Since it is Thanksgiving Day in the United States, I thought I should write something in regard to that occasion. In many households, it is a tradition to go around the dinner table and ask each person what he/she is thankful for. But I wanted to do something a little bit different.

Naturally, we should all be thankful and show appreciation for people in our lives who have had a positive influence on us. Many of us would not achieve success or be as healthy or happy if not for the assistance or influence of certain individuals who have crossed our paths. Sometimes we may get caught up in the busyness of our lives and forget to show our gratitude, but if we stop to think about it, it should become apparent who has been that positive influencing factor.

I thought briefly about asking what you are NOT thankful for. These things are almost always blatantly obvious, as they usually prevent us from getting something we want or cause us pain or distress in some way. Aside from that, I did not want to focus on such a negative aspect of our lives; it does no one any good.

Failures are seen by most people as negative occurrences in our journeys through life. After all, if we try something, we presumably want to succeed at whatever that thing may be. A failure would then stop us from reaching that achievement. Of course, we then have the choice to either put forth another attempt, go about it in a different way, or simply give up on that particular venture. If you choose to see failure as a negative thing, you are most likely to fall into the category of those who choose to give up. However, if you see failure as more of a learning experience and use it as a stepping stone, of sorts, to achieve something greater, it can certainly be a positive and powerful tool.

As a writer/author, I have been rejected many times; it comes with the territory. I do not allow those rejections to translate into failures, though. I know that I am a good writer and I continue to pursue my passion. I have received enough encouragement and validation from others to help me keep going. If not for this encouragement, I admit that I would most certainly question whether or not I should be continuing in this pursuit. If I am rejected by one source, I simply believe that it was not the right timing or not the right company or publisher. It is merely a stepping stone or learning experience to help me to achieving a desired success.

Looking back over your life thus far, what past failure has given you the motivation to achieve something you otherwise would not have done? Has there been a door closed on an opportunity that has led to another door or window to open? Was there a roadblock that stopped you, and later realized that following that path would have put you in a worse state than where you are now?

So, my question to you is: What failure are you most thankful for?

*This blog was inspired, in part, by Of Progress and Purpose, so if you found it beneficial, I also encourage you to visit their site as well.

Photo by Marcus Wu00f6ckel on

If you enjoyed this post, please check out Thank You, Critics.

Published by Brandon Ellrich

I live in Central Missouri and enjoy reading, writing, playing tennis, watching movies, and exploring creative outlets. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology and I love to take my readers inside the minds of my characters.

26 thoughts on “Thankful?

  1. What a thoughtful question and illustration of failure, and spot on. Cheesy as it is, the failure that comes to mind is all of my past relationships, which led me to my husband of 7+ years now. He is truly the best. I’m so grateful for all of the other times I felt like a failure to get here.

    Also, thank you so much for the shout-out! Happy Thanksgiving, friend 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Good post and a great question. I look at this differently. I haven’t failed but I have made mistakes in how I have handled areas of my life. I learned so failing to me is an instrument to improve and perhaps I need to get things wrong to get them right. I have done a few post on failing and looking at that failure, the word failure, from a different perspective. Again, good post.

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  3. Frustrated with the year long process of trying to migrate to Scotland, I needed a ‘sign’. I submitted an offer on a condo and decided that if it were accepted, then I should stay in KC. Fortunately my offer was rejected (which is the failure I’m thankful for) because 18-months after starting this process, I’m leaving on a jet plane next week. Scotland, here I come! 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

    Brandon, enjoy your Thanksgiving. Keep up all your amazing work. I’ll message my details once I’m settled in!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Brandon,

    You are indeed a wonderful writer. My husband passed away in January. After I emerged from that awful fog of grief I knew my future was forever altered. So I preemptively changed my path. I published my book, I bought a new car, and I remodeled the house. I love my new space in this world. I happily look forward now. He is safely and carefully tucked into a corner of my heart that will always be his. I think he shook his head over some of my decisions. But, I know he’d be proud of what and where I choose to follow.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Brandon.

    Susan Renni Anderson

    (678) 920-4044 Cell

    (678) 960-4447 Home


    Christianity’s Jewish Roots: A Study of Jusdaism for Christians

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  5. Happy Thanksgiving! It wasn’t really a failure, per se, but I was forced into early retirement because of internal and external politics – from what I considered to be the pinnacle of my career. That might seem like a failure. No matter, I succeeded in getting that position and provided a quality work product. It was there shortsightedness. They ended up hiring three people to replace me – LOL ! And I ended up enjoying my retirement 🙂

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  6. Hi Brandon and Happy Thanksgiving. My greatest failure is not speaking up when I know I should. I’m working on saying how I feel in the moment. My hindsight tells me things would be a little easier if I did this more. Maybe uncomfortable at the moment. I can’t really say it’s a failure but part of the learning process. As long as we have breath we will be forever learning. Have a great one. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh gosh me too Brandon, however I do have a tendency to blurt things out then later kick myself for the goofy thing I said. 🙂 Which causes me to be more contemplative. I recently did this and I’m still trying to make sense of why I said what I did. It wasn’t bad just how I really felt which shocked the person I said it to. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I enjoyed this read, very insightful and out of the box way of thinking. I even read it to my husband and he truly loved this. He said he has many failures he is thankful for. I must say, I do as well, and to pick just one, that is a tough one. It is easier to say what I am thankful for, and looking back, with every success, in some form, a failure was associated and i had to improvise or change the route.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. What a wonderfully thoughtful post, Brandon! It’s not exactly a failure per se, but I have been less than thrilled with only having about 50 listeners on a lot of my podcast episodes after a year and a half working on it weekly. But I am thankful for this, because it has been teaching me humility and to value every single life that gets blessed through obedience to what God has called me to do 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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