The tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goals to reach.
‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.’ Most of us are familiar with this golden line from Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem In Memoriam A.H.H. However, is it not surprising that the same adage holds true for our professional lives as well? Yes, we are indeed talking about our dreams – the goals we set for ourselves.
You see, failures are part and parcel of life. When we set out to chase a dream, we also embrace the possibility of falling short. That, however, should, not deter us from pursuing our goals. After all, has the capricious nature of the ocean ever dissuaded seafaring men from weathering the storm? Who do you think would die a happier man – the one who dared to fight for his dreams, or the one who spent his life brooding over the what-ifs? Taking risks and failing is human nature, so ceasing to have anything to aim for is basically going against one’s own nature.
Most people see failure as a sort of calamity. While that is not necessarily untrue, is it even a greater tragedy than dying with your dreams unfulfilled? What could be worse than leaving this world without ever having had a shot at becoming the person you always wanted to be?
Sure, failure may be calamitous for one’s morale, but letting the fear of failure stop one from working hard toward self-realization is not just tragic, but also a terrible sin. Benjamin Elijah Mays was a well-known American Baptist minister and social rights’ activist. He is particularly renowned for the following quote from one of his letters: “The tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goals to reach.”