If you haven’t had failures, you haven’t been trying hard enough.

September 15, 2016

Recently this little quote appeared on the Jack’s Winning Words blog – “Failure is temporary.  Move quickly beyond it.” (Unknown)  Jack went on to write: No one’s a success 100% of the time.  We are made better by our failures.  The Bible tells the story of Job, a man who had all kinds of bad luck.  His friends told him to curse God and die.  Job responded, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust him.”  And, in the end, God rewarded that trust.

failuresFailures are a part of life and a key to learning and the building of knowledge and eventually the accumulation of wisdom. Some people experience fewer failures than others, sometimes because they are too afraid of failure to even try. Others may work extra hard at planning to avoid failures, thus limiting themselves to the number of things that they try. Still others go through life blissfully failing at almost everything they try, yet learning nothing from those experiences. Failures happen – move quickly beyond it

The advice in the post title and in today’s quote from Jack’s blog go hand-in-hand. If you aren’t experiencing failures, you probably aren’t trying hard enough or often enough and if you are failing, then learn from those experiences and move on. Don’t dwell to long on them and don’t beat yourself up for the failure. Live and learn is another little tidbit of advice that we often hear growing up. Perhaps it should be modified to read Live, fail and learn. That is not to say that you should plan to fail, just that failures happen – move quickly beyond it.

There is a famous quote about failure by Thomas Edison – “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Life is like that a lot. You find ways that just don’t work. Maybe it is an approach towards someone that you’d like to befriend or to have a date with,  and you get rejected. You just found a way that won’t work. That doesn’t meanfailure2 that you can never be friends or that you will never get that date. Learn from that failure and move quickly beyond it.

Sometimes in life you come to real dead ends, places where there is nothing else to try or no place to advance. Not every situation in life has a solution or alternative approach that results in a positive outcome. The important thing in those cases is to recognize the futility of continuing on your current path and deciding to choose a different path, a different goal or perhaps a different job or life pursuit. As important as dealing with failure-3failures is dealing with dead ends and learning to move quickly beyond it.

Perhaps we all can learn something from Job and reinforce our belief and trust in God’s plan for us each time we fail. I have had many real estate clients over the years who found “the perfect house”, only to lose it to another buyer. Some were devastated by the failure of their offer, but others were able to say “it was not meant to be” and to move quickly beyond it.

So, keep in mind today and every day that you will experience failures; you should try to view each one as a learning experiences and move quickly beyond it.

Have a great. Try lots of things. Learn lots of things. Maybe, even have a few successes along the way.

Making the turns in life…

February 5, 2015

“A bend in the road is not the end of the road, unless you fail to make the turn.” ― Helen Keller

With all of the snow that we’ve had locally of late, making the turns and getting up the hills while driving has proven to be quite challenging. Life can get like that some times – a little slippery and sometimes dangerous. Sometimes life throws us curves that are hard to make. We may slip off the road and end up in the ditch for a while if we don’t watch out; afraidhowever, those curves are not the end of the road (or of life), just the end of the road (and life) going in the direction that you were used to heading.

Life is more like driving at night and perhaps in a snow storm. You can see ahead a little ways ahead in the beams of your headlights, but not all that far and there are still things lurking off both sides of the road that may jump in front of you at any minute. Few ever see accidents coming – a patch of icy road, a deer running out from the side of the road or cresting a hill and finding a stopped vehicle in front of you. Life can be like that. We just can’t see the things coming that can be sharp bends in the road of life – an illness or death in the family, the unexpected loss of a job or perhaps an unanticipated move for work-related reasons. Things happen. The road bends; but, it’s not the end and it’s how you deal with thoseremorseful turns that will dictate how you feel about life.

One can see life’s changes (bends in the road) as unsettling, dangerous and frightening, or chose to see the change in direction as an exciting adventure to somewhere that you’ve never been to before.  You can have fear or you can have fun. Whichever you choose, there’s no going back. Life doesn’t come with a reverse gear.

