Reconsidering Failure – Part 1

There is a time in life that does not come around very often, when the decision to let some things go is hard.  Letting some activities go are considered by some as a failure…and really, what is wrong with that?  If we do not eliminate some things in our life that do not have purpose, our lives become cluttered and purposeless because we are not making adequate use of our resources.  It all becomes a jumbled mess.

 

So how do you decide what stays and what to boot?  Many things that get voted out may actually be a desire that goes very deep but where is the purpose?  Some projects or passions are those that you want to rekindle or feel guilty about not learning them in your past, but are they a catalyst for your purpose or just something to complete to check off of the bucket list?

 

Many things in life that we have failed at, we try to go back and start again because we have issues with failure.  We cannot allow ourselves to fail for some reason.  Here is an example of something that I am eliminating:

 

For many years, I have wanted to learn how to program, learn HTML, maybe even build an app.  When I started college (again) about 6 years ago, it was my major.  I struggled with it, learned a little at a time, completed a couple of courses and actually got 4 different IT certifications.  I built a website, learned how to manipulate it a little and then, after a couple of years of inactivity, I started to brush up on what I had forgotten.  I just recently completed my degree in a completely different field of study than computer science and still I feel a sense of failure that I did not get my degree in programming.

 

As of a couple of weekends ago, after long bouts of inner struggle, I have decided to abandon further education on programming.  Why?  Because of many reasons:

  1. There are many people in my life who can do it faster (and cheaper) than I could do it myself.
  2. It is not my passion, although my passions are not quite refined yet for this time in my life. It is only an interest.  I can marvel at other people doing programming well.
  3. I see that I am just not “wired upstairs” to learn this material at an efficient speed. I can be satisfied with having SOME of the knowledge and be happy that I am not totally ignorant of the programming process.
  4. I feel that it is taking away from the passions I have, rather than contributing to them.

So back to the question:  Why is there still a sense of failure inside rather than just realignment?

Failure.

It is a word that has developed a reputation from school, business and life.

“You got an F.  You failed that class”

“The business failed.  It had to be shut down”

“His heart failed and he passed away”

When looking at the meaning of “failure”, the reputation follows it but is not the actual definition.

  1. lack of success
  2. when someone does not do something
  3. someone/something not successful
  4. when something no longer works
  5. loss of quality/ability

Ummm…if you look at this list, you can probably fit each of those descriptions into events that happen in one work day.  So what is the problem with failure?  Putting things in a process, we can see that it is the reaction following that makes the resulting stigma.  When you had a lack of success one day at work, did you quit your job?  What about when you didn’t do something?  Something wasn’t successful?  When something didn’t work?  When you had a loss of quality or ability?  Did you just quit altogether?

The reaction is where the effect is either limited or exaggerated.  This is a key factor because it relates to so much in our lives.

Part 2 is developing…

Failure Speaks

I hate you.
When I start your day, I love reminding you of how worthless you are.
Listen to me. No one should listen to you. You have nothing worthwhile to say.
I can find multitudes of reasons why you should not even get up…and I enjoy sharing them with you.
I thrive on your desire for pity. People should feel sorry for you because of your lack of worth.
I can turn the smallest setback into a lifelong issue if you just listen to me.
Remember when your friend looked at you like you didn’t know what you were doing? That was me who told you that they didn’t like you. The funny thing is that I told them to look at you like that to make sure that you didn’t take any more chances.
Remember when your boss asked you to take on that new task? That was me who told you not to do it because you wouldn’t gain anything from it. In fact, I was the one who told your boss not to ask you, but your boss didn’t listen to me.
I sometimes join up with your pride to make sure it doesn’t get damaged. Somebody has to protect it. After all, if you don’t have pride in yourself, you won’t be able to do anything, right?
When it comes down to it, I may be the best friend that you have. I save you from things like embarrassment, sadness, unnecessary responsibility, confrontation and a host of other uncomfortable things.
There is no reason to have uncertainty in your life when I can make your path certain. In fact, some people may even get our names mixed up and call you by my name because you start to have the same effect on them that I do.
That is fine with me. Many follow me because it is just easy to. Life is hard enough without looking for more difficulty.
Come and join me. Pretty soon, you can be just like me.

Less Stressing, More Blessing

The motto for the day (week, month, year, life). In essence, it means that no matter what is coming at you, focus your energy on the good of others. It goes hand in hand with the quote from Zig Ziglar, “You can get what you want, if you help enough other people get what they want.”

 

Where this statement gets its weight is that we really do not know what we want. We don’t. Really. You may think that you want to be a best selling author or maybe a professional dancer. Maybe you have the dream of having your own successful business or an in-demand speaker.

 

Well, to achieve those goals, you need to:

1. write what others want to read

2. perform the way others will enjoy watching

3. produce something others will buy

4. speak about subjects that others will want to hear

 

Just another way of saying, “It is not about you”. Don’t stress about the things you cannot change, but bless others with what you have to give…and seek to get better at it so you can give better. You will get what you really want by turning the focus away from you.

