I have only really failed a few times in my life (not including a plethora Geometry tests back in high school) and those few I can count on one hand. I live life hard and I work hard to succeed at what I put my mind to.
Success has been a part of my life since an early age. My folks taught me, you want something, you work hard for it. And that goes for any avenue in your life. I carry that message with me every single day. It is instilled in my soul.
I may not have been the best at everything but being in a top percentage was good enough for me. I was about being my best me, not focusing on others or my placement or comparison to them. I knew when I was working hard and when I was benefiting from such. Some times things came easy, some times things were hard as hell.
Whether sports, my racing career, the start of my professional career or financial planning, I have done well. I set sight on a goal and stay focused. In life, I have always had something to focus on. And with focus and goals, it is known failure is an option.
I remember the first time I really failed….again not counting my dreaded math tests… but something bigger when I was twenty five years old. It rocked my world because I had never failed to that caliber.
I had failed a test, lost a game, lost a race but kept going back for more. I would try harder. I would try my hardest. This time, the failure was a pure complete wipeout. It took me to my knees and unfortunately because of my mindset and negative self-talk (which I did not know at the time), it took me many, many months to recover; to stand up.
But that horrific pain taught me that sometimes in life we fail. I hated that message then, but it was a valuable lesson and that message is not so bad today.
Now being much older, failure is accepted. Failure may come in small or big things but we can define a lot in life as failure. Usually on a smaller scale, but still failure. If we let these things take us to our knees like I did, we would never get back up.
If we believe failure can lead us to success and to become even better, we will always get back up.
Understanding this, failure has become a positive thing in my life. It has caused me to learn, gain resilience, even find personal growth. Failure is a friend not a foe; it is a learning experience.
No matter the amount of pain associated with a failure, we can always choose to see the positive. There is always a positive. There is always a life lesson we can take away.
We know we are learning about life as we go along our journey. Maybe the hardest part of failure may be as we get older, we feel we should know better. We think this means we should always make the smartest of decisions. We think this means we should not make mistakes.
Well, life happens. And mistakes happen. And it’s all in how we view the mistakes.
Is failure a learning experience?
I saw this week how emotionally resilient I have become. It’s a powerful topic to study and I love the empowerment it has brought to my life. When I am in sync with the lessons I have learned, I feel taller, I feel more in control, I feel stronger.
Last week and today I learned I made a couple financial investments that are deemed a mistake. When I made the decision involving these, I researched and felt I was making the right decisions. They were not rash decisions. They were slow, calculated thought out processes.
I have learned, unfortunately, they were not good ones. I hate to use the word regret… I do regret one; the other I do not. With the one I regret, I flat out failed.
Instead of dwelling on the heavy hit in my life, I have decided to take it as no matter how painful the fail was, I choose to feel good. While I wish I had learned of the mistake sooner, I have to be at peace regardless. At least I now know. I can move forward, fail forward.
I have learned from it. I have hit reset. I am about to restart. And that is what matters. I will recover. It may take time but I will recover. This is what life is. Moving forward despite failure.
Back during the US Civil War, Army General William T. Sherman determined upon his hard charge strategy after observing losing battles up until that point. Our soldiers were retreating after losing battles. General Sherman determined despite the reality of possibly losing more soldiers, they would still be better off advancing harder regardless of previous defeat.
Despite failing to meet our original goals, we realize we have made some progress. Rather than giving up, we take that progress and keep moving ahead. And in the end, we find we will always advance way further if we do not retreat.
Failing over and over it what will bring success.
And if I face any other failure this week, I already have promised myself I will fail it forward.