Optimism is a kind of heart stimulus

“Optimism is a kind of heart stimulus. The Digitalis of Failure.”

—Elbert Hubbard, 18th Century American Writer

Image of a gallon jug of Optimism

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Digoxin is a drug extracted from Digitalis Lanata, a plant found primarily in Eastern Europe. It is used to treat heart conditions.

Consider how you or those around you define Failure. What if it were akin to a heart condition that could be treated effectively with a drug called Optimism? You’d probably keep a ready supply by your bedside, in your pocket or purse.

How would sprinkling it over yourself or those around you be just the cure to relieve the potential failures of life?

EXERCISE:

How can you more fully and generously share your most hopeful and optimistic qualities and characteristics?

Where can you use it to heal and strengthen your own heart, and the hearts of others? How can you use it to help yourself and others bounce back from the setback and failures that come along?

Friday Review: Failure

FRIDAY REVIEW: FAILURE

How do you define failure? Here are a few failure-related posts you may have missed. Click the links to read the full message.

 

“One of the hardest decisions you’ll ever face in life is choosing whether to walk away or try harder.”

 

 

 

 

“Don’t think of it as failure. Think of it as time-released success.”

 

 

 

“Failure is a bruise, not a tattoo.”

 

 

 

 

“One of the hardest decisions you’ll ever face…”

“One of the hardest decisions you’ll ever face in life is choosing whether to walk away or try harder.”

—Author Unknown

QC #742

Today’s quote reminds me of an excellent little book by Seth Godin titled “The Dip.” The subtitle is: “A little book that teaches you when to quit and when to stick.”

Godin believes that winners quit quickly, often, and without guilt, until they discover the right DIP, worth beating for the right reasons. They realize that the bigger the barrier, the bigger the reward for sticking and getting beyond it.

He further demonstrates that people who lose fail to stick out their DIPS when they quit at the moment of truth—or they simply never discover the right DIP to conquer.

EXERCISE:

Consider picking up a copy of “The DIP” to discover for yourself whether you should stay the course or summon the courage to quite sooner or more often.

“It is better to fail in originality…”

“It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.”

—Herman Melville

Photo from netshark.com

Photo from netshark.com

Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, however in today’s world, an alternative phrase may be more prominent and perhaps more important:

“Be Distinct or Be Extinct.”

My coaching experience points to this: those who enjoy the greatest successes and satisfaction in life discover early that being their authentic self – living true to their visions and values – is key to a life of passion and purpose.

EXERCISE:

How can you pursue and persist through the potential daily failures and obstacles life presents, to be the one and only, fully expressed YOU?

“Don’t think of it as failure. Think of it…”

“Don’t think of it as failure. Think of it as time-released success.”

-Robert Orben, speechwriter for President Gerald R. Ford

Photo from Flickr by lu-lu

Photo from Flickr by lu-lu

Before I became a coach 22 years ago, I worked in the pharmaceutical industry, where I had the good fortune to learn a great deal about business through jobs in sales, marketing, and advertising.

One of the industry developments during the 80s and 90s was that of time-released formulations that allowed patients to go longer periods between doses. This improved compliance and, presumably, clinical outcomes.

We have all heard the phrase “take your medicine,” which often means acknowledge, accept, and learn from our experiences—particularly mistakes and failures. Perhaps in this way failures and the lessons they provide are actually time-released sources of success.

EXERCISE:

How have your professional or personal setbacks or failures contributed to your developmental journey and the level of success you currently experience? Where are some of the challenges and obstacles facing you today releasing the knowledge and capacities of your future successes?

Failure is not Permanent

“Failure is a bruise, not a tattoo.”

—John Sinclair, American poet, writer, and political activist

Photo from Flickr by Tanisha Pina

Photo from Flickr by Tanisha Pina

When was the last time you skinned your knee, or cut yourself prepping a meal?

What was your immediate reaction (after the expletives)?

My guess is that you cleaned the wound, then allowed the healing process to begin. Do you recall how long it took to heal completely?

Unfortunately, many people experience failure as a wound that never heals, a wound that has the permanence of a tattoo, remaining for a lifetime.

EXERCISE:

How many failures do you wear, personally or professionally, as unwanted tattoos?

What change of perspective or other work is required for you to heal what you’ve believed was permanent?

#108: “Mishaps are like knives, that either serve us or cut us, as we grasp them by the blade or the handle.”

– Herman Melville, author

The word “mishap” seems a bit more open to interpretation than other words such as mistakes, errors, and failure. Whichever word you currently use to identify life’s bumps in the road, it is our human ability to interpret these events that makes all the difference.

When we grab the blade of these events, we are stopped, defeated, or overcome. We tend to stay down and never do or try that again.

When we grab the handle, though, we see these events as opportunities to learn from, and improve our life and the world.

Exercise:

What mishaps have occurred recently in your life?

How can you grab the handle, so the lessons you’ve learned will serve you in the future?

Quotes are posted on The Quotable Coach a week after being sent out by email. To get the latest quotes straight to your inbox, pop your details in the sidebar to the right.

#82: “It is inevitable that some defeat will enter even the most victorious life.”

“…The human spirit is never finished when it is defeated… it is finished when it surrenders.”

– Ben Stein, American writer, actor, economist and lawyer

With the 2012 Olympic Games now complete, we can all be inspired by many highlights. Among them are numerous examples of individuals who came up short in previous games, and returned after 4 – 8 years of work to achieve their goal.

Some examples include:

  • Brittney Reese, who won gold in the women’s long jump, after coming fifth in 2008
  • Sanya Richards-Ross, who won gold in the 400 meters, after winning bronze in 2008
  • Allyson Felix, who won gold in the 200 meters, after winning silver in 2004 and 2008

Someone once shared with me the phrase, “What stops people is that they stop.” In virtually all areas of life, we experience various degrees of defeat. When we surrender or stop in our efforts, our failures are final.

Exercise:

Where in your professional and personal life can you keep going and persist in your efforts, to achieve an even more victorious life?

Quotes are posted on The Quotable Coach a week after being sent out by email. To get the latest quotes straight to your inbox, pop your details in the sidebar to the right.

#81: “A man’s life is interesting primarily when he has failed…”

“… I well know. For it’s a sign that he tried to surpass himself.”

– Georges Clemenceau, French journalist, physician and statesman

The 2012 Olympic Games recently ended. Each country, team and individual was highly focused on winning gold. What did it mean to the individuals who did not make it to the Olympics, or who did not make it through the preliminaries, the semi-finals, or stand on the podium with a medal?

This year’s Olympics had about 16,000 athletes for a world that contains over 7 billion people. How many medals were actually won and how many athletes, by the lack of a medal, “failed”?

Consider how many other athletes experience the great, often quiet, victories of achievement – of achieving their personal best.

Exercise:

What would be necessary for you to continually strive to surpass yourself?

What would be involved in achieving a “ten” in living? Or, to put it another way, what would you need to do to achieve a gold medal life?

Quotes are posted on The Quotable Coach a week after being sent out by email. To get the latest quotes straight to your inbox, pop your details in the sidebar to the right.