It’s rare that something I see or hear really evokes a strong response. I’m not political at all. I’m pretty open-minded and usually see both sides of an argument to the point where it’s even hard for me to pick sides sometimes. But this seemingly insignificant thing really got me riled up.
I was catching up on episodes of this season’s X Factor. It was the one where the top 24 performed at the judges homes and eight were eliminated getting down to the top 16 that would make the live performances. Granted most of them were young kids, even as young as 13-years-old, but a few were grown adults with children of their own. As they were waiting to find out their fate, they all kept saying things like, “if I’m eliminated, I’ll go home, but not with my head held high.”
My question is, what has happened to our perception of success?? Tens of thousands of people auditioned for this show and making the top 24 isn’t something to be proud of. Really? What a messed up perspective.
I’m all for goal setting, and big ones. But what’s wrong with celebrating the successes along the way, and recognizing accomplishments even if the end result isn’t exactly what we hoped for, particularly in such a subjective scenario. Are we really going to teach our children that if they don’t win X Factor they failed? Or is the real failure having a dream and not trying at all?
What if Thomas Edison had quit trying to make the light bulb work? He didn’t fail 10,000 times. He found 10,000 ways that didn’t work. Failure would have been never trying, or giving up sometime during the 10,000 trials. We can’t all be Grammy award winning singers, or President of the United States. But we can all have goals and dreams, the courage to pursue them, and the self-worth to allow ourselves to be proud of what we accomplish along the way. Sometimes the road to one dream opens the door to another we never would have found without taking that first step. For all these eliminated contestants know, their journey could have been enough to inspire another to pursue their dream when they never would have had the courage to before. I for one hope the perspective changes and we raise a youth who is not afraid to dream for fear of failure, but is afraid not to dream.