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2 Reasons Why It’s Okay To Be A Failure.

2 Reasons Why It’s Okay To Be A Failure.
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Growing up, I’ve always had a little slogan Born and raised to fail. Crazy right? People would often respond with, “Why so negative?” The truth is, failure isn’t a negative and in what world do we live where challenging yourself is considered a negative? You have been given roughly eighty years worth of time on this planet and when it’s up, it’s game over. It’s time to stop fearing failure and accept it for what it is : A way to grow.

1. We Are All Afraid To Fail.

We as people since the time we are born and till the day we die are always told to try and be successful. Your parents, teachers, mentors, will have shunned the word failure from your vocabulary, and if you are a normal kid, then you have yet to experience proper failure through participation ribbons, equality in the classroom, and “Everyone wins” style of games.

You learn to fear failure. People have accepted that failure in itself is the most embarrassing or degrading thing possible. We have associated failure to being unsuccessful and it’s kind of funny because most people see successful, as having success. They don’t see that failure is pushing beyond your success to be successful. There is a reason all time greats in sports come from failure. Because failure, unlike success, is something that you can drive on. How many famous celebrities do you know say “Well, they told me I wasn’t good at it.” The truth was, they weren’t. We all know they didn’t go to bed and wake up as the greatest thing on TV. The truth was they were at home or in the gym, failing by themselves thousands of times over. But we pretend that those events never occurred. We act like those who are successful just are. Failure is just a little undertone every successful person holds on to.

Successful people can’t count the number of times they’ve failed and they won’t mention failure because in our society if you fail a thousand times you’re not a dreamer or a challenger. You’re a hopeless failure, who should just stay working nine to five and if you manage to succeed a thousand times the moment you fail it’s game over.

I idolize people that have reached success, and you do too. Yet, sometimes we as people forget to realize that the people before them who failed and quit, are the people that built them the podium they stand on. We will always forget the johns that could have been, by only remembering the have been.

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But how many kids grew up aspiring to be successful, only to ignore that guitar in the corner for the fear of being laughed at because they started guitar lessons? Or maybe a little kid started writing to themselves wishing to be an author, only to hear in the back of their head or from their classmates “you will never be an author!” followed by ignorant laughs?. Or that kid on the basketball team who wants to be the best basketball player in the world. Yet due to failure, he doesn’t spend the extra time in. You see, we always flaunt the greatest yet refuse to acknowledge the sacrifice to get there.

I’ll have you know I was told once that I spent so much energy becoming good at everything, that I never became great at anything. I told them it was true, as to much as I love failure, I’m afraid of failure. I’m not perfect, I have written hundreds and hundreds of pages, and attempted to be published numerous times that all have led to: failure. But every time I fail, I pick up past written books, chapters, and I don’t see unsuccessful I see successful. Why? Because although I may never be perfect, I can tell you one thing: I see growth.

From my first chapter ever written to my last I know I’m getting better. I’m growing from my failure.

So please, go pick up that guitar, go experiment with paint. Do what makes you happy.

2. Growing is Learning to Understand That Failure is a Natural Part of Living.

I read an article once that involved a nurse in a hospice who asked every patient that she ever had a five