You need to know this about failure to succeed

img_4447Failing isn’t just failure. It’s a sign that you are trying, attempting—alive.

When you fail, it doesn’t mean you’re silly or a loser or even a failure. No. It says you tried doing something outside of your comfort zone. It means you’re an explorer, adventurer, believer. You’re courageous.

You know that life isn’t just about living or staying alive. It’s about feeling alive, pushing yourself beyond your limits, growing.

Failure is just a part of the growth process. So don’t quit because you made a mistake, faltered, or failed miserably.

Get back up and see that this is the path you trod to gain great things, a greater you.

Doing that, you can’t help but succeed.

To succeed you need to know this

Failure is a part of the process of succeeding. You can’t have one without the other.

So don’t despair when you don’t see the results you want, make a mistake on that project, or fail to find the right answer.

Learn from it. Grow from it.

Walk away stronger, smarter, better, and persist in pushing forward. Whether you go in the same direction or not, persevere.

For, success is less about succeeding and more about learning how to fail.

If you do that, you can’t help but succeed.

This is one of the smartest things you can do

It’s easy to feel stupid when you’re trying something new. But you’re not.

I’ve been there. I felt that when I started this blog, my businesses, and pretty much every other venture I’ve tried.

But you are not stupid for trying. It would be stupid not to.

There are too many people who’ve lived halfhearted lives and die with wholehearted regrets.

That needn’t be you. I hope it isn’t.

It’s avoided by refusing to listen to that voice calling you dumb. Then you step off the well-worn paths of life and walk your way.

It’s often the smartest thing you can do.

One of the best doubts you can have

Not all doubts are bad. Some point you in the right direction.

After you commit to running your first marathon or that ambitious project at work or some big goal you’ve always dreamed of accomplishing, that’s when you can hear a voice inside of your head saying, “No way; I can’t do that.”

It happens when you’re walking on a path that is scary, beyond you, unfamiliar, and you can start wondering if you‘re doing the right thing.

That’s when you need to remember why you’re doing what you’re doing. You wanted to stretch yourself and see if you could go further. The status quo was killing you and you decided to break free. You have to grow, rise, fly, or at least try.

You see, growth and doubt walk hand in hand.

So when you’re venturing into territories you’ve never explored, don’t be surprised when you second-guess yourself. Instead, wave them off because you know that stepping into the unknown is where you make discoveries you’ve never made, behold vistas you’ve never seen, and experience moments that were only whisperings of a dream.

And the only way to get there is to face your fears, risk failure, and pierce your doubts.

This is the way you’ve chosen. It’s bigger than you.

You’re not just living. You’re alive.

Believe.

This is one of the best ways to reach your goals

The key to accomplishing big goals is making tiny ones.

Big goals are overwhelming, distant, intimidating, scary. They freeze us in panic. Like deer caught on the road by headlights, we get paralyzed. But it doesn’t need to be that way.

You may want to lose fifty pounds, run a marathon, pivot your career, start a business, become a blogger, become a better person. Those are all great aims. But they are also big.

So start with incredibly small goals. Ones that barely even feel like a goal. Seriously.

You want to get fit, great. Start with doing one push up and one crunch per day. That’s it. But do that every day.

Want to run a marathon? Fantastic. But you’ve never really run before, not to worry. Start by running for one minute. And do that regularly, like three times a week.

Changing your career isn’t impossible. Dabble, try new things, read books about what interests you. Talk to friends in various fields. Don’t leap; don’t even take a step. Do that for three months while you work at your current job, and then you can determine what’s next.

Starting a business can look very similar to making a career shift. Explore various ideas without taking a large amount of risk. In fact, you can begin by risking very little, virtually nothing. Start by learning, reading, asking questions.

Interested in blogging? Great. Start by writing ten to twenty words per day. That’s it. But do it.

