The only kind of failure that is permanent is one that terminates you. Or the one that you choose to keep you; because you’ve allowed it to terminate you. In Chinese, there’s the saying that failure is the mother of success. And that is the acknowledgement that more than being polar opposites, failures are building blocks of success.
In fact, life really isn’t about attaining successes. Ultimately, in our hearts, we are after the things that comes with success, perhaps the recognition, the sense of being loved. And we all know that success, like failures, are temporary too. We can only be successful ‘so far’. Introducing the time dimension helps us see that success or failures are not part of our identity but merely experiences that we go through as part of our growth.
When one ponders over failure, do you think about actions you regretted, not taken, or do you consider what are the new aspects of reality that you come to know through the process? It takes humility to say ‘I was wrong about this’ rather than to think ‘I knew it should have been so’ – but this humility is rewarding because it turns the temporary failure into a lesson, one that can be used as a building block. The arrogant ‘I knew it’ only turns the failure into regret and bitterness.