It wouldn’t be a good advertisement of life if we’ve been told right from its beginning how big part of it the failures are going to be. Maybe this is the reason why we all struggle to succeed during the whole lifespan… Eventually, with the growing extravagance of our failure experiences, it turns out we are all doomed to succeed. Want some evidence?
My working experience has started twenty years ago with a full time teaching position in the high school I’ve had graduated 5 years earlier. Back then, in 1998, I believed that I can and I will make a difference to the world by helping the young generations to understand how important is to trust your own abilities and to constantly improving yourself as person, as citizen and as professional. During the next 5 years I got realized that the old fashioned type of schools are powerless to the socio-economic changes around them and that they are hold back not only by their own conservatism, but also by the inertia of society itself. The educational policy making (still) tends to follow rather than lead other social trends. The formal schooling fails terribly in catching up with the temp of the time and its necessities. And I felt like I’m also failing to make an impact for all those young people I was meeting every day at work.
Because of this, I took the opportunity to participate in the local elections. It was my idea that, instead of speaking in a classroom about the right ways of doing things, I can actually acting the right ways out, in order to inspire my students to do the same. I got elected as a municipal councilman in 2003, just to realize few months later that sitting around a table, where everybody else has any other possible agenda, but working for the local community’s benefit, is not what I was imagined for myself. I wanted to inspire both a desire for change and an understanding that change is possible, but it turned out the status quo was too powerful and I felt again the failure of finding the right place to be.
Yet, I was open for every possibility to try again and here it came another one: the new mayor invited me to be a part of his administrative team in order to help with the implementation of his politics to keep the young people in the town by creating possibilities for work. I was ecstatic, but not for long. The lack of synchronization between what the politicians say and what they do has started to apply so heavy pressure on my integrity, that I had to leave the job to save myself as person with self-respect, dreams for a better future and believe in the good human nature. I did failed again in finding my right place to be.
Fortunately, it was 2007, Bulgaria became an EU member and my opportunities to find the right place to be and do the things I can and want just got unlimited. I took the first chance to leave my cozy municipal office and got an internship as gardener student in Denmark. I literally restarted my life.
To have this decent job as a gardener for 11 years was very comfortable and I was doing well, relative to lots of people, but that isn’t enough, especially when you are putting more into the job than you are getting out of it. To see no opportunity for advancement, no matter how I try to stretch my job description and show what I’m capable of, is very hard and stressful. And when my body had to slog through the week, week after week, at a job that no longer deserves me, it started talking to me, using the language of pain. And I began to listen to it. There is another thing, too. When you do the same things day in and day out for years, you may as well be locked away in a cave or living in a bubble. The real world outside the greenhouse is constantly changing and I want to be a part of this change. Despite the fact that it may seems like it is another one of my failures, I haven’t lost my enthusiasm to keep trying. And, if I can trust Sir Winston Churchill, this is what defines the success.
To reclaim my freedom and the control over my career is a massive jolt of power. Through all those years of experience, I’ve not only added to my individual skills, knowledge and attitudes, but I also proved that my way to overcome powerlessness and vulnerability through learning is working.
And I still believe that I can and I will make a difference to the world by showing by my own example how important is to trust your own abilities and to constantly improving yourself as person, as citizen and as professional.
So, here I am, inspired by my failures and starving to experience exponential growth by failing again.