If “failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor” (Truman Capote), how spicy do you like your success stories?
Is this question about success, or is it about failure ? Success is courted by almost everyone : to be admired for doing well in life and getting all the perks that come along seems a good way to be living life. HOWEVER, the prompt above has introduced an element that jars — the opposite of success and all the images that it conjures up — that bogeyman called failure. To be a failure, whether for a day or a life-time is like carrying an albatross to your grave (read the haunting poem: The Ancient Mariner, by S.T.Coleridge, and you will know what I mean). Once you fail at something , even if you succeed later, does this label ever go away? Even if the world around applauds you for recent successes, public memory they say is short, can you yourself forget and move on from those dark days of shock and shame and despair ? Or will they continue to feature in your nightmares and insert a bitter element into your cup of success-coffee/tea ? Maybe you like your coffee really bitter. I don’t, and yet . . . .
Success is paradoxically sweeter because of the sting of failure. When you have spent days and night battling your inner demons and the jibes and barbs from the outer ones AND survived them to tell your success story, without actually speaking a word, hmmm, there’s something to be said for that, even if a nightmare or two from the past might wake you up occasionally ! So my answer to the prompt is : I really don’t know !!