You get the picture. And after a while, your first tiny goal will seem too easy, so you will naturally take on the next slightly less tiny goal. A crunch and pushup will grow to become two or four or ten. One minute of running will increase similarly. Your career exploration or start-up quest will solidify into an idea, maybe even a decision. Writing twenty words will turn into fifty or hundred.

Tiny goals seem insignificant, but they’re not. They are powerful. They let you start without feeling like starting. You will barely feel anything happening, but something is, something magical.

You are changing. New habits are forming. Your mindset is improving. You’ve overcome one of the most significant obstacles of reaching a big goal–starting.

So don’t let the huge goals scare you away from following your dreams. You can accomplish them one tiny goal at a time.

And over time, you will see your body transform, your work improve, your dreams materialize.

You will be better.

Sometimes surviving is the best you should do

Some days just suck and feel like hell. That’s when the best thing you can do is survive. 

It’s when you want to throw up your hands and just give in and quit that you need to know this. 

Sometimes surviving is good enough. 

When everything seems to go wrong, and you feel like a failure and can’t do anything right: You drop your lunch on the ground, barely eaten, you drop your groceries going home, you drop your phone, and it shatters, you drop the ball at work. Yeah, don’t fight it. Just survive. It’s good enough. 

It is. Don’t try to thrive in that. Don’t even think about it. That will only make things worse. Just try to live through the day, season, time. Make it out. Hang in there. Keep hanging on by your fingertips; keep your nose above the waterline. That’s it. Live to fight another day. 

Don’t hate yourself when you go through that; don’t blame yourself. Don’t yell at yourself. No! It’s just one of those times. They happen every so often, like a solar eclipse. And just like an eclipse, it feels like it makes the world go dark. Don’t worry; it will pass. The sun will return. It always does. 

Be kind to yourself. Love yourself. Know that God loves you. Pray. Remember that this will pass; you can buy another lunch, your produce is probably still ok, a phone can be fixed, everyone makes mistakes at work. Remember, tomorrow is another day. Breath. Survive. 

Sometimes you need to go through hell to reach heaven. 

And eventually, you can thrive. 

One of the best words to use when you feel bad

“Again” is a common word, but for those who’ve failed, been rejected, feel ashamed, it’s incredibly powerful.

It means you get to start afresh; you get to find new love or rekindle an old one after feeling unlovable; you get to do that thing you never thought you would be able to do after failing so many times; you get to find a new career after getting laid off. “Again” is a whisper of possibility, a hint of opportunity, when you think there’s no point, no future, no more. It’s a resurrection, redemption, death to life, hell to heaven.

Life isn’t over when you fail, get rejected, fall in shame.

Try again. Get up again.

Go again. Fly again.

Live again.

Hope again.

This is what you need to create

Uninterrupted time is the fodder for creativity. As yeast is to bread, solitude is to the creative process—essential.

Without the quiet moments and lingering stillness, words that move us wouldn’t be as moving, paintings that stir us wouldn’t be as stirring, inventions that help us wouldn’t be as helpful.

Creation best happens in the quiet while you are lost in your thoughts, connecting disparate ideas, forming new ones. That occurs when no one else is stirring, during the twilight mornings before the dawn breaks or long after others are fast asleep. When they rest, you work.

You seek silence because you know that’s when inspiration roars.

It’s in those moments, you get lost in the matter at hand, discovering a deep satisfaction, mesmerized by the task, as you enter a state of flow; and it’s just you and the work, dancing freely.

Being alone can be more than just productive; it has been known to produce tears, weeping even. We can’t be isolated for too long. We are meant to be with others, connected.

Yet, solitude helps us connect with humanity differently. It may not be like grabbing coffee with a friend, looking into their eyes as they speak, hugging them as they go; it’s a different kind of connection. What we create enters into the meta-conversation. It’s making a statement to the world. It’s the act of handing others something useful, compelling, beautiful.

When we create, we give the world ourselves.

In solitude, we love.