Trust and fear

So I have been on vacation (as you could probably tell) and have not posted for a few days.  I have been working on some other projects and spending time with my family.  This post has been in the incubator for a couple of weeks and brewing during that time.  I am scolding myself in much of it but many of my posts are aimed at myself and you get the brunt of it as well.  Welcome back…it’s therapy time.

I have heard that when analyzing problems, when you get to the 5th “why”, you are probably at the source rather than the symptoms.  Sometimes, habits that are holding us back are sourced by something totally different and deeper.  Just like putting a bandaid on cancer…

Dig a little deeper

GoalPraying

     Life is really a set of goals, if you can look at it that way.  You are born and as you learn new things, you challenge yourself to do new things.  Sometimes those new things are goals you shouldn’t accomplish, like testing the heat of a hot stove.  While others are good to achieve such as catching a ball headed for your face.

 

     You can look at goals as simple tasks to set and achieve throughout your life but at some points in your life, you are hit with rejection, discouragement and pain.  You learn that the stove is hot, glass breaks, baseballs are hard, and so on.  When learning these tenets of life, you still move forward with a mixed set of emotions about these experiences that inevitably form the person you are in the future.

 

     For example, you can take the experience of baseball.  When you join a baseball league, remember the first time you tried to play with a team.   Now if you say that you just went out there and started playing and learned as you went, you need to think back a little bit.  Think of what you did in preparation for it.  What about the first time that you caught a ball, was it on the baseball field?  The first time you ran as fast as you could to a certain point?  How about the first time you hit something with a stick?

 

     When playing on a baseball team for the first time, you get an idea of what you are supposed to do, but a coach and a few other experienced players guided you through the experience, using what you already learned to apply it to baseball.  You may or may not have done well but the experience shaped you.

 

     The process of succeeding in life is just the same.  You work at the basics, little by little, until you reach each goal that you set.  So why is it so hard to do goal setting?

 

     Sure, you can say “I am not going to stop until I make $10,000 per month!”  Yes, it sounds good but there needs to be a plan because that $10K/month is not usually going to happen in a short amount of time.

FootballGoalpost

     The art of setting goals is as much needed for success as it is to achieve them.  If you do not know how to set yourself up for success then when you fail, it will be more difficult to get up.  Each goal has to have some key ingredients and each one is important for its own reason:

 

1. Challenge

2. Interest

3. Definition

4. Finish Line

5. Believable

 

Challenge

     What would a goal be if it were not a challenge?  It would be a “motion” like turning off your alarm clock.  No achievement necessary, just do it because if you don’t, it will just annoy you.  Some people set goals to where the consequence of failure is painful.  Truth is that all goals cannot work this way.  There needs to be more.

 

Interest

 

     Compare this to eating when you are full.  God has ingrained in you certain interests that excite you and make you want to move but there are others that are necessary but not fun.  For example, what if your goal is to find everyone you have wronged in the last 12 months and ask for forgiveness.  Not fun, but you have to generate the drive inside of yourself to be able to accomplish the task.

 

Definition

 

     This is an area that you need to spell out clear and concise.  If you do not, it is just a direction or vague purpose.  So lets define it.  A goal is the result or achievement toward the effort is directed; aim; end.  It is what constitutes the end of that journey.  Define it.

 

Finish Line

     With the way society is today, if you did not put a time limit on goals, they would never get done.  If you set a goal to write for 30 days, how would you feel if it took you 6 months to complete it? What about if it took 40 days?  34 days?  30 days?  Yes we fail and would feel better if we did it perfectly, but it is better to fail at a goal than to never set one to achieve.

 

Believable

 

     This depends on your definition of believable.  Your idea of impossible is just that…impossible.  Take these words at face value.  Set yourself up for success.  Chop those big goals into small nuggets that will seem monstrous when they are done, but not while they are being done.

 

     Combine your goals with your prayer list.  Read through the list when you go to bed or early in the morning before you start your day.  Edit it, change it, tweak it.  Make it YOU.  It is for you.  Keep it on your computer, smartphone, tablet and/or notebook.  It is notes for you to steer your purpose.

 

Do you remember the first time you were supposed to memorize something?  A verse, a poem, a song.

After you were successful with the memorization, how long did you remember it?

Do you still remember it?

Do you think that if you read those words again today, it would all come back to you?

It has been proven that putting information to music helps the brain remember things.  Some cultures sing their prayers.  Do you think they are onto something?

 

     Your prayers are your heartfelt desires and requests.  Even if you really don’t FEEL the desire to “goalpray” for something when you put something on your list but feel that you need to, it still is beneficial.  Put someone on your list that you have a difficult time getting along with.  You may not want to but just the act of seeing it everyday will guide you.  Sometimes you will see that the problem was more of you and not of them.

 

Each goal is a prayer.