Failure as Success
When we were young, failure was practically embedded in everything we did. A visit to the grocery store with your mom was practically a tour of life’s hazard warnings. From tripping on your shoelace, to dropping the carton of eggs, to distributing the correct amount of money to the cashier, we soaked in every experience like a sponge and your mother, too, encouraged it. Without the mistake, there was no opportunity for the lesson, no opportunity for growth.
Somewhere along the way, towards the path of adulthood, we became shameful of mistakes and as a result, held back. We took less chances. We stick strongly to what we know, to what seems familiar, and to what will predictably bring us success. Nowhere is this pattern seen more than in exploring new career choices or endeavours.
In a profit=success culture, volunteer work, as noble as it may seem, may be viewed as a ‘failure’ by those around us. Often times, we value the work that we do or our chosen career path by the salary attached. “What do you do?” is often not a question of “What are you passionate about?” but “How do you choose to make money?” This is the way many of our understandings around the work force goes. The very decision to be of service, to accept no monetary reward, can be seen as “time wasted.”
It is here, in this uncomfortable space
Of course, there are the few that embrace mistakes, thrive off of new experiences and view challenges as opportunities for growth. One of those individuals is Chris Guillebeau, an entrepreneur who found a way to use his seemingly selfish passion in service of his greater community. In 2012, Guillebeau’s desire to travel to every country in the world left him wondering how, and if it was even possible at all to create a bridge between his goal and the rest of the world. With a little creativity and a lot of experimenting, he did.
Guillebeau’s story is not of the rare kind, though we rarely hear about it. It is not common to hear about small scale heroes who choose people over profit
Written by Anja Jerkovic
Cover Photo: World Domination Summit World Record Waffle Breakfast, beds donated to Portland families. Photo by Armosa Studios