So, after you get over the “Oh, Crap; I didn’t see that coming” moment; how do you deal with life’s bends in the road? Do you shut down in fear or do you crank it up in anticipation of the new challenges and/or adventure. Do you get all depressed, or do you get organized and come up with a plan? Do you stop and say to yourself, “I can’t do this”; or, do you swing into action and say, “I won’t let this stop me”?

surrounded by sharksWhile it is impossible to avoid the unknown twists and turns in life or to even see them coming; it is possible to go through life with a positive attitude that better prepares you for dealing with them. You can be better prepared to deal with crises if you have already made the choice to not let FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) rule your life. You may not ever be able to change things or put them back to the way that they were, but you can choose how you will continue to go forward – how soon, how far and in what new direction.

One of the absolute keys to success in dealing with life’s twists and turns is to see them and accept them as such.  Too many people spend too much time in states of denial, rather than taking action – accepting that it happened and planning your response. Once you can look at what has happened and say to yourself, “OK, it happened, what now?”;
women looking at direction signyou are on your way to dealing with whatever it was; and more importantly, to where you are now. If you ran off the road and got off into the ditch, it’s time to pick yourself up, come up with a plan and take some action. Doing something (almost anything) is better than wallowing in the ditch off the road. There’s nothing good in that ditch, just weeds.

OK, so now you’re divorced; what now? OK, so you lost that job; what are you going to do now? OK, the boy (girl) of your dreams turned you down for the dance; what now? Take note that you are still here to ask those questions. It didn’t kill you. Most of life’s curves won’t kill you; they may just cause you some temporary pain. But what choicesnow, what comes next? Do you plan to just lay there in the ditch forever? It’s time to get up and move on. Get back on the road. I wrote a post about Problem Solving 101 last year that may help you get started back down the road. The road will be taking you in a different direction now; so, there are new things to learn, new people to meet, new adventures to live; and, oh yes, more curves ahead.

Have great day on the road of life and watch out for the curves.


Three little words that can change your life… Bring it on. (13 of ?)

April 3, 2014

Sometimes the simplest little things can have big impact on our lives. In this series of posts I examine very short sentences (each just three words long) that can make a difference in your life. If you have a three word sentence that changed your life somehow, share it with me and I will share it with the world.

Today’s three little words are about self-confidence and self-esteem.  You have to like yourself and be confident to challenge life to say, Bring it on.

anxiousSaying bring it on doesn’t mean that you have no fears or concerns about whatever the challenge is that you are facing; but, it does mean that you are confident enough in your ability to deal with whatever life throws you way to be able to look it in the eye and say, Bring it on.

You don’t get to the stage in life where you can confidently face any challenge without having been through quite a few challenges already – it’s called experience. Experiences in life allow us to build a knowledge base of what worked and what didn’t work. It also allows us to understand that most of the time the fears that we had going into situations seldom turned out to be anything more than our own imagination. We are better equipped to sort through the real and the imagined dangers in life to control our anxieties and say, Bring it on.

While this little saying seems on the surface to be a testosterone laden response to life’s trials, it is really more about inner strength and inner peace and women tend to actually be better at it than men. The old saying goes that men toil from sun to sun, woman boxerbut a woman’s work is never done. Women may not be able to lift as heavy a single load as men, but they do seem to be able to bear their loads much longer than men and with much less drama. When life’s burden’s overwhelm them and men give up, saying they can’t take this anymore, it’s often the women in their lives who pick them up, offering support and comfort and saying, Bring it on.

An interesting side benefit from taking this positive, unafraid approach to life is that it actually strengthens and empowers you. Tentativeness and timidity cause you shrink and be less than you are capable of being. Standing up to be counted in the face of hardships or difficulties in life makes you feel alive and good about yourself. You stick out your chest, face into the winds of challenge and say, Bring it on.

desperateSo, as you start your day each morning, you have the choice of sitting there wallowing in fear, uncertainty and doubt; hoping that whatever bad things you have imagined might happen today won’t; or you can choose to suck it up, look at yourself in the mirror and with confidence say, Bring it on.

If you need just a little reinforcement each morning try this little prayer, “Lord give me the strength today to do what is right, the courage to resist doing want is wrong and the wisdom to be able to tell the difference between the two.” Then, open the door and start your new day by saying, BRING IT ON!