Persistence In The Face of Failure
Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot is a chilling, humbling description of our existence in the universe. On Earth lives everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, and every human who ever was, says Sagan. But the closest earth-like planet is still 50 light-years away (we're not even sure if there's life on it). Yet, here we are. On our dot. Existing.
It's weird to think about, but it's something that arises time after time. So many things that shouldn't happen, happen. The Red Sox come back to defeat the Yankees down in the series 3-0, somebody wins the lottery, some guy makes this hole-in-one. The best word we've come up with to describe this stuff is luck. A four letter word.
"Failure is an event, not a person," says Zig Ziglar. Life is full of events. But some of the most beautiful moments are born out of sheer defiance of the odds. Like the phoenix who rises from its ashes, genius is created from life's constraints. Bravery isn't the absence of fear, it's experiencing it and persisting anyways. The difficult moments of life reveal our true character. How tough are we?
Every time I think about the "blue dot" I feel lucky. Life itself exists it the face of failure. Overwhelming odds show that we shouldn't be here, but I'm sitting in my bed writing this. "How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives," says Annie Dillard. Susan Boyle, Paul Potts, life is full of these moments, where seemingly everyone and everything is rooting against you, yet in the end it's our conviction that triumphs. It's why we love a good "underdog story". That's life--constantly reaching for something beyond our reach, but fooling ourselves by jumping anyways.
Maybe it's dumb luck. There might not be a reason. But that doesn't change what is. We're living proof of persistence in the face of failure.
"Every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam"
Persist. Be. Carpe diem. Seize life. Sing loudly. Walk slowly. Dance fluidly in defiance of the odds, for you've already won. You're here. To me, that's awesome.