Rabbi Akiva Tatz says, “There is no intrinsic good or bad in this world. It all depends on how you use something.” Many of the things that we look at as intrinsically bad have a side that is really good. Even failing can be positive.
In order to grow and reach new heights Hashem confronts the human being with obstacles and tests. He does not do it to find out what you are going to do in the test situation –He already knows that. The test is an opportunity to grow from the situation–and even failure presents a positive side. If you analyze your defeat you can usually discover a positive learning experience.
Rabbi Tatz adds, “It is not so much what failure does to people as what people do with the events which they perceive as failures.” After a fall it is best to say, “I can be successful in the future regardless of what has happened in the past.” As King David sang in the Tehillim [Psalms 20:9] “They slumped and then fell, and we stood and we were strengthened!”
Today when you get hit with something that you see as failure–stop. Say to yourself “I am certainly disappointed that I did not succeed, but the wisdom I have gained from past experiences which I also thought were failures but which turned out to be o.k. makes me feel that perhaps even now I am misinterpreting these events. In the end it will all work out and I will be a better performer going forward.” It only takes a minute –but it will put a positive spin on everything that happens and make things brighter for the new stronger you.
Text Copyright © 2004 Rabbi Raymond Beyda and Torah.org.