“Whatever it takes to finish things, finish. You will learn more from a glorious failure than you ever will from something you never finished.” – Neil Gaiman
Throughout life we are challenged; hourly, daily, weekly, monthly. We are challenged professionally, personally, morally, spiritually, romantically, physically, emotionally, and any other –ally that you can think of. For some of us the challenges come more frequently than for others. Sometimes these difficulties come in waves, we feel as if we’re overwhelmed and drowning until we eventually manage to break through the wall of water and enjoy a peaceful respite on the other side, no matter how brief.
Some of us seek out challenges. I’m one of those people. I don’t think I’ve always been this way; I used to be happy to float along in a sea of mediocrity. But at some point in life I developed a love for competition, whether I’m competing against other people, or just striving against myself.
I want to be challenged, in every aspect of my life. If I’m not challenged professionally (scholastically when I was still in school), then I get bored, which leads to aggravation, and that’s a slippery slope. The same thing could be said for my love life, or my hobbies, even my imagination. I want my beliefs and my thoughts to be challenged on a daily basis. I want people to prove me wrong, I need my theories torn apart, I crave to be knocked down again and again.
I seek all of this out not because I’m a masochist, though it may sound that way, but because every time I’m proven wrong, or someone points out a gaping hole in my thought process, I get stronger. I never want to be the best, not at anything ever, not unless I feel like I’ve earned it. I want my life to be a constant climb. I never want to reach the top of the mountain, because if I do, it means that I have nowhere further to go. And as Helen Keller once said, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”
At times in my life I have gotten complacent, as I’ve written about in past blogs. When that happens, I get angry with myself. I feel like I’ve let myself down to some extent. But let’s face it, I can’t be constantly looking to better myself in every aspect of life at the same time. It’s too much, I have to let some things slide at times. The trick is not to let them slide out of reach.
This is the part where all of you come in. If you notice me letting something slide, if I seem to be growing complacent, feel free to give me a little slap and tell me to get my shit together. As much as I love the challenge of taking on everything totally and completely alone, I could, at times, use a bit of help.
This goes for all of us by the way. Life is a series of challenges, you may seek some out, others will hit you when you least expect it. But if you ever need help, don’t be afraid to ask. Likewise, if you notice that someone you care about, or even a total stranger needs a hand, don’t hesitate to extend yours. Maybe you’ll find something you never expected to find in the process.
Folk Singer Ellis Paul once wrote, “Ah, but who needs perfection? I like the tension when there’s room for doubt.” I couldn’t agree more. Perfection is boring, give me tension, give me a challenge, make me work for it, and I’ll appreciate it that much more.