Shannon Presley Alexander
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The day was ours to enjoy, mine and my son; no work and all play today. At least that is what I thought as we started off for the park. However, as we arrived and started to play, something peculiar happened. It wasn’t the incident itself but how it struck me, it’s all about the perspective. Over the last year & half I have taught my toddler something new almost daily; yet, it’s astounding how much he teaches me. While he just started walking a few months ago, it amazed me as I watched him take a step on the uneven play yard. He would fall, peek at me for a mere second, dust himself off and start toddling again. Then he’d fall, look back at me, dust himself off and again be on his way. During the instant or two that he looked back, he saw his mother adoringly looking at him with boisterous words of encouragement. It was a continuous cycle. Each time he looked forward, he realized something greater lay ahead although uncertain what it was, he moved forward seeking his independence. As I observed this, this thought echoed in my head, “If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again.”

While you are several years older than my toddler, this should resonate in you since you encounter similar circumstances. Obviously, it’s not about being on the playground but in the trials and tribulations before you. While it is safe to stay in the comforts of mom, dad, high school etc. something far greater in the big world awaits you. As you move forward, your support system will still be there cheering you on as you take that step, just remember when you fall (and this will happen) dust yourself off & try again.

Falling is a part of life. You will not be the first, or the last to face it. Did you know the Wright brothers had two failures before actually making a sustainable flight? Are you aware of Steve Job’s failures? He had great time and financial loss in the first Apple 1 computer as well as the next; he was even kicked out of the company he created, and then failed at another venture before reaching his success. And these are only two examples of great successors.

So what is there to learn here? That failure is just a stepping stone to success. There is always something positive to learn from a fall, regardless of how bad it may be. Try not to synonymous the word failure with defeat, disappointment or allow it to ‘freeze you in your tracks’. The most beneficial step is to recognize when it is staring you in the face, take a deep breath, dust yourself off and try again. Strive to do better than you did before; learning from your failures will make your success that much stronger. And finally, remember failure is not final.

So what kind of attitude will you adopt as you go out into the world? What happens when you fall? I hope you do as my son did. Take a look back; stand up tall, brush yourself off and run into the world that’s waiting!