Try, try, and try again

One of the lessons I remember from primary school history was on Robert the Bruce, who upon seeing a spider in a cave came up with the idiom “if at first you don’t succeed try, try and try again.” I thought about this with modern eyes, not Robert’s 700 year old ones and how it reflected on my own life experiences.

I realised that if I achieved something straight away the chances of me ever repeating it were slim because I had no other similar experiences to show me how I got there, be able to advise others how they could achieve it or do the same using their own skills, knowledge and experiences. First time really is lucky.

I thought of the times I had tried to do something and failed, did it make me a failure or mean that would never do it? I realised an initial failure is almost expected when trying something new, as with succeeding, we do not know what variables in this case led to failure rather than a success. Was it really luck?

It dawned on me that with repeating till we get something right it shows us far more than immediate success as each attempt we see why the previous attempt did not, like seeing our footsteps on a snowy mountain. Repetition helped us learn our multiplication tables and French verbs, so to life’s lessons.

Therefore, whether we are looking for a job, trying to pass our driving test or find a new partner, each time we try we are learning just as Robert observed with that spider in that cave 700 years ago. All anyone can ask of us, and indeed we can ask of ourselves, is we try our best. Setback today, celebrate tomorrow.

© Fi S. J. Brown

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