As this year is wrapping up I am starting my annual process of reflecting on the year just completed and thinking of a few goals for the new year. I think that many of us go through this process…parties and celebrations happen and are followed up with some resolutions. (How much is that gym membership?)
I have one vague and weird goal: I want to fail more than I ever have before. Yep…fail. Crazy right?!
Let me unpack it a little bit and maybe you can take away a few nuggets to help you on your journey.
Failure is the pathway to being a Champion. The more you fail at things the more you will learn valuable lessons and information. Yes, this does sound simplistic but how many of us embrace the failure for all of the glory that it is? Not many-and if you said “I do MJ!” I would call your bluff and put all my chips in the center of the table.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
― Thomas A. Edison
In my life I have fought so hard to win and win over others. However, this attitude of winning, when unchecked, has wreaked havoc on my happiness. This habit of trying to hit the goal or please, results in a frantic attitude of trying not to lose. Trying not to lose is the perfect recipe to lose.
“I can’t give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time.”
― Herbert Bayard Swope
If you want to win or accomplish something, the proper mindset is to focus on the process…the moment. Anytime we focus on the end result our attention is misplaced. Remember: placing too much attention on future thoughts generates worry and anxiety…ain’t nobody got time for that! Stay in the moment and focus squarely on the process.
Now I aim to fail in a smart way (I am failing to achieve and learn…not because I am a masochist). So here are a my guidelines so that I can fail smartly:
- I am going to go hard at the goals that I set. This means that I am going to take incredible action in the direction of the goal without overthinking it. Any time that I find myself dwelling on the goal I am going to stop, figure out the next best action to take, and then take the action. 5…4…3…2…1…GO!
- I am going to study and take notes on every time a failure happens. Having the habit of check and adjust will allow you to eliminate the failure from happening again. Each failure has valuable information to be gleaned. Embrace it, study it, adjust, and then take more action!
- I am not going to take any of it personally! No one can choose their emotions but everyone can control how they act and respond to their emotions when they happen. Pause when failure happens. Feel the feelings associated with it and then get back to step number 1 and 2 above. Remember, emotions rise up on their own accord and have important information for us. Honor them and then move on. Or, as others have said “Fail fast”.
- I am not going to concern myself with what others think. That is their business and I am going to be too focused on the process at hand to carry their views with me (don’t accept criticism from someone you wouldn’t seek advice from).
- I am going to have fun while I fail. This little step is often overlooked in life because most of us carry around the attitude of no pain no gain. Guess what? Let’s have fun while we go through the struggle and pain. Like I say at work: “I have no problem working hard but I am going to have fun doing it”. Maintaining a playful attitude will really help keep your emotions in check and help you stay healthy in your pursuits.
I am really excited for this year coming up. I am moving in directions that I have never gone before. I have big ideas for this site that I am going to have to learn the ropes on. We have a video series in the works. We have inspirational videos on the way. We have interviews that will take place. So, I am going to go hard and I expect there to be lots of failures along the way…but no worries as failure is the pathway to success.
Yep-I am going to fail my way to victory. It’s going to be fun and I hope you join in 2020!