Failure vs. Apathy

On the way to school I posed this question to the kids.

“Why do we fall down?”


“So we can get back up!” they answered.

I’ve trained them to answer this way to cultivate a mindset of resiliency. I do not want my children to be afraid of failure.

Failures, of course, are unavoidable. Not even Superman is 100% successful all the time. How we manage those failures though, well, it makes all the difference in the world.

Especially the small ones.

One of my goals is to write every day and, during the week, to publish what I write. Before Monday the last time I published something was December 18th.

By definition, I failed my goal when I didn't publish the next day.

I fell down.

Granted, it’s a small failure. It’s not like my business closed or I blew my life savings in the casino.

But look what happened.

I wrote something the next day, but I didn’t finish it and never published it.

The same for the next day, and by the fourth day I simply didn’t write anything.

Apathy, defined, means “lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern.”

By that fourth day I’d begun to feel apathetic towards writing. I knew that I needed to do it. I knew that, deep down, I wanted to do it, I just didn’t care enough to sit down and write.

Predictably, that led to me feeling down on the whole idea, and it got worse from there.

I started making excuses.

“Well, I didn’t write yesterday, it won’t really matter if I skip today.”

Well, you can see how that worked out. A small failure of missing one day led to a much larger failure of missing 19 days.

Nearly three weeks.

I realized this morning that I need to add a second part to that question when I’m talking to the kids.

Q: Why do we fall down?
A: So we can get back up!

Q: When do we get back up?
A: As fast as we possibly can.