Failing In Your 20s

“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” -Henry Ford

The quote used above may or may not have been said by Henry Ford. I googled it under “quotes about failure” and it’s entirely possible that this man hasn’t said this at all. However, from what I know about Henry Ford’s background he has failed numerous times to create one of the most groundbreaking machines in modern history; the Model T. He failed spectacularly; so much so that the majority of people lost faith in him. But his setbacks weren’t equal to his comebacks. In Robert Greene’s Mastery he discusses Henry Ford’s personal history as apprenticing yourself through failure. He even states that when people initially start a venture a small part of them should hope that they fail because they have everything to gain from such an experience. Ford’s failures eventually led to the Assembly Line and the popularization of automobiles that are woven into our society today.

Starting out, we all face challenges and hurdles on our journey to becoming our best selves. Through persistence and clear vision we can overcome these hurdles and blossom into the magical creations we always were. Who we always knew we could be. Sometimes we encounter fear and doubt which might cloud our vision and lead us into failure. It’s funny…as I’m writing this I think of the hit show Power‘s theme song where 50 Cent starts by saying “I never took a straight path nowhere, life’s full of twists and turns, bumps and bruises, I live I learn.” Isn’t that the truth? Even 50 Cent has had his major slip ups and look at him. Society labels him as “successful”. It’s all about embracing life as it happens with clarity and correcting the mistakes you make.

When you fail in your 20s it’s considered ok. Not quite as catastrophic as when it happens in your 30s or after. Because you’re still young enough to “not completely ruin your life”. I’ve become quite familiar with failure all throughout my life and my 20 something years have been no exception, although there were quite a few more highs than lows, as I’m sure many 20 somethings in my demographic can relate. My 20s have been remarkable and sad, wild and free, lonely and reflective and they’re still not over. I’ve dealt with major setbacks that I didn’t think I would ever recover from and somehow I managed to get to my destination. I’ve gone so far out of my comfort zone and managed to make some of the most amazing memories I’ll ever have. Indeed, there have been twists and turns, as well as bumps and bruises, but I live and learn. Right now I’m facing a problem that I’ve never really dealt with before, but I know I’ll overcome it because I have hope in myself and God.

I’ve even watched YouTube videos about celebrities, like Steve Harvey, who lived out of their cars in their 20s to enjoy success later in life. In my 20s I’ve heard numerous stories of struggles I cannot comprehend and have been blessed to not have been exposed to. I’ve never had to live out of my car (well, I occasionally live out of my car), and I’ve never been to prison (not yet at least, fingers crossed). But even though bad things happen there’s always hope. Most people who fail to begin with are actually making progress. Because we all know failure is a part of success. You don’t become successful without making mistakes and maybe even embarrassing yourself. Yes, hard times come around, and yes they are very uncomfortable, but that discomfort is what helps us grow. I would not be who I am today without the endurance of the hard times in my past. So, with that being said, I kind of celebrate the living out of the car and the empty wallet adult phase of my life as a kind of rite of passage. I know that these things won’t last and I will.

-Isaiah Dix

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