Sometimes It Ends Up Different… and it is Better that Way…

Dear Reader:

Edison’s Early Lightbulb

As much as failure is not something we would willingly seek or select… especially over success… if you take a minute to reflect back on the successes and failures in your own life… we humans fail more than succeed because… we’re mortal and one trait of being human is our inbred desire to learn new things… even when they hurt in the process.

Eva Cate learned failure frequently when learning how to ride a bike! (Bless her heart!)

None of us are born completely programmed to know how to walk, run, swim, jump, write, read, calculate, memorize,etc. -the list could go on and on. Our success in accomplishing each of these personal benchmarks depends on adult or older sibling mentors to demonstrate each process for us …to first emulate and then later differentiate with our own individual approach to learning … followed by re-creating.

I think Thomas Edison would be the first inventor to appreciate the modern expression… ” Learn how to fail smarter.” Isn’t that what Edison demonstrated repeatedly throughout his life… mistakes are just stepping stones leading us to the final correct solution or conclusion to a problem.

Edison understood how each failed attempt at creating a new invention got him one step closer to his/her final goal by simple elimination of the wrong ” detours ” …thus forcing the inventor back on the right path. In the end the final product was better than the original idea because so much had been learned from the process of eliminating mistakes.

This learning process can be applied to any situation in life… corporate ladder climbing, career changes, relationship quandaries, and yes… competitive sports. More and more we understand how physical prowess alone is not enough to be completely successful. Athletes must be mentally sharp, emotionally strong, and learn how to ” fail smarter” – by eliminating repeated costly mistakes.

Saturday… after the game… I felt sadness for the Clemson seniors ( of whom one was Coach Dabo’s own son-personal heartache) … and for Coach Dabo , himself, since I know he was frustrated and disappointed.

As I listened to Coach Dabo on his weekly Sunday show… I knew how difficult this particular show would be … and it was. He looked tired and his voice was strong but soft-spoken… his usual exuberance was missing.

He took the loss on his shoulders, apologizing to the fans and congratulating South Carolina’s coaching staff for a job well done. Dabo is always a class act and with one more game to play… he knows he has to pull his team spirits up while simultaneously trying to correct the turn over problems that have plagued this team throughout the season.

A tough job and no doubt made even tougher by decisions on potential changes in game play and positions. Prayers for our beloved Tigers and coaching staff as they prepare for their last game of the season against UNC.

So until tomorrow… if done right… one day in the future we can all look back and remember the moment we took a leap of faith, took a different direction, and lo and behold, life ended up better that way!

Today is my favorite day – Winnie the Pooh

My pear tree is finally starting to change colors and drop just a few leaves to date-very late!
Look at my neighbor Vickie’s ” Tree of Gold.”
Yesterday was an overcast day… perfect for relaxing, reading, and watching nature’s leaf painting results!

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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