When Failure Isn’t Failure

Why do we fall Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves back up”

-Thomas Wayne (aka Batman’s Dad)

I used to think I was a failure. I thought I always made the wrong choices. Coming here to work in a film production company I initially compared myself to everyone else in the office. I’m not as good at editing as Brenden. I don’t know how a camera works like Proby, I can’t make something look as cool as Billy.

I came to the conclusion that I was a failure. What I didn’t realize was everyone else has been pursuing filmmaking at least 4 years longer than me. It’s ok not knowing as much about filmmaking as everyone else because I am literally just starting out. And maybe Brenden, Proby and Billy all felt the same way I do when they were starting out.

In screenwriting, we learn about the Hero’s Journey, which is a method Joseph Campbell came up with to help explain how we tell stories. One of the steps of the Hero’s Journey is The Call To Adventure where the hero receives some sort of call to leave home and start their adventure. Since I’ve started working with The Initiative I’ve felt like I’m at the stage where I need to take steps forward. I need to go on the quest. I need to stop refusing The Call To Adventure.

Maybe that applies to other areas of life as well.

The more people I talk to, the more I realize I’m not the only one who struggles with feelings of loneliness, and just like me, other people don’t always know what they’re doing. Ultimately, we all make mistakes. And it seems like we are all failures together.

Someone recently challenged my view on failure. They showed me in the midst of all my uncertainty, confusion and newness I haven’t stopped. I haven’t given up. Maybe that’s what failure is there to help us discover – that we are changing.

Maybe I’m not refusing The Call after all, maybe I’m at the stage in the Hero’s Journey of Crossing a Threshold and I am moving forward.

One of my favorite filmmakers Harmony Korine once said “There is merit and beauty in failure.”

Maybe what I think is failure really isn’t failure. Maybe what I do and learn from my failures is what really matters.

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