I did it again. I failed – hard.
I abandoned my blog before even really starting.
In the meantime, my wife and I have filed for divorce — which will be official 18 days from now, after only 2+ years of marriage.
The company my [soon-to-be-ex] wife and I started together over a year ago grew incredibly fast out of the gates, but is now quickly going down in flames and needs some serious attention.
These are all failures — and anyone would agree.
I set out to do things — to write, to create a lasting and fulfilling union, and to spread a much needed service throughout the land — but completely missed the mark on all accounts.
I failed at those things.
This is all current news too… things I’m experiencing here and now, as I write these words. With this being the case, you’d think I would be down, negative, perhaps even depressed.
So why then am I not? Why do I feel like I’m on top of the world? How did I parlay these monumental upsets into one of the greatest and most optimistic times in my life?
I did it on purpose. I consciously changed the internal lense that I was viewing my life through.
I stopped looking at my failures as failures — it is just a word in the dictionary after all. When it comes to your personal life, YOU get to decide when and how to label things.
To most everyone else, your failures and successes will remain just that — failures and successes. But to YOU they can be experiences, lessons learned and wrapped up neatly in a box for you to open with delight, and reference when needed. Portals into another dimension – the past.
There are amputees, burn victims, bankrupt entrepreneurs, divorcees, and wounded soldiers in this world who go on to commit suicide from the depression caused by their failures. Then there are a whole group with nearly identical circumstances that go on to live the happiest lives they could have ever imagined. Here’s one. And here are 30 more.
If It’s Not Failure, What Is It?
My divorce isn’t a failure. It’s a rare piece of the roadmap I’m using to one day find the love of my life. It’s a reset button, allowing me to remold and re-chisel myself so I’m 100% ready when we find each other.
My lack of writing isn’t a failure. It was a break to gain some perspective. Time that I used to soak up writings from other bloggers I respect. A necessary period of lessons and experiences that will shape what I write about into the future with a renewed drive.
If our company goes down in flames, it’s not a failure. It was the greatest year of networking I’ve ever experienced. A wonderful item for my portfolio and résumé. A testament to my ability to create something from nothing, sell it to companies who need it, and deliver tremendous value. Extreme real-world training for the next company I start or become a part of.
Failure As Opportunity
In every case, I decided to dive deep into the causes and events of these not-fails and figure out ways to extract maximum value from them.
I looked at my failed marriage, my company, and my daily habits and asked the hard questions…
What have I given up, consciously or not, that made me happier and more well rounded?
What bad habits had I formed? And what good ones had I abandoned?
It’s amazing what you’ll see if you peer into your own soul, and look for the holes you’ve created that led to some of your failures.
So I began the transformation, one big step at a time, to fill these soul-holes.
I wasn’t meeting enough people to surround myself with friends that inspire me. So I started going out to events where those people would likely be.
I have always been missing good female influences in my life. So I started dating, online and off — with the sole intention of meeting for friendship and going from there.
I was overweight by about 20lbs and a shadow of my former athletic self . So I joined a great fitness bootcamp, began training for a 10k, and joined some awesome sports clubs in my area. I’m now down 18lbs, running 10k quickly and easily, and hungry for more for the first time since I quit semi-pro baseball.
My work had become uninspiring (and unpaid!), especially when looking into the future of having to work alongside my ex. So I started interviewing with great companies, taking those interesting side gigs my friends kept offering me, and began thinking outside the box again financially.
I’m still a work in progress. We all are, all the time — until the day we cease to exist.
But that’s the key -> PROGRESS.
So take your failures and change the lense you’re viewing them through by seeing them as experiences and lessons on the pathway to the things you want out of life. Accept the things currently and in the past that you cannot change, and start to become a rockstar in your own skin. Use failure as an opportunity and a guiding light to self-improvement.
I’m happy because I’m making tremendous progress in my own life once again, and my failures have stopped bothering me – I look forward to them!
Here’s to failing hard!