Fall Twice, Rise Twice

Article posted in: Lifestyle

We here at Nutrisystem have a friend named Maggie. She’s the most accomplished one in our circle of friends, very involved with the parents association in our town as well as with her church. So when the high school where she teaches history asked her to speak at the recent Senior Night just before graduation, nobody was surprised. What did surprise us was her choice of topic to talk about with the seniors.

“I’m going to talk about failure,” Maggie told us over coffee. When one of us told her it seemed like…well, not exactly the sort of thing you talk about to a bunch of kids who really feel like they’ve just accomplished something, she had an answer ready.

“That’s exactly why I want to talk about failure,” she said. “These kids did just accomplish something and they deserve to be praised for that, but sooner or later they’re going to try something, and they’re going to fail at it. That’s just a natural part of life. I want to make sure they understand that what matters is how they deal with the failure. That they learn from it, and that they keep trying, no matter what. If they fall, they need to get back up. I really want them to understand that.”

Then Maggie told us a story about herself that none of us had ever heard. It turns out that before moving to town to teach history, Maggie had been a lawyer. She didn’t like it, she said. In fact, she was miserable. That misery led her to make several big mistakes at work, and she lost her job. So she went out and got another job at another law firm, thinking she’d be happier. She wasn’t, and she lost that job, too.

“I thought I was a failure,” she said. “But I wasn’t. I wasn’t a good lawyer because I didn’t like it. I missed school, and I missed reading the history books I loved.” So she went back to school, got her teaching certificate and landed the job she has now, where she’s one of the most popular teachers at the school.

“In my mind, I fell twice, but I got up twice,” she said. “That’s the key to life.”

That’s the key to anything, we think. If you fall—and you will—you get back up.