Every Step is a Gift of Knowledge
Aside of the turquoise waters of the Sunshine Coast, I’m reading a book, called failing forward about the perception of failure as a key to success. This book argues that success only can be reached if one adopts a growth mindset, and considers failure as stepping stones to success, rather than a fixed mindset, considering failure as setbacks.
I consider myself as having a growth mindset, because I keep on trying things, failing things, falling down, and getting up again.
The Strength to Change Direction
For instance, I studied four different fields of further education. I didn’t finish the first one, because I didn’t have the feeling it was really contributing to my goals. Few people understood my decision and labelled it as a failure.
I required strength and courage to change direction
To me, however, it was not a weakness but a strength to put my hand up, and stop continuing a path that wasn’t serving me, redirecting me towards something that would bring me closer to my goal, and admitting that I made the wrong choice. I required courage to step up and stand up against what I was expected to do, and against all the opinions of the people around me. It required strength and courage to change direction.
The Stepping Stone
I took accountability and responsibility for my wrong decision, and made it right by making a better decision, after which I successfully completed three other degrees.
After those 8 years of studying, the one detour I made, the one degree I didn’t finished is out of sight and rarely brought up again. The three degrees I did finish, and the paths I did walked until the end, are more prominent on my mind.
I wouldn’t have had those opportunities
if I would have continued like I was supposed to do.
Yet, to me that first “failed” degree was the stepping stone to the other degrees. I taught me what I liked to study and what I didn’t like to study, it taught me study, and life skills, wisdom, and insights, I could only have obtained by “failing”.
Moreover, I decided to quit half through the year, which allowed me to start working a few months, get to know that world, and travel to Botswana, in the south of Africa. Those opportunities I wouldn’t have had if I would had continued my studies like I was supposed to be.
A Gift of Knowledge
As a journalist, for every article I have published, there are some articles still stuck in my portfolio, gathering dust instead of being read. They are no failures to me, because every research project taught me a lot, about the topic, about the research and about life and the world as such. No single minute I spend in writing articles that didn’t got published, was a waste of time; rather a gift of knowledge.
How can they judge my path if they are not on my journey?
By the end of this Journey, I’ll start another career, and here as well some people watch me without understanding, pointing to my last years as a waste of time. I don’t understand them. How can they judge my path if they are not on my journey?
Every single step I took before reaching this decision, was precisely what made me make this decision. Exactly the steps I took to arrive here are the ones that shaped the path that brought me to this decision. None of those steps were useless, rather they brought meaning to the decision I’m about to make, they brought direction to the journey I have ahead of me. It is nothing more than the logic next step of the journey I was on anyways.
Putting the book away it is time to get back into the beautiful reality of the Sunshine Coast. I drive further south to Mooloolaba, where I’ll catch up with some friends I met along the road in Australia.
That too is a gift of knowledge
It is a beautiful afternoon on the beach, we swim in the ocean, dry up by the salty breeze, and listen to some Latin tunes. We’re all from different countries, of which the most are Latin American, but we all speak the same language, and share a part of our journeys.
Even though, I like travelling alone, it is good once in a while to find genuine companionship, and share the road with others to share meaning and memories. No matter how often we can be alone, we rarely are alone on a mission. That too, is a gift of knowledge.