Edison reframed his 'failures' as one more way not to make a lightbulb - the usefulness of reframing. Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at freedigitalphotos.net
It seems that life is a series of lessons. And, like any teacher, when we are ready for the next lesson life seems to deliver!
Sometimes I think just when I have a problem figured out, new information comes to hand that sheds light on the issue I have been experiencing. I used to be frustrated that I couldn’t figure things out, but I have found reframing this attitude helpful. I felt exasperated that I kept experiencing the same problems over and over. I had the attitude “Am I there yet?”
However, the process of change can be meaningful, even if it may not seem we’ve reached the elusive goal of some personal goal that defines ‘success’ for us. Perhaps, it is in human nature to always be striving, to be better.
Just say there is Jo Bloggs. He thinks “when I have got my degree, I’ll be there.” Then, “When I have a job, I’ll be there”. Then somehow he feels inadequate because something is missing and so he sets himself another goal.
One day, many years later, Jo Bloggs opens his eyes. He hobbles down the corridor with his walking stick and realised that “he was there” all along.
Any place in your personal journey is just where you happen to be at, and if you are doing your best, and striving to be all you can be, then 'failures' just as the iconic Edison's lightbulb experiment, could be reframed as "one more way not to do X.'
There have been a lot of ‘should haves’ in my life. This is true to a degree. I ‘should have’ done things differently. However, I can accept that I was doing my best with what I had at the time. Not that it was ‘the best’ but that’s just where I was at with my journey.
However, I can look back, and just as Edison said “This is one more way not to make a lightbulb”, I could say “this is how I will not handle it”. Edison saw failures as lessons too!!
Perhaps if we reframe our failures, we can move forward with a more positive attitude, and be more likely to achieve actual success.