In my QT (Quiet Time/Daily Devotions) over the weekend, a profound statement was made, one I most definitely agree with.
"Success or failure is a moment; how you respond to it is the rest of your life."
Think about that for a moment.
How many times have we been thrilled with victory, be it a published book, or even just finished writing a story; getting a fantastic review; receiving that first royalty check; or even having a friend say, "I loved your book!"? How do we respond?
Our egos swell; the chest puffs out; our heads are held a little higher.
But what happens on the down side?
We get rejection letters. Bad reviews. Someone reads your book and tells you it's nothing but an amateruish piece that a high school senior could improve upon. Or worse, calls it porn. How do we respond in this situation?
Anger? Depression? Giving up on the dream?
Or do you take it in stride and try to improve?
Beethoven was deaf, yet he is one of the great composers. How many times did anyone ridicule his efforts, because he couldn't hear what he was playing? He kept going.
There's a wonderful singer (forgive me...I'm blanking on his name! You know who I'm talking about...Mel?? Country singer. He may even have already passed on.) who stutters when he speaks. But when he sings, the richness of his voice touches the soul.
Think of the fairy tales. If Rudolph had slunk off in embarrassment and hidden his nose forever, would there even be a song/movie/Christmas ornaments around? If Simba hadn't returned to claim his kingdom, would Pride Rock still be a barren wasteland? (Or even stories about these characters?)
Think of Dr. Seuss. He was actually going to toss out his manuscript and give up when someone took a chance on him. And now how many of us grew up or are reading The Cat in the Hat to our kids? And eagerly await the first showing of How The Grinch Stole Christmas after Thanksgiving?
So what's your response to failure? Do you turn it into a positive, or do you let the shame follow you around the rest of your life?
And while you're at it, how do you respond to success? Don't become a pompous ass. Your next endeavor may bring you back down to Earth with a jolt.
The above is not directed at any one individual. As one of those persons who was constantly ridiculed in my younger days, the 'You' is intended for a blanket statement. Think before you step on someone in order to climb the ladder of success.
As you may have heard, I had a wonderful weekend with my parents. The opera; an uplifting message at my home church; an excellent meal afterwards; and the icing on the cake was a 90-minute impromptu visit with my bff. We're making plans to get together in a month. Also, two friends have announced their engagements, so hopefully I'll be attending at least two weddings next summer. And maybe a third, if another recently engaged person decides not to wait until 2013!
It's not the moment of success or failure that counts. It's the moment after that.