bruce and the spider

my childhood was full of bike riding, scraped knees, ninja turtle band-aids, playing video games with my brother, playing dress up, putting on plays for my parents, snow ball fights in the icy canadian winters, and of course pep talks from the best girl dad. 

my dad was my yoda. like most immigrant dads, he’d start his motivational speeches with “i walked five miles to school in the hot indian sun everyday” and then proceed to tell some beautiful story with a moral lesson nestled in there. he would love sharing his wisdom with my big brother and i. his favorite fable was “bruce and the spider”. if you haven’t heard the story, it goes like this…

robert bruce, the king of scotland went into hiding after losing  six battles. while in hiding, he noticed a spider try time and again to spin its web. every time the spider fell it got right back up to begin again. the seventh time the spiders efforts were successful, this motivated bruce to get back on his feet, he assembled his army and went back to win the battle

during my childhood i was too young to understand the moral of the story, so i always nodded my head and said “ok papa” whenever he tried to build me up. 

dad continued to share this story as i got older. when i understood the moral of the story, it really opened up my eyes. i learned what the spider and ultimately bruce learned, 

failure is a part of the process

we are so afraid to fail because we care so much about our public perception. more people would pursue a career they love if there was a pathway that guaranteed success. failure is looked down upon, unfortunately. 

did you get your dream job on first try? did you find love on the first date you’ve ever been on? did you fulfill your wildest dreams on the first try? most likely, no. for most of us it takes years of failure after failure to reach that one opportunity that changes our lives forever. 

success is all about who continues to climb when others have given up

while you’re climbing the ladder to success people will pull at your leg, light the ladder on fire, push your ladder off the top, etc. when you ladder falls, dust yourself off and start climbing again. there is beauty in the journey. 

your knuckles will get tired after knocking on doors for years, but sometimes you’ll decide to build your own door. but if you decide to do so, it’s not instant success. 

learn to love failure 

i must have submitted my poetry manuscript to 20-30 publishing companies, i got one reply and it was a lovely lady who said she loved my work but “it wasn’t for them at this time”. i was so ecstatic that i got a response, someone acknowledged my work! those submissions were all failures, but if i saw it as “wow, my poetry must suck” then i’d give up writing all together. there are so many writers who couldn’t get published through a traditional publisher, and self-published their work. in a way i guess, i built my own door rather than waiting on someone to open a door for me. 

writers who self-published: james joyce, t.s. eliot, stephen king, jk rowling, e.e. cummings, and many more.

failing up

failure is a staircase, each time we try hard at something and fail, we’re taking a step up. you are one step closer to the top, success. think of failure as practice and success a bonus. you are still doing what you love, which is going for it. in fact, all the people successful at what you’re trying to succeed in are real life examples that success will happen.

it’s just a matter of never giving up.