Breaking the Illusion of Failure
by Neale Walsch
There is no illusion more damaging to the human psyche than the illusion that Failure Exists.
It never occurred to us that such a thing as failure could exist until we fell prey to the idea that a thing such as need could exist. Without need, failure would not be possible. You cannot fail to be, do or have anything if there is nothing that you need to be, do or have.
This is the precise Nature of God. There is nothing that God needs to be, do or have. Yet in our human mythologies we have created a God who we imagine does have things He needs to be, do or have. He needs, for instance, to be idolized, to be worshipped. He needs to do things to us if we fail to worship Him-and to worship Him properly. And He needs to have our love and our loyalty and our obedience.
These ideas about God are all contained in the story of Adam and Eve. God had something that God needed from Adam and Eve-obedience. God did not get it. Therefore, God failed.
The idea that God could fail to get what God wanted was an enormous concept. It has shaped all of our remaining ideas about God-and our ideas about ourselves. And it has created, of course, the idea that we could fail as well. This idea, of course, is false. But it lives in the hearts of many men. It rules the lives of many women. And it is faithfully taught to many children.
And so we have the idea that Failure Exists. It is an Illusion. It is one of the Ten Illusions of Humans as written in Communion with God.
Breaking the First Illusion breaks the Need-Want-Have cycle which rules so many lives – sometimes without people even knowing it. The day this cycle is broken is a moment of transformation. Entire lives change in one instant. Breaking the Illusion of Failure is the second step in the transformative process.
Communion with God says that there is no such thing as failing. There is only a process through which we succeed in everything we are doing. Scientists understand this completely. That’s why scientists are rarely discouraged by apparent failure. Indeed, in many ways they relish it, for each failed experiment is a stepping stone to success.
In baseball, a player who fails to reach first base 70 times out of hundred is a superstar.
If you’re in the direct mail marketing business and 95 per cent of those to whom you write letters ignore them, but the other 5% respond as you hope they will, you are considered a genius.
Moreover, a thing not turning out the way you wanted it to is not an accurate definition of failure, nor is a thing turning out exactly as you had wished a definition of success-as anyone who has lived a few years can attest.
It is important, therefore, to take things in stride; to look at events as just what is going on now, and not to attach labels such as good and bad, failure and success to them. For no sooner will you call them one than they will prove to be another.
In truth, Failure does not exist. It is an Illusion. It is simply a name you have given to an experience. It is nothing more than a color that you have splashed all over something. It is not the thing itself, but merely the color with which you have covered it. To see a thing for what it really is, you must not color it with your private perceptions. Perceptions are the paint of the mind. Your thoughts are the brush. Your life is the canvas.
Is the picture a failure at any step along the way? Only if you say it is.