"You're Doing It Wrong." How Failure Creates Grief and Fear of the Unknown
“Life is easy. I’m successful. Why don’t you do what I do?” Has anyone ever said this to you? When someone is telling you that you’re doing it wrong, they are judging you. It doesn’t feel affirming. It doesn’t create action. It doesn’t create change.
The person telling you that life is easy is generally a person who has had minimal challenges as compared to your challenges. What does that mean?
We all came into this reality to learn aspects of ourselves in a convoluted, often destructive reality. Some took on easy learning while others took on aggressive learning. Either way you look at it, no one is without learning. “If you desire ease, forsake learning,” said Nagarjuna, a Buddhist philosopher.
He also said, “There is pleasure when a sore is scratched, but to be without sores is more pleasurable still. Just so, there are pleasures in worldly desires, but to be without desires is more pleasurable still.” Since we do not live on air alone, we must work to create food, clothing, rent, taxes, etc., thus desires are necessary.
Perhaps Nagarjuna was not living on air alone either. Perhaps he meant to say, “Hey bub, just take the path between the two extremes.” If getting rich is your thing, do it. But expect the unexpected. A sore may rise that you will wish you never made the choice that you did to attract that sore. But a sore never experienced is knowledge unknown. Perhaps it is the initiation of pain that profoundly pushes your goal of wealth into your reality.
Failure, Fear, and Shock interconnect to create grief, aggressive learning, and the unknown. It is easy to fear the unknown as all humans desire the answer before it is received or achieved. No one wants to journey through darkness or the great abyss. We desire clarity, certainty, and knowing before we invest time, money, and talents into action. Actions can create success. Access can create loss. Failure is painful to achieve as it develops a belief in self doubt and taking future actions. All desire success so that you can move forward with confidence, happiness, and joy.
But the unknown persists. Will you be successful? Will you fail?
Nagarjuna encourages the middle way. Perhaps the middle way is the unknown. Perhaps the unknown path is forgiving projections from family and friends, ideas, belief systems, and moving forward.
The next time someone says, “You’re Doing It Wrong,” you can respond with your own experience. Simply say, “Why does my experience bother you? Why do you need to impress your ideals or experience onto me? Are you perfect?” It is hard for any human being to win against a question. No one is perfect. No one can live your life. You are your own best mentor.
And this is how you change the concept that “You’re Doing It Wrong.” How Failure Creates Grief and Fear of the Unknown.