“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.”
—Truman Capote, 20th Century American novelist, playwright and actor
Image from Unsplash by the blowup
Wendy and I recently spent a week in Florida to help celebrate one of our dear friend’s 90th birthday. This special lady is only four feet eight inches tall and probably weighs only a bit more than my five-year-old grandson.
During our time together, I had numerous chances to discuss some of her challenging life events and pivotal moments that helped shape who she is.
It is often said that good things come in small packages—in her case, I’m sure that her keen wit, energy and enthusiastic love of life had folks come from near and far to celebrate her flavorful life!
How would a shift from seeing failure as a bitter pill to a tasty condiment give your life more flavor to savor in the years ahead?
“Never let success get to your head. Never let failure get to your heart.”
—Ziad K. Abdelnour, Lebanese-American Activist
Image from Unsplash by Langa Hlatshwayo
Using our head and our heart to make wise decisions and navigate life is good counsel. How often do you use this dynamic duo to evaluate the options and opportunities that present themselves at home and at work?
If you are fortunate to have achieved significant levels of personal and professional success, where may you have experienced a heightened sense of importance and a bit of a swelled head?
Alternatively, where have you experienced setbacks, stumbles, or thwarted intentions? Where have these difficulties penetrated to your heart, leaving you with doubts and disappointments?
How far have you traveled in the past seven months? How many failures and setbacks have you experienced during the same period? How hopeful are you about the future?
What information and clues did you use as you examined these questions?
We have all heard the idea that Hope in itself is not a strategy. For many—including me—it sure does inspire and mobilize us to take bolder, more committed action toward a better future for ourselves and those in our communities.
Where and in what ways can you meet, greet, and embrace Hope wherever you are, regardless of the distance traveled or the failures gathered? What steps can and will you take today, tomorrow, and down the road to realize the hopeful future you desire?
“If you call failures experiments, you can put them on your resume and claim them as achievements.”
—Mason Cooley, 20th Century American Aphorist
Image from Unsplash by Christian Fregnan
Are you failing enough?
On a daily or weekly basis, how likely are you to try something new, take a risk, or experiment with something that may work just fine?
Being wrong, looking bad, and of course, losing, is to be avoided at all cost. Due to the potential for striking out, many of us never suit up and step on the playing fields of life, never swing away at our goals.
Today’s quote flips this idea on its head, to empower us to wear our setbacks and failures as badges of courage and honor.
How can and will you build an even more impressive resume given this expanded perspective?
“Optimism is a kind of heart stimulus. The Digitalis of Failure.”
—Elbert Hubbard, 18th Century American Writer
Image form Pinterest
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?
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?
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.
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 than to succeed in imitation.”
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.
How can you pursue and persist through the potential daily failures and obstacles life presents, to be the one and only, fully expressed YOU?
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.
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?