the fact that you passed up on an opportunity that could change your life, forever, for the better – as rare as such opportunities are – you may not be able to live with yourself.

Most people jump, but do so halfheartedly. They “jump” in order to have proof to back up the lie that they’re telling themselves.

People are so incredibly amusing. The things that we do, the decisions we sometimes make, and how we rationalize these things to ourselves are brilliant. Seriously brilliant. Accidentally brilliant, really, but brilliant nonetheless.

We realized that we have a knack for convincing ourselves to believe half-truths. Some are able to convince themselves of complete lies! It’s very impressive. I just wished we all learned to use this to our advantage.

Instead of using such trickery to improve our situations and to benefit from it, we convince ourselves of lies only to spare our feelings. Why attempt a serious attempt when you can half-ass it and then simply convince yourself that you gave it your all?

Just say that you’re going to do something, spend minimal time, thought and effort on it, and then convince yourself that you tried and couldn’t have possibly done any better. Voila! You didn’t actually fail because you didn’t actually try – plus, you get to believe that you’re not a chicken sh*t.

You have to jump every time there is a chance you may succeed.

Even a 99 percent chance of failure leaves success as a possible outcome. Just the same, a 99 percent chance of success still leaves room for failure. You never know the outcome of any situation, especially any as complex as these, until you play things out.

Falling into that chasm doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. It doesn’t have to be the end of you. In fact, breaking a few bones will only make you that much stronger once they heal – making the next time you decide to give it a go a higher probability of success.

What you can do, need to do really, is figure out where the best place to jump will be. Just like crossing a river, crossing a chasm isn’t equally difficult at all points.

Some points will allow for a narrower gap, or a shallower one. Some areas will be clouded with a fog, making both the width and the depth difficult to calculate.

If you’re going to jump, then it is pertinent that you understand all the possible consequences. Never jump if you can’t see the bottom or the other side and always take the easier jump as long as it brings you the same outcome.

Sometimes you may need to walk a few miles afterwards to get to exactly where you need to be, but sometimes that’s a smarter move than risking more. Be patient and choose your moves wisely.

Photo Courtesy: Somali Watch

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