“You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call ‘failure’ isn’t the falling down but the staying down.” Mary Pickford
What an uplifting, sunlit field of possibilities these words of wisdom offer us! If we trust in their truth, they can energize and encourage us — give us heart and hope. After pondering this statement, I’ve come up with a few ideas:
The past doesn’t dictate the future: Whatever has happened in the past, whatever we did or didn’t do doesn’t have to define or limit us. At any moment we can have a “fresh start” — we can pick ourselves up and renew our efforts with a clean slate, unhampered by the past. If we can truly embrace the idea that we are not bound by our past performance, it can not only give us hope, but wings.
Mistakes are surmountable: When we fall down, as long as we don’t stay down, we haven’t failed. We may have made a mistake, but that doesn’t prevent us from making a fresh start and succeeding at whatever we’ve chosen to do. Mistakes are simply missteps and we can get back on track without worrying about failing — what a relief!
Hard work counts: As long as we choose to make a fresh start instead of giving up, we are free to bring our A-game to whatever we’re doing — to go all out to achieve whatever it is we’re aiming at. We can give whatever venture we’ve embarked on the best we have because we aren’t constrained by the past or beholden to the future. We are free to act in the moment and to give that moment our all.
Rejection is just a stepping stone: If failure isn’t falling down, but staying down, then any rejection that comes our way is just a temporary blip on the radar screen, not a life sentence. We may have fallen, but we can rise up and keep going until we reach our goal. If rejection can’t knock us flat — if we refuse to stay down when we encounter it, then it has no real power over us.
Anything can happen: If a fresh start is available to us at any moment, then anything can happen at any time. The possibilities are endless and the only limits we face are those we impose on ourselves. What a liberating idea!
Mary Pickford is a shining example of this resilience: She reinvented herself many times and took control of her own destiny at a time when most actors and actresses were seen as studio pawns with little power. So let’s take a tip from “America’s Sweetheart” and remember that we can “make a fresh start any moment” we choose — and write on!