07/26/2013 03:45 pm ET Updated Sep 25, 2013

Game Changer: Extra Lives (Changing Your View of Failure)

(Game Changer is a series of blogs relating life's challenges to playing a video game. With funny word play, practical solutions, and unique approaches Game Changer will change the way you look at life and approach any problem. Game Changer is your strategy-guide to life.)

Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents, which in prosperous circumstances would have lain dormant. -- Horace

You fell into a hole. You got eaten by the dragon. You didn't pick up that extra ammo in the level before. No matter what the excuse is, the simple truth is you failed. Your shot at the level is over and usually ends with the character doing something to signify that they have failed. To make matters worst, the moment is usually underscored by a gloomy song that perfectly articulates your disappointment. The screen turns to black and the words everyone dreads begin to appear. GAME OVER!

There was a time in my life where no matter what I was putting out in the universe, it always ended in failure. I fell into a deep depression. It took me two years to truly get it but I was not a failure at all. I was being made stronger. My failures have actually armed me. They have made me smarter, stronger, hopeful and more experienced.

For a few years I worked on harbor cruise ship as a singer. It was a medium-size boat but much bigger than a lot of the personal ships, sail boats and yachts on the water. Whenever a larger ship would pass a smaller ship, the smaller ship would rock from side to side from the current that the larger ship. Captains who never experienced passing a larger ship were usually surprised by the current we would make. You could tell the more experienced captains because they would immediately gain control of their ship or they would move out of the way to avoid the current. The captains who experienced rough waters had an advantage over the waves.

So, you failed. The screen is black. You are disappointed. BUT, WAIT! The screen comes back up and there you are again. Your health bar is full and this time you are armed with something else. The knowledge and experience gained from what happened the last time.

For more from Matthew Johnson Harris, click here.

For more on spiritual development, click here.