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.

Attack mode – 2.1

This is good stuff.  You need to watch this.  The ability to make yourself vulnerable is tough for many…watch.

If you have seen it, watch it again and I guarantee that you will hear something you didn’t the first time.  Besides, repetition is conducive to learning.

 

Attack mode – Part 2

The element of control…why is it there?  Everyone likes to be in control.  Even when it seems that someone is out of control, the reasoning for their actions is for them to be in control.

Back to the chess game.  Stalemate.  Why? Because one has refused to move.  Reasoning?  The game or process is coming to a climax and the result will be evident:  Success …or failure.  Both of them are painful.  The latter means rejection.  The former means that the process will be encouraged again and the possibility of rejection will creep up again.

This stagnation is real with many.  It is a gap that is hard to fill.  The ability to risk rejection and succeed or fail is coveted but seemingly unreachable at times.

So what is the gap?  If someone were raised without a father or a child of divorce, the fear is sometimes too real to bear.  Taking the step into the unknown is stagnating… paralyzing…debilitating.  Whether acceptance or rejection, there will be rejection at some point if the process is allowed to continue.  So immobility is the choice.

It is the choice.  The act of not choosing is still a choice, and immobility is choosing to fail.

And waiting until there is not any other choice but action?  Is what?  Still failure or a forced effort?

Many entrepreneurs have talked about some of their best work coming at the time when that effort is forced.  Some of their greatest innovation coming to be when they had no other choice.  But should someone put themselves in a detrimental situation every time they desire great innovation?

There is a better way; in fact, many better ways but that “effort” can be engineered rather than forced.  Therein lies the immobility factor again, though.  Some people will plan themselves to the grave.

More to come…

Guarded

There is an amazing little story, probably a legend, that I read the other day about a guard post in England.  The guard post was set up next to the castle walls and had one guard posted there, kn shifts, 24 hours a day.  The post was not near a gate, door or any sort of entry, but just a guard along a stretch of sidewalk along the fence.  When a tourist asked the sentry what was being guarded, he answered, “I do not know. This post has been here for over 100 years and it is commanded that a sentry is placed here  at all times”.

Sentry

The tourist, amused, decided to find out what the reason for the sentry was.  After asking around for a few days, the answer was revealed.  Over 100 years ago, the Queen of England (at that time), planted roses at that very spot because she felt the walls were too uninviting. She hoped that the climbing roses would cover the walls and fill the air with its sweet scent.  It was commissioned that a sentry be posted there to guard the roses so that they could grow unhindered.  That Queen had since died and so did the roses, but the sentry post had been there ever since, guarding what looked now to be a regular grass-covered plot of ground.

There are things in your life that you hold on to.  Things that you have started and not finished.  Things that are gifts but not a way to make a living.   Things that are guarded but are no longer there.  These can be physical, mental…even spiritual.

They can be things that were started by someone 100 years ago or yesterday but all they do is take up space, time and money;  resources that you have longed to have more of.  It is necessary in life, just as when you re-evaluate a budget that you look at life’s budget and remove the items that are robbing you and your family.  Seek out the sentries that are being wasted and guide them to the places they are needed.

The Precedent

This is a bit longer post than usual but rants can be that way sometimes.  It is definitely out of my usual character…no pics, just punch.  I tell this kind of stuff to my kids but really, I am telling it to myself.   I wrote this about a year ago and just found it today to post.  Comment if you wish…”like” if you needed it.

 

Setting a higher standard for yourself does not mean that you think that you are better than others.  It DOES mean that you are striving to do better than others, though.  Understand that once you set a precedent, it will be expected of you.  That is a good thing.  It is why first impressions are so important and why you should put so much value in them.

 

If 50 people text you while you are in a 2 hour class or while you are at work (yes, there are some jobs that you cannot text while on duty), are you worried that they will get mad if you do not fire a response back immediately?  It is ok to NOT get right back to them.  If you are able to text or email someone back immediately every time they summon you, you may need to search out a better purpose for breathing.  I have said it before and I will say it again, “They will still answer when you are able to conveniently get back to them”…if not, then they need a better purpose in life as well.

 

Some people may consider this a rant.  Well, I guess that it is in a way but staying with your nose buried in Facebook waiting for an interesting status update to comment on, is probably worse.  You are responsible for setting the precedent and being an example for our kids as well as their friends.  Yes, I said their friends.  While it is not a totally accurate quote, I will modify it to fit our own lesson here. “Apathy will become the norm, if people choose not to act”.  If we choose to think that others should just know better and do not take initiative to lead, they will most likely NEVER LEARN.

 

Today, we have youth teaching youth all over the nation.  Parents are overwhelmed and tired and wonder why they cannot get anything done.  They would rather spend money on things that tear their family apart than do things that bring their family together.  I admit it too.  I am guilty.  It is easier to just feed them what they crave rather than give them what they need.  One of the problems that we have as a society is that sometimes we assume that others have learned something that we already know.  It is like we think that they should have absorbed it or something.

 

Recently I visited a well known fast-food restaurant to get a couple of items to stifle my hunger until dinner since I had not eaten lunch.  The restaurant was what I call a “hit-or-miss” joint…in other words, you never know what you would get when you opened your wrapper.  I pulled up to the drive-thru speaker and was greeted by an energetic friendly voice.  I thought, “Wow! That’s nice to hear for a change”.  I pulled up to the window and was met by a smile and courteous service.  Again, I thought, “This guy is new or something” but the genuine hospitality was rather eye-opening.  I pulled out and went to a parking space to commence with the “hit-or-miss” portion of the program.  What happened next can only be summarized as astounding.  Not only was the order right, it was neat, made right, a good portion and hot.  I was dumb-founded.  Everything about my visit was exactly correct.  The food was even wrapped correctly.  I almost took a picture of it rather than eating it!

