So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finshing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had already been realised, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.
You might never fail on the scale I did, but some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all--in which case, you fail by default.
Failure gave me an inner security that I had never attained by passing examinations. Failure taught me things about myself that I could have learned no other way. I discovered that I had a strong will, and more discipline than I had suspected; I also found out that I had friends whose value was truly above the price of rubies.
1. strip away
eg. Sensitive Cream will not strip away the skin's protective layer.
eg. It is difficult to strip away the greasy dirt on the table.
2. set free
eg. The general directed that the prisoners should be set free.
eg. The final verdict were inspiring. Irene were set free.
3. rock bottom
eg. Prices have hit rock bottom.
eg. She was at rock bottom. Her long-term love affair was breaking up and so was she.
4. might as well
eg. Anyway, you're here; you might as well stay.
eg. I'll come with you if you like. I might as well.
5. by default
eg. Spassky won the first game, and was awarded by the second by default, when Fischer failed to put in an appearance.
eg. It's hard to get money. It's not the sort of thing that happens by default.