I’ve always been fond of Icarus, son of Daedalus.
He and his father built wings made of wax and feathers, as part of the plan to escape from the island of Crete. Before Daedalus did the attempt first, he warned his son to not fly too close to the sun nor too close to the sea but to just follow his path of flight.
When Icarus took off..
As he gets closer to the sun, the heat melted the wax keeping the feathers together. Icarus kept flapping his wings. He tried hard, but soon he realized there weren’t any feathers left and he was just flapping with his bare arms, and so eventually, Icarus fell into the sea.
Now, I know most people are aware of this story. It has been told over and over again. Most people interpret this story as an act of selfishness, an act of stupidity, and an act of defiance. Most people would usually associate the story with failure, but I would think otherwise.
I believe it is a great lesson of how people should think about life. Success, isn’t a success without a failure. A yes isn’t a yes, and a no isn’t a no without a maybe in between. Success can’t happen in one night. Success is to be achieved with great perseverance, and an even greater patience. It is a long process that could take a couple of hours, a couple of days, heck, even a couple of years.
Icarus didn’t die in vain. He died trying to achieve success, even with the knowledge of the risks involved.
People should follow Icarus’ spirit in his determinism to achieve something greater. People don’t need to be overshadowed, and just follow a “path” by someone before us. Everyone has the capability to surpass the previous generations, just like how they surpassed the ones before them. Failure shouldn’t be the focus of what lies ahead but rather the success that could be and will be if we try reach for it.
“They say Icarus was a fool for flying too close to the sun. I say it’s only because of him we know how close we can get. I love the fall of those brave enough to fail for the right reasons. Fuck the easy glory of mere excellence. The only legacy I will accept is to know that however far I got — it was as far as I was capable of going. I want to drown in my own sweat knowing there was nothing left.” — Jared Singer & Anthony Ragle, Potential