The gleaming mountain of success is actually a pile of trash – a pile of mistakes we have made. The difference between the successful and the troubled is not error-free living; it is that by discovering and implementing a life calling the successful stand on their pile of trash while the troubled sit under theirs. – Dave Ramsey; forward to Dan Miller’s 48 Days To The Work You Love
Let’s cut to the chase shall we?
It’s the end of another year and everyone is busy planning what they will and won’t do in the coming year. Statistically we know that most so called “New Year’s Resolutions” will be broken within the first week, a few will make it through the first month or so and even fewer will make it about halfway through the year. The actual number of New Year’s Resolutions that survive an entire year however is infinitesimally small. So let’s fast forward to the last quarter of 2015 and pretend we made it.
I want you for a minute to forget about what the actual resolutions or goals are. That’s not the point here. I’m sure you don’t need my help to dream about what you want for the coming year. I want you instead to think about what your plan is to get there. Stephen Covey said in his famous “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” to begin with the end in mind so that’s what we’re going to do.
It’s now December of 2015 and you are one of the few people who actually kept your New Year’s Resolution. How did you do it? What was your first step? Then what? And most importantly what did you do when you failed?
Mark my words; you will fail at some point. If your resolution is to run a 5k every day and on day three you get up to a foot of snow and you think, “what’s one day?” you will have failed. The question isn’t if you will fail or even when you will fail but what you will do with that failure.
If your definition of success is 100% perfection you will fail. If your definition of success is continual growth and development then you should welcome failure, it’s the only way you will learn what doesn’t work.
I actually love it when I fail at something. (Okay that’s a lie, nobody likes to fail, it hurts too much but,) Failure is the only way I can learn what doesn’t work. The key is to fail early enough in the process that you can learn from it, adjust course and still achieve the results you were after in the first place.
If you view failure as a learning opportunity and a stepping stone to success did you really fail at all? I don’t think so, you just eliminated one pathway to success.
So get out there and fail. Just don’t make the same mistake twice. That’s how you become a success and, as Dave Ramsey so aptly put it “stand on your pile of trash” in victory.