 

I did eat my order and eat it all because every bite was right and perfect.  I bet you are thinking that I am about to say that then I woke up.  Well, maybe in a way, I did.  I then went into the restaurant with my receipt and asked for the manager.  He walked out timidly and happened to be the same person who served me at the window.  I exclaimed, “David, I have come here ever since this location opened.  I have never had the superior level of service from here as I did today.  I spent less than four dollars and I feel like I was treated like I spent a million.  I will not only be back but I will tell others in the area about my visit.”  I thought he was going to cry.  He thanked me and told me that they have been working hard on changing the way they did business since competition in the area had been getting fierce.

 

Did I feel good about what I did or silly for making such a big deal over a $3.27 order?  Yes, maybe, but what was actually accomplished?  I had a wake-up call to something very enlightening that was engrained in me and I had lost.  Lost because of all the cares of this world, nation, city, workplace, family and self.  I found my need to make a difference.

 

I’m not talking about making an indelible mark in the fabric of the history of the world.  I am talking about looking out for our posterity, one act at a time.  Not a random act of kindness, but an earned move of encouragement.  How many times has someone treated you really well and you just thought it was great but did not say a word about it to them?  Really, do you think that they just read your mind and know that you were pleased from their efforts?  Do not think that it does not matter.  Turn the tables and stand in their shoes.  How would you feel if you put your total efforts into your work and the recipients told you, “I am telling others about this so that they can experience it as well”?

 

It takes an effort of selflessness and some courage but once done, you wish that others would do the same as well.  I will state this again:

 

“Apathy will become the norm, if people choose not to act”.

 

Set a precedent first so that you first may follow it.

Passion

What are you passionate about?  Is it a person, place or idea?  Is it something that you have genuine interest in or were you drawn into it?  Has it grown, morphed or totally changed as you have explored it more?

 

Sometimes finding one’s passion ends up with just a raw idea or interest that they have always been drawn to.  It is a seed that when planted, needs more than just dirt to cover it up.  Because with just dirt, that is where it will stay:  just covered up.

 

The dirt can be the most fertile dirt around but without other elements, a seed will eventually wither and become a part of its surroundings:  just more dirt to cover another seed.

seedling

As adding water causes a seed to emerge from this dirt, feeding your passion causes it to be exposed to the elements.  These elements can be harsh but the water nourishes, just as learning more about your passion feeds your soul.  But with just water, the feeding just nourishes to a point and then the seed drowns in its own nourishment.

 

The sun causes exponential growth, making the seed spring from the earth with unbridled power.  It can cause an early look of maturity and excellence.  But by itself, will eventually cause the seedling to wither away and become…just more dirt to cover another seed.

 

Find that passion

Surround it with a fertile environment

Nourish it by feeding it with knowledge

Be bold and let the world know what is inside of you

 

You were entrusted with it

Passion

A Different Power

Have you ever been driving down the road, having an OK to great day, cruising at a safe speed, listening to the radio…and then, out of the corner of your eye, you get this:

Hey...Pay attention to the road!!!
Hey…Pay attention to the road!!!

What is the first thing out of your mouth? “What?!?” “Idiot!!!” “Where does he get the right to…!!” Maybe worse.
Well, congratulations! Your mind has just been controlled. You went from mellow to blood pressure issues in a few seconds and it was your choice. Yes, it was your choice to be controlled and you chose to allow your emotions to go in that direction.
Now, we can think about what you could have done. Something a little more “controlled”. Just like we talked about a couple of days ago, certain things make the “true you” come out.
Examine this power. Not the power that you gave to that guy who pulled up next to you and yelled, but the power in you. It is you who has the power here.
The power is forgiveness and the way you read about it here, may not be what you are expecting.
When exploring your own heart, digging around for nuggets, soul-searching…what are you finding? Are you finding things that make you sad, angry, beaten? Forgiveness is a power that you have…not only to forgive those who wronged you. You have the power to let go and forgive those who have inadvertently made your life take an unintended direction…and they actually did nothing against you. Maybe I need to rephrase that. You forgiving in this way is about straightening up your life, not theirs. It could have been anyone from your father to some guy on TV…It could even be God.
God needs no forgiveness from you for Himself…
but you may need to forgive Him…for you.

Back to that guy in the car (although we might need to meditate on some of the previous words for a while).
He does not need you to say “Oh, you poor soul. I forgive you”. Truth is, that guy could have been you and you probably would not be interested in forgiveness at that time. But you need the act of forgiveness coming out of you.
This is a gap that many fathers forget because they have not learned to deal with it themselves. This is a power that when wielded properly, can lay spiritual and physical enemies to waste quickly. One that empowers you.
A different power.

Discouragement

It is hard to face discouragement.  When faced with rejection, boredom or failure, your true nature actually shows itself.  Are you moving forward, seeking to move forward or discouraged because “things aren’t happening”?

Everyone loves success.  Things are riding high and emotions are up but what about when things are down.  How do you handle failure?  Do you get discouraged?

Think about this:  what would it take for you to switch your thinking around and respond with excitement every time you fail?

What happens when we fail?

Do we learn?

Think of Thomas Edison and the invention of the light bulb.  Thousands of failed experiments occurred until he hit it right.

 Why?  Because with every failure, he knew he was getting closer to the purpose he had set for himself to accomplish.  And yet sometimes, we have 1 or 2 failures and lose interest.

Why?  Re-examine your purpose and your commitment to it.  Either rededicate yourself to it with a renewed vengeance or redirect.

Your success depends on it.