I have always aimed for "success" - so I was intrigued recently to come across the expression "the gift of failure." It is giving me pause for thought!
I read about this interesting concept in the final chapter of Esther de Waal's book, Living with Contradiction.
"... God... continually showers on me gifts of all kinds - even perhaps the gift of failure. I love the way in which William Law speaks of this:
"If anyone would tell you the shortest, surest way to happiness, all perfection, he would tell you to make a rule to yourself to thank and praise God for everything that happens to you. For it is certain that whatever seeming calamity happens to you, if you thank and praise God for it, you turn it into a blessing. Could you therefore work miracles, you could not do more for yourself than by the thankful spirit, for it heals with a word spoken, and turns all that it touches into happiness." (p. 141)
For those (like me) who are unsure of who William Law is - he is no modern-day "power of positive thinking" guru. He lived more than 300 years ago and his writings have influenced many over the years.