Today I failed. Actually I failed before today too, but today I failed and today I am going to tell you the most sure-fire way how to avoid failure in 5 steps:
2) Never give up!
3) Lifelong learning!
5) See step 1!
Spoiler alert! We are going to avoid failure because we are going to try to change our perception of failure and re-define failure in terms of our goals. REDEFINE: “failure” is not a “stop sign” or “the end of the road”, it is only a “speed bump in the road”.
The first of 5 steps: Dream. This step is about that idea you are really crazy about, but it is also about why you are so crazy about it.
To start I have to tell you the story of my failure and it goes something like this:
Excerpt from my personal “100 words” blogZ:
Day # Something way past the day I thought it was
This is going to be long so get comfortable, dear reader.
VoiceBitz, or in other words, me, myself and I! I missed the application deadline for semi-finalists for the OEC today! Actually yesterday, and although, yesterday I was feeling positive about getting done in time, it is today that I realized that it was a BIG, FAT FAIL!!! How could I have done this? Well, actually, I know exactly how I could have done this and I am so upset with myself. Ah, but the ultimate optimist reminds us to look forward and do something about something that still can be done.
So as you see my failure has caused an unavoidable situation which causes me personal, well let’s call it, “disappointment”. The “disappointment” is something that can be rooted to a failure that is defined by a metric or something measurable. Sometimes it is measured in emotional impact such as “heartbreak” and today I am heartbroken.
In my journal, however, is one important key and that is the last line. And that line reminds me to not look at my “disappointment” as a negative. Even though it really is something that affects me negatively, I must look at why it is this way and try to learn from that to figure out how to avoid this “disappointment” again in the future. I am sure this is not the last time that I miss a deadline, but I have to look at why I missed the deadline and learn from my mistakes. Now I have jumped to step 3, but don’t worry, I will cover all steps in due time.
You see, I know what happened. I overbooked events and commitments during the last 2 months. And they have been chaotic and busy with high points and low points too. Basically it was a series of happenings leading up to this moment which failed. Happenings either by cause of nature or by my own personal actions, which I was not able to identify and do something about in time to make me not miss the deadline! By definition a failure. Again, this is really disappointing for me, but I can’t do anything about that now, so what can I do? Well, the optimist challenges himself to keep going even though he is truly down and says Dream! So I went back to why I just put myself through many late nights of coding and countless meetups and conferences meeting and talking with the people about empowering children with an online voice and how I am going to make an impact on children’s language development by creating this software platform that will help us to identify language development patterns and help every child improve their language development, and make happier, healthier kids!
Yes! I went back and reminded myself why. When I did this I understood that today was not a failure. I understood and realized that actually what happened was that I prioritized other meetings and activities over this activity and that made it impossible to make this deadline. I understood that I prioritized the other activities because these were important for…wait for it…yes, you guessed, these were important for my why: “Make happier, healthier kids!” No matter what I do, succeed or fail, if I am doing it for this why then I can never fail because of step number 2: “Never give up”.
I can never fail because I am not finished trying. In other words, “speed bump” not “stop sign”.
So the first step to avoid failure is to dream. Dream is two parts.
1) When you dream you come up with ideas of the future. Ideas of how to make a brighter future. You get and will get many ideas of this brighter future and you will have many more dreams of this brighter future and
2) the most difficult part of this step is to figure out what dreams to chase after. Because once you start then step 2, “Never give up”, is a long time so you have to make sure you really know why you want to chase this dream.
This first step is so important to avoid failure in the future because if you do this well then you will always be able to answer the question of why you put yourself through the good and bad, the ups and downs, the “successes and failures”, the joys and disappointments that are waiting ahead. Let’s face it, life is full of both and you will need to know Why you are doing What you are doing so you can Do something about it. It will help you to continue to step 2 every time!
Step 1 Summary: Dream. Dare to dream and chase your dream. Answer the question of which dream and why. Be honest. Why do you want to chase this dream? Why did the duck cross the street? Find your why? Go to Step 2.
Step 2: Never give up. This step is about having perseverance in pursuit of your dream.
Find Step 2 in my next blog post in this series. And as always…
I hope you can learn from what I have written and can avoid failure in your future!