Posted by: Upāsaka | 07/25/2015

Failing Well

This morning,  as I was dribbling my morning coffee and checking my work emails, I thought that it might be nice to listen to a Dhamma talk as well. I happened upon a good talk by Ajahn Amaro in which he touched on the idea of learning how to fail well. Speaking to this, he got upon the very real obsession that many of us have with succeeding and being the “best” at whatever we do. And,  although the Venerable seemed to think this was a particularly American trait, I think anyone can identify with the feeling of not being good enough. I know that I, personally, have been afflicted with this obsession and have suffered dearly for it. But, what does it mean to fail well?

For me, the idea of learning to fail has everything to do with not giving up and succumbing to negativity when we don’t immediately succeed or when we fail unexpectedly at something we have been working towards. in this case of precepts and practices, I find I take failures exceptionally hard and it is here that I need to learn to accept my shortcomings,  learn from them and then move on rather than wallowing in self reproach.

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