I’ve been devouring Napoleon Hill’s Outwitting the Devil this week—mind-blown with Hill’s observations about society, education and religion in post-WWI America, mostly because it’s still true today! If you told me this was written in 2017, I wouldn’t have batted a mascara-coated eyelash. But don’t be disheartened that Hill’s 1938 assessments and commentaries still fit today for most people and groups… because we are not like most people.
In his alleged conversation with the Devil himself, Hill proposes the “capacity to surmount failure without being discouraged” as one’s “chief asset.” The Devil affirms. The fear of failure or worse, the stopping after one perceived failure, is crippling, stunting, or downright deadly. Do you really think you’re supposed to do everything perfectly right the first time? Are you seriously supposed to marry the first guy you date? Would you truly be fulfilled working for 20 or 30 years at the place where you went on your first job interview? Life is supposed to be experiential! Sometimes a struggle, sometimes a jaunt through a field of cotton candy and rainbows, but regardless of circumstance, we are designed to keep going and keep flowing.
I’ve heard the cliché “Failure is not an option” and I’m sure I liked the sound of it at times. But not anymore. Not at all. Failure is wonderful option. Rescue had an education event and fundraiser yesterday. We raised $1. Yes, one dollar. So, by most people’s definitions, yesterday was a failure and we shouldn’t waste our time dragging out the team, the green plastic storage bin, the flyers, and the spokesbunny again. I’m turning that attitude on its head. Yes, rescue walked with one hundred pennies yesterday BUT we have goals for next time, we have lessons learned. We bonded, made new connections and fortified some others. We’ve had fundraisers in the past where we raised over $3,000. Yesterday was just as special and important as those events.
I refuse to pack it up and walk away after a “failure.” I’ll be out there again and again. The Devil told Hill, “Decide definitely what you want from life; then create a plan for attaining it and be willing to sacrifice everything else, if necessary, rather than accept permanent defeat.” My purpose here in this lifetime is to advocate for and care for domestic rabbits. Temporary defeat, what many of you call failure, exists daily in this work. Stores on this island are still selling live rabbits as Easter basket toys. People, some ignorant, some cruel, are releasing domestic rabbits into the “wild.” We raised $1 yesterday. There is struggle in this, yes, but it is not permanent defeat. I will not accept it that way.
And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention our favorite kind of failure in Rescue life: Foster Failure. I’m asking you, darling readers, to take the fulfilling feeling you felt when you just read those two F words together and apply that grateful sense to all failures you come across this week. Sometimes, it will be a stretch but you can reach it. Much love.