Thursday night, my husband and I watched the landing of the Beresheet spacecraft. We looked on as the Prime Minister and his wife joined the heads of the mission in the control room. Crowds had gathered to watch live via satellite, thousands of people around the world waiting to see the Beresheet spacecraft land. Instead, engines failed, and the spacecraft crashed onto the surface of the moon.
There was no crying or finger pointing; instead, the Prime Minister congratulated everyone on their efforts. An award was even given for the picture shot while successfully orbiting the moon. This is the secret of failure; it leaves behind lessons. Lessons that can only be learned from failing.
Yes, I fear failure. This fear has kept me from doing a great many things. But that is because I am simply looking at the end instead of the journey. Many things do not have favorable outcomes, but they have wonderful journeys.
I will never forget one of my biggest failures. I ran a four-hundred-meter sprint when I was fourteen years old. The gun went off, six of us ran, five of the runners finished before I was halfway around the track. I heard a voice from the stand shouting enthusiastically “keep going!” I ran as fast as I could off that track. My father was waiting for me at the finish line beaming. I asked him how he could smile when I came in dead last. He held up his wristwatch, “look at your time, it’s a personal best.” And it was, by almost a half-minute.
Who are we competing against if not ourselves? It’s when we stack ourselves against others that we feel like failures sometimes. We forget about our personal strides and accomplishments. Worst still, we forget about the lessons from the journey.
Yes, Israel may not have succeeded in landing on the moon this time, but they most certainly didn’t fail. And just because the outcome isn’t a success, it doesn’t mean the journey is a waste. Thank you Beresheet for teaching us all to shift our perception of success. One day Israel will have a successful moon landing. There is talk of starting a second mission. Failure is just a step in the journey of success.