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Family Legacy Homeschooling Just a Thought...

Failure… It’s All About Perspective

I was just talking to my son about failures.Thomas Alva Edison in his lab
Right now he feels like he’s failing at everything.
He doesn’t enjoy most of his school subjects {especially math}
because they aren’t ‘fun’ or ‘easy,’
so he hasn’t been interested in giving 100% to learn them…
thus he doesn’t get a perfect score.
Then he assumes he’s a failure because of the results.

He’s wrong.
And he’s not alone.

We all fall into this mindset from time to time.
My son is NOT a failure…
he simply hasn’t succeeded yet.

Edison is a great example of this.
He had the right perspective on his failures…
on hard work…
on perseverance.

“I have not failed; I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

He looked at his failures as chances to gain new data
or learn something he hadn’t considered or,
perhaps, just cross a possible solution off of his idea list.

“They [failures] taught me something that I didn’t know. They taught me what direction to move in.”

Failure, depending on perspective,
will either bring opportunity or despair.
Only one requires hard work and is worth the effort.

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
“Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.”

It’s all about perspective.

“Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless.”
“We sometimes learn a lot from our failures if we have put into the effort the best thought and work we are capable of.”

I love how Edison had the right perspective.
I am thankful he did, too.
Think of all the amazing inventions that were created
because Edison had the correct perspective on his failure.

Mark and I try to pass this joy-filled, perseverance, correct perspective concept
to both our children.

However, some days are harder than others.

Like today.

My son assumes there isn’t a point to learning most of these subjects.
Again, he’s wrong…
although I surely understand where he’s coming from!

Only a part of our schooling is the actual memorizing of facts, dates and formulas…
the other half is character development: self-discipline; learning to work hard at something
even when we hate it…
in fact, learning to enjoy it;
perseverance when we feel like there is no end in sight;
obedience even if we don’t understand the ‘why’ behind the instructions given.

All of us have a choice when we approach any situation…
We can let our circumstances dictate how we think/feel
or we can choose to be joy-filled.

The latter does not come natural and requires God’s strength and perspective.

“If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”

I attempted to use the game Mastermind as an illustration.Mastermind game
If you’ve ever played the game you know there is a long board with peg holes.
One player chooses a pattern of colors, not letting the other player see.
The other player, through a series of guesses, tries to use deductive logic to figure out the pattern.

No one gets it the first time around.

In fact, they give you almost 15 spaces on the board to try to figure it out.
But each time you try, if you’re paying attention, you will learn something.
Perhaps all you learn is that there isn’t a blue peg in spot number one.
Perhaps you’ll learn more.

But the point is… if you see each one of those tries as a failure, you totally missed the point of the game.

It’s all about perspective.

Now granted… in some people’s cases just trying won’t automatically equal success, but knowing my son like I do…
he can and will thrive and succeed at anything he chooses to.
And the fact that he doesn’t yet get that grieves my heart.

Even more so because he’s my clone (in a boy-version).
I totally remember being where he is.
Feeling what he’s feeling.
Wanting to give up because I don’t see the point of trying.
Being lazy instead of diligent when it’s hard or not fun.
Some days I’m still right there with him! Even at the age of 40.

This is why perspective is so critical.
HOW we see things dictates what we believe about… well… everything.
If I don’t choose to be joy-filled
and choose to be able to look beyond my circumstances,
my ‘right now’ pressures of life, or in my son’s case…
his daunting schoolwork syllabus…
I WILL, by default, be thrown hither and yon by the circumstances that swirl and rage around me.

My stresses, my to-do lists, my schedule, my responsibilities, my sagas…
all the things that weigh heavily on my heart and mind…
they will crush me and steal my joy.

And, in actuality, by not choosing to be joy-filled…
I am giving my joy away.

By choice.

This, of course, is easier said than done.
In my son’s case…
we’re just talking about schoolwork.

But what he learns about how to face unpleasant ‘little’ things
that feel huge will translate later into how to face horrific things,
like cancer, loss of a family member or job.

So that when those things come…
and they will…
we are not destroyed.

Our joy is not lost…
even in the midst of chaos and pain.

So where does that leave my precious son?
Well thankfully, after a lengthy, rather drama-filled, conversation…
He’s having his sister quiz him to make sure he’s really studied well for his two tests tomorrow.

He’s daily, sometimes minute-ly, having to make the choice that we need to do things,
walk through things that aren’t desirable to us…
to grow and get where God wants us to be.

He doesn’t always choose correctly.
But today he’s choosing joy
(via obedience, respect and a good attitude).

He’s choosing to work hard even though the pull
of rushing through his work carelessly so he’s ‘done’ and can go play
tugs on him with force equal to a hurricane.

He’s choosing not to let his desire to play become an idol,
but rather a goal to drive him to work harder,
smarter, more efficiently and effectively.

He’s choosing his perspective.

We all are choosing one or the other…
every day of our lives.
He’s choosing joy over circumstances.

So am I.

Which perspective are you choosing?

Categories
Family Legacy Just a Thought...

Silent Words

Ever been hit with news or been thrust into the midst of a situation that threatens to overwhelm you?

Yeah… me, too. Read on and let me share a little of my heart with you…

The house is quiet. I can finally write. But how do I express all that my heart wants to say? How do I put into words the feelings of my heart?

Perhaps I can’t, but I must try.

With so many around me hurting and suffering, my heart yearns to help, to ease the pain, to “fix it.” But over my nearly forty years, I’ve learned that “fixing it” isn’t always the best solution for truly helping. Often going through the process, walking through the dark valley, brings us more blessing and growth than a quick fix.  Often, the struggle is the path to blessing..

But how do I convey that to my heart? My heart that longs to make everything alright again, my heart that so desperately wants to take the pain, anger, frustration and hurt away from those I love.

I can’t… but God can.

El Roi —

One of the names of God in the Old Testament.

It means– the God who sees.

He sees your pain, your anger, your frustration, your hurting heart. He knows what you’re going through and He’s right there with you. None of it catches Him by surprise. And He is still in complete control… even when your world seems so out of control.

And He loves you so deeply. He wants to hold your heart tightly while it slowly begins to mend and heal. He wants the pain or the situation to bring beautiful growth in you.

He will never force anyone to accept His love and comfort…  Yet He willingly offers it to any and all who need it.

Patiently waiting, He listens for our faint cries that we’ve had enough, that we just can’t do it on our own! He listens for the deep groaning, too deep for words, that flows directly from our hearts. When God hears those, He quickly gathers us into His mighty and powerful, yet gentle, arms. His strength and love flooding every fiber of our being.

We are safe.

We are loved… always and forever, no matter what!

Then the peace starts spreading through every part of us and our crazy situation.

Did our circumstances change? More than likely… not.

But our outlook does. We now have hope. We are safe and secure, no matter what comes our way. We know whatever we face, we don’t have to face it alone and we no longer need to be afraid of anything.

We are safe and loved in the arms of El Roi.