Sisyphus pushes a boulder up a mountain only to have it roll back down with him. He could step aside and let the boulder topple below without him, but that would be defeatist. The purpose to succeed comes from the challenge, the unexpected obstacles, and interference that stands in your path.

The texture and grooves of the boulder are familiar to your touch and steep as your footing. Out of the corner of your eye, you sneak a peek at the peak poking through. Holding on to your goal, you take another inch forward. Progress is progress, even if it means facing an error after a trial. Doing and doing your best is the goal before you reach your goal.

Failure is not in the doing either. You only fail if you stop doing what is necessary. Working with the people who know what you love to do is sometimes out of your reach, but you grasp at any advice they have. "Working under someone" is not the right phrase nor the right attitude to have. Working at what you want to succeed in is part collaboration and part cooperation.

Collaborate on a common point of connection. Develop a relationship over a similar interest you share or a person you both know from each other's lines of work. Cooperate with creative and intellectual compromise. Know what you want and work at what you are worth. The right people at the right time will notice you.

I was a Junior Achievement Volunteer my sophomore year of college. I would be a kindergarten teacher once a week for six weeks straight at Timber Lakes Elementary School. I never blamed the kids for not understanding me. If I was in kindergarten, I wouldn't understand what I was saying when I introduced myself either. It didn't help that I had to get the whole attention of a class with varied personalities but it did teach me the same curiosity and individuality a preschooler has that I brought with me the next weeks after.

I found out I wasn't a good traditional teacher, the head of the classroom filled with expectant heads and judging eyes. The experience, a disastrous series of second-guessing in my mind, was no doubt priceless. Had I not been a volunteer teacher, I could not have had or found my next opportunity, a job as a professional tutor with My Tutor Lab.

Teaching was something I could do well, but it depended on the setting and circumstances. In a group of people where the risk of the lesson being lost on some and gained by others, teaching in the classroom begins to feel impersonal and impossible to gauge. As a tutor, I am able to see how a student learns in real time, one-on-one, and can adapt to how that student learns best.

My niche was teaching but it needed to be a niche far more specific to the kind of teacher I wanted to be. I couldn't have landed a job as a tutor if I didn't fail as a teacher and even though I failed, that failure was disguised as a success. Play the role you are given until you can play the role you want.

Success is a weight you wouldn't mind carrying, but at the expense of breaking your back, lift after lift, you still come back knowing the weight is something only you can carry. You don't just have a boulder, you get to have a boulder. Suddenly, the boulder is much rounder than you remember and then it happens.

Your feet are flat and the boulder stands ready to be moved again.

Failure is succeeding on your own terms. If you fail, at least you failed the way you want, doing what you want.