Why Failure Will Make You Happy

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We are a generation of hoarders.

We leave piles of glossy magazines festering in the corner of our rooms, uni assignments (graded with a rather cheeky D-oops) crumpled under our beds and creased photo booth print-outs from people we know longer speak to are jammed between a JoJo album and a copy of our year eight diary, listing our top ten school crushes (admit it, most of them are utterly overweight and undreamy now, right? Sad face).

But the thing we struggle to get rid of the most? It’s the relationships, the friendships and the jobs that no longer make us happy.

We are afraid to leave behind the things that no longer serve us, grow us or make us smile, because we forget to believe in ourselves enough to know that the other side will be ok. WE will be ok. Why is it that we have developed such an unwarranted fear of the unknown? Huh?

We stay in relationships that make us cry and question ourselves, all because we replay the memories. We stay in bitter friendships just because they have become (a mind-bogglingly lame) habit and we stay in jobs because we worry what people will think of us if we leave. What on earth is wrong with us?

And when will we learn that it’s ok to ditch the things dragging us down?

Failure, girls and guys, is what makes us wiser and more successful. Quitting things and admitting its time to move on from something that isn’t working is one of the quickest and most sure-fire ways to actually find happiness. The big sparkly glowy kind of happiness that comes at the end of Disney films. Eeeep.

J.K. Rowling failed when no-one wanted to publish her, Marilyn Monroe was told she’d never make it as a model or an actress, Oprah was told she wasn’t cut out for TV. Hell everyone thought Albert Einstein was mentally handicapped as a child. Truth is, we all have to fail at things in order to succeed.

Two months after I finished uni, I moved to south west London to start a career as an estate agent. Six weeks in and I knew I had to quit, I wanted to be a writer. Sure, people thought I was insane, giving up a graduate job in the recession (although whether we’d really call £16,000 a year in London a graduate job is a different matter). YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING WITH YOUR LIFE, YOU’RE IRRESPONSIBLE, they said.

Fast forward three years, and well, I’m not doing too shabbily.

No-one else can trust your gut the way you can. (Obvs your intuition and not your charming wine paunch….). And no-one can fully understand the decisions you make the way you can.

So if there is something in your life that no longer fills you with passion and no longer adds meaning to your life, then do yourself a favour, and stop hoarding it.

The school planner and JoJo CD can stay, obvs.

Because if there’s one thing I am sure of, it’s that greater things will always be ahead of you.


I’m off for a life spring clean.

  • I agree, sometimes it is the fear or lack of confidence that sometimes creeps in and surprises us. I am a big believer in making changes, and being brave, but also in making those changes with a bit of the ‘heart’ and a bit of the ‘head’ mixed in together. I think too many people do get bogged down by things in life just because that is the way it is … make changes, try new things – it feels great!
    I really enjoyed reading this!

  • Daniela

    Reading this post made my day: Italian moved in London (less than a month ago) with a dream in her luggage. Hard to succeed, but it doesn’t mean I can’t do it.
    Thank you for the inspiration and the good vibes! 🙂

  • I really enjoyed this piece.
    “If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative.”
    Woody Allen
    Much Love and Light

  • Jo Whiles

    I think you failed at being a writer too, maybe time to move on?

    You start by saying ‘we are a generation of hoarders…’ How does that separate us from any previous generation at all?

    Your examples of people failing are not in fact people failing, JK Rowling eventually got published, Marilyn Monroe eventually became a model and Einsteins irrelevant because he was just a slow child. None of these people ‘quite and decided to move on’ as you put it, they struggled but they continued on with their mind on their goal and strived to achieve it.
    Sure admit defeat when you really don’t see yourself succeeding at something, but sure as hell know what your goals are and how hard you are willing to work to try and achieve them, but your idea that failure makes you happy is just ridiculous.

    This whole article (If we can even call it that) is literally the same cliche of do what makes you happy and leave behind what doesn’t. Failure is completely irrelevant. My 14 year old daughter could have written this article.

    (Also use the word ‘obvs’ one more time…)

  • Reblogged this on Teens Are Us. and commented:
    I Believe In This Post !

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