*Spoiler Alert For Star Wars The Last Jedi.
How many times have you heard the word failure and thought that it had a negative connotation to it? We are brought up to think the word failure is a terrible thing. Whether it’s failing a math test, missing the game-winning shot, being let go from your job, not sticking to our New’s Year’s resolutions, getting in a fight with a loved one, or losing money on a bad business decision, we are trained to think these are all negative and bad things.
Being afraid to fail is something that I have struggled at many different times in my life. There are many things I passed up because I was afraid that I would fail if I tried. Along with being afraid to fail, I have also struggled to embrace failure in my life. Admitting failure can be especially difficult.
When Star Wars The Last Jedi was released last year, I watched one of my lifelong heroes Luke Skywalker dealing with some of the same struggles that I have. I felt a great sense of sadness and empathy for him. I felt the pain he felt from his failures and I could relate to his resistance to embrace his failures and try to move past them. It wasn’t until his conversation with the force ghost Yoda that I was reminded why failure is such an important part of our human experience.
When Luke doubts himself and tries to make excuses Yoda says to Luke: “The greatest teacher, failure is”.
This phrase and Luke’s arc reminded me that failure is part of our human experience. Luke has to learn again that failure is the greatest teacher. This film was a powerful reminder of that. It’s essential to growth and becoming who we are supposed to be. Life without failures is a life without progress and meaning.
No matter how many times you fail there is meaning and purpose to it. Embrace failure, let it teach you, don’t let it cripple you. It’s when we stop learning from failure that it becomes a negative thing. We fail so we can stand again. Failure is not a character trait or an event that ruins our lives but rather failure is a springboard to learning, growth, change, purpose, and meaning.
The Last Jedi reminded me of that and gave me more determination to embrace my failures and figure out the purpose behind it. Failure is okay and it should not be treated as some negative thing. Rather it should be viewed as a powerful event that can lead us to a more compelling purpose.