Failing Better

All the greats say, “fail better.” That is all we can aim to do.

I am learning something. The best lights arrive when you are sitting in the dark, not trying to be seen.

They come when you are sitting with the darkness, and wondering at it, and then you ask a small favour of GUG/god/the Great CPU. You say, or maybe whisper, “please help me.”

GUG (Great Universal Goodness) arrives then, if you truly mean it.

I’ll repeat that: If you truly mean it, GUG arrives. She/he/it doesn’t come over to you, but rather arrives like a blooming agent in your molecules, an active delight that sweetens your soul. Relief and gladness begin to shine from within.

You say, “GUG, I’m tired. I can’t do it anymore. I’m wrong too often. I do stupid things too often. I don’t like being wrong. I don’t like feeling stupid. I feel terrible and I don’t know how to fix it.”

GUG says, “What made you wrong?”

You say, “That time when I thought I was in control; when I thought I knew what I was doing and I could handle anything and everything. When I thought, ‘I get it now, I understand the rules; now I’m a key player in this game, so bring it. I can monkey with it all, I can laugh at it all, I can do it all. I’m in control, now.’ You know, GUG? That time.”

And GUG says, “It’s okay. We all make mistakes. I love you anyway. I think you’re great. Amazing, in fact.”

At that moment you may feel your hardened, tensed-up, nervous and sad self crack or melt, and perhaps even release a sob in surprise, feel tears of pressure released at last from your eyes, stream down your cheeks. Feel as though you’re broken thing mended. Warm gold streaming from the heart.

Wabi-sabi. Kintsugi head. You will be glad to be alive.

And you’ll be ready, in that moment, to fail better.

“All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” 

― Samuel Beckett, Worstward Ho




  • Image: Kintsugi Head by Billie Bond, via Saatchi Art
  • Speaking of lights in the dark, check out this very cool WordPress blog by my amazing new friend in MUDDLing, Taylor-Cate: LAMPLIGHTER’S TALE

You may also like My Story, No Matter How Banal: Where the Golden Faultline Lies


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