I was at a low moment the week before I acquired this book. I felt as if I had failed. My finances were not what I wanted them to be and my relationships weren’t as strong as I wanted them to be. I wasn’t doing what I wanted to do and most of my time was spent berating myself about how much of a failure I am. So I was elated when I found this book on Emily’s blog (Books, the Universe, and Everything). I thought it was exactly what I needed and that it would provide some assurance that things would improve and point me in the right direction.
I bought it and quickly, desperately, read it. Within a few minutes, I was done and disappointed. It wasn’t the savior I’d sought and I became angry for having bought it. What a waste of time, I thought. I didn’t even grasp any of the lessons Chödrön tried to impart. The only feature of the book I liked was the cover design.
I forgot what it was that made me decide to reread it but about a month later, I did. On my second read, I was more patient and receptive. I wasn’t searching for a quick fix for my emotions. The change in attitude helped as I was able to catch some of Chödrön’s advice and begin to see the lesson she tries to impart.
Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better is a commencement speech given by Pema Chödrön, an American Buddhist nun, at her granddaughter’s graduation from the University of Boulder, Colorado back in 2014. The speech is followed by an interview with Chödrön that’s just as insightful if you’re open to the message. Chödrön’s message on embracing failure centers on a quote from the poet Samuel Beckett:
“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”