I watch a TED Talk last night that Reeny Gleeson gave. He tried to show the audience through a slide show of creative and funny 404 pages how every error is really a chance to build a better relationship. Even though it is not really a big deal for me, I understand it can be frustrating for others. [Watch]
During the presentation, one of the slides caught my attention. It was the one from the 404 error page of Coco-cola (see picture below). On this slide it reads, “Yes, this is an error page. But what if this error page was also an opportunity?” The question is an opportunity for what?
- An opportunity to go back to the beginning
- An opportunity for a fresh start
- An opportunity for a new day, a new page, a clean slate
Now, I want you to take that online experience and translate it into your every day life. What if every disappointment was an opportunity to believe again? What if every failure was an opportunity to try again? What if every trial was an opportunity to trust again? What if every loss was an opportunity to hope again? what if every detour was an opportunity for a faith adventure? What if every denial was an opportunity to dream again?
If at first you don’t succeed – try again. Few people make it on their first try. You see, it is always too soon to quit. It is always too soon to give up on your dreams, on your marriage, on that son or daughter that has gone astray, or even on yourself. I urge you today to begin seeing all of your errors and failures as opportunities to start again.
I can think about a few people who saw their error and failures as opportunities to try again: I think about George Washington. The guy lost two-thirds of all the battles he fought, yet he still won the war. Paula Dean had a horrible marriage, her husband left her broke and alone with two boys, but look how far she has come. She may be going through some rough times now, but like she said, “He who brought us to it, will bring us through it.” I know with God’s help she will pull through.
Abraham Lincoln. Raised in poor circumstances, wasn’t eloquent, lost almost every election he ran for – 10 out of 12. But we know him to be one of the greatest presidents this land has ever known. Edison tried over 200 different elements before he figured out what was the right element to use in the light bulb. We are talking 200 failures before he had a success. Finally, R.P. Macy failed 7 times as an entrepreneur in retailing before he started Macy’s. It is always too soon to give up.
So to all you new bloggers out there – keep writing. All you newlyweds out there – keep loving. All you dreamers out there – keep dreaming. All you parents out there – keep parenting. All you entrepreneurs, scientists, poets, teachers, musicians, preachers, missionaries, therapists, Christ followers, never give up. If you ever make an error, or if you ever fail, try again.