Failure is always an option

I’m not a fan of the phrase “Failure is not an option.”  Not only is it cliche, it’s philosophically off base.

Failure is always an option.  And in fact it is often a distinct possibility.

Think about it for a minute.

If failure is not an option, yet you fail, then failure was in fact an option.  You may not like that option, but it is an option nonetheless.  Maybe a better way to phrase it is, “Failure is not ideal.”

This philosophical debate leads me to a theological question.

Does God ever want us to fail?  Or does believing in God mean we are destined to be consummate winners?  The latter would be the stance of a certain Baptist pastor in our area.  In fact, he went so far as to brand his nationally syndicated televised sermon series, “Winners.”  Don’t get me started.

If God does will us to fail, how do we know when to stop striving, when to find peace in collapse?  I have absolutely no idea how to answer that question.  I’m still trying to figure that out myself.

What I do know is that failing is almost always a part of succeeding. Failure is a great teacher.  This is especially germane in entrepreneurial endeavours where there is no clear path to success.  You have to figure it out.  You have to be willing to risk failure in order to succeed.