Earlier today I took the kids the park. Not just any park, but the park referred to as the “Shoots And Ladders” park. Honestly, I have nom idea why the call it that. The park is massive. It contains a water only area, a sand box, tire swings, a centralized mini play area (bridges, slides, ladders, etc.) and an entire section reminiscent of something from Neverland. The Neverland area has cargo nets to climb, tunnels to crawl through and of course slides to, well, slide down. Really, the Neverland area feels like a gigantic tree fort community. It’s cool. Heck, I want to play in it.
Well, as soon as we get there, Cora and John take off running and head over to these very large steps that lead up to a cargo net climbing area. Cora ran, jumped and climbed these stairs. While doing so, she frequently turned back to remind us she was #winning and that we needed to move faster. Her gloating caused her to take a huge spill. She fell like a ton a bricks. We thought for sure she’d end up with scrapes, cuts and tears. Nope. Instead, she picked herself up, didn’t brush herself off and said, “hurry up.” A parent witnessing the scene marveled and said, “that’s one tough little girl you have.” That she is.
Here’s the thing. We all fall down at some point, literally and figuratively. Falling down is expected. Failure is the norm. The real question, the real thing we’re evaluated against is what we do after we fall. It’s how we pick ourselves up that’s remembered. Did we sulk? Whine? Dwell? Point a finger? Complain? Cry? Look for pity? Or, did we take responsibility, learn from the experience and gracefully start again?
I don’t dwell or point the finger. I learn and move on. The quickest way to succeed is to fail. Seriously. Ever watch someone learning how to ride a bike? They fail repeatedly. They crash. They scrape. They cut. They cry. They fall. But, eventually they ride. Failing often and fast, while learning from the experience helps you go from not knowing how to ride a bike, to never being able to forget how.