Baby Steps

When you don’t accept failure what are you left with? Hope!
May 20, 2017
Fear of failure can keep you from trying. But once, when you were a baby learning to walk, you were free to fail without accepting defeat. An excerpt from Prem speaking in Cape Town, South Africa (“Unlocking Hope”)

So, how do I understand “hope” in my life? How do I realize hope? Very easy, very simple. There are four points—and of course, the first point is, “Know thyself; that’ll bring you peace.” “Know thyself” will bring you peace. And the other three points will improve the quality of your life, will bring you happiness.

So, again, the first point is, “Know yourself.” Second point is, “Have gratitude in your life.” Third point, “Don’t care about what other people think of you.”

So, “My God!” you know? The thing is, what you have to realize—that person isn’t thinking about you. You know what they’re thinking about? They’re thinking about what other people think about them.

They’re not thinking about you; it’s just that you, you are caught up in this little silly game of thinking about, “Oh, what’s that person thinking about me?” They don’t care. They really could care less! But we create this whole thing.

So, anyways—and then the fourth thing: “Every time you fail, don’t accept failure.” This is about hope! And people look at me like, “Huh? Every time I fail, don’t accept failure? I, I’ve been accepting failure all my life. How can I not accept failure?”

The thing is, when you are a baby learning how to walk, you failed many, many times. Because here is a peculiar situation. You, you want to learn how to walk! Obviously, you can’t read. And you like your mother’s voice but don’t understand really what she’s saying....

And here you are. You have to accomplish what you have never done before. And no amount of training can be given to you. You cannot go onto your iPad, onto YouTube, and try to write in a URL “teach me how to walk,” because you don’t know how to type yet.

And it’s just up to you. So you get up—shaky, very shaky because your legs are not—the muscles aren’t built up enough to let you walk. And you get up, and you’re shaky, and you try to take the step, and you fall down. And if that was you today, you would go, “I tried. I failed? I don’t want to talk about it.”

Right? Complete shut-down. “Failure accepted”: boom! Door closed! “Don’t remind me of it. It’s a bad day. It was a terrible day. I don’t want to remember this day. I failed.”

No! Just because you wouldn’t accept failure, you saw hope. And you got up, and you tried again.

But you still didn’t.... And you failed. But you still didn’t accept failure. What you were left with—when you don’t accept failure, what are you left with? You’re left with hope!

And all this time, because you kept accepting hope and rejecting failure.... As soon as you take away “failure” from “fail,” “fail” doesn’t carry that much power anymore. But if you have “failure” coupled with “fail,” ooooh, that’s everything. That’s everything!

But you will fail, because there isn’t an instruction manual for everything in this life. There will be things happening to you and around you that you will face, that you have never come across. And whether it is in a hurry that you make those decisions, or unknowingly make those decisions, you may make a decision that is wrong and you fail....

And you fail—and it’s okay. Nothing in the world changes; nothing in the world says, “Uh-uh, uh-uh, uh-uh-uh!” No! Nothing changes; get up and move! Up to you—or stay there. Up to you.

- Prem Rawat

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