April 19, 2011 8:01 am EDT
Failure is inevitable, but fleeting
“When life knocks you down you have two choices – stay down or get up.” – Tom Krause
"Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other" – Walter Elliot
Failure, lately for me, has become my constant companion. Maybe it's destiny, that I continually learn the lesson I'm writing about. Yesterday, a romantic relationship ended for me. I've got financial problems. I line up work and it evaporates. I do work and payment is slow. Lots of problems. Lots of little failures. And some not-so-small failures. But here I am again, pursuing my dream, walking in my highest passion.
I'm a writer. So I must write. On good days and bad days, after success and failure, regardless of what's happening or not happening in my little corner of the world, I must write.
Twitter has become lately a great means of communicating with many in short, but sometimes meaningful messages. It's cool the way Twitter can sometimes allow us to connect with amazing and successful people. One of the people I'm connected to is Jack Canfield, co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series of books along with many other pursuits.
I asked him one time, in a direct message on Twitter what I needed to do to manifest my dream of being a published writer. His response to me still echoes in its cutting simplicity.
“Remember, part of living your intent is DISCIPLINE. The book won't write itself. You must put pen to page every day.”
I'm learning that a large part of that discipline comes from a constant and daily willingness to get back up and do the next thing, regardless of yesterday's failures, regardless of today's failures as well. The sooner I can get back up, brush myself off, and take some more action, the sooner my actions will create (or co-create) the dreams I intend.
So a key to successfully accomplishing a goal, and more than that, in living a successful life, is a willingness and ability to recover quickly from the failures and disappointments and missteps and to walk on. Life is in the walk. The walk is life. And each step, whether seen individually as successful or not, is a step toward the destiny we intend.
Much of the ability to recover quickly comes from an attitude of gratitude and joy. The more we are willing to see each failure as a step toward and in success, the more we can be happy, even in the midst of those apparent failures. Successful people don't spend much time in despair or regret. They get up and walk on. No matter what.
I'm not suggesting we should deny the failures, nor am I suggesting denying the accompanying feelings. We surely need to accept and embrace the feelings just as we accept and embrace each failure. If we don't accept our feelings, they'll nearly always build up and eventually manifest in unexpected and undesirable ways. Whether internally, as stress, or externally, when we transfer feelings from one who's harmed us to another, eventually, more often than not, suppressed feelings yield undesirable consequences.
Feel the feelings, accept them, embrace them, forgive yourself and others, and get back to the business of living as soon as possible.
- Is unforgiveness affecting your ability to take the next action?
- How quickly do you recover from failures?
- Do you see how unforgiveness is unloving both to yourself and the unforgiven?
- Are you ready to get back up and take the next action?