The other day I failed. It was not a big failure but it was still a failure. I was helping a friend move her stuff out of her dorm. In the process, I broke her mirror. I did not shatter it but there was a crack along the bottom. However, as you can see in the picture, it was a large body mirror and if you held it with the crack on the bottom you almost could not notice it. Even though the crack was not too bad, my friend did not want it anymore. I was on my way to the garbage to throw it out and that is when something great happened: I got an idea. I am not sure when or how I got the idea but I just started to do it.
I started with one of my friends. I went up to her, asked her to do me a favor, and told her to look into the mirror. After she looked at herself for a minute I told her to look how beautiful she was. That was the idea. I was going to go up to people and show them how beautiful they were. Yes, it is incredibly corny but I love to be incredibly corny. Mostly, I did it to my friends and people I knew because I did not want to look like a creep. However, I did it to some random people and no one thought I was a creep. They all loved it from what I could tell.
There were two lessons I learned from this project I started. The first lesson was about failure. Although it was not the biggest failure, I was able to turn my failure into something great that made other people’s days, or at least I hope it did. Now contrary to popular believe I do not think you can always learn something or get something from failure. Most of the times you can get some benefit from failure but sometimes you just crash and burn. Sometimes there is nothing you can do about failure but if you try to see value in your failure, something great can happen like with my mirror.
The second lesson I learned was about the power of the little things. I have two goals for every day of my life: to make the most of my day and to make someone else’s day. I am still working on how to do the first part but I try to do the second part through random acts of kindness. The mirror project is just one of those ways. Carrying around a mirror telling people they are beautiful seems pretty random to me but that’s the point. I try to do things that people do not normally experience that could make their day; the little things. Maybe it is just smiling at someone or having a conversation with someone who not a lot of people talk to. It does not matter what it is as long as it puts a smile on their face; that is what the important part is.
I am going to do my mirror project again someday. I do not know when but I know that I will not use a different mirror. The crack in my mirror will be a symbol of my failure and will always remind me to find the best in my failures. The mirror itself will always be there to remind me to make other people’s days.
I failed but I did not crash and burned. The next time when you break a mirror are you going to sit there and soak up your seven years of bad luck or are you going to use that mirror to make people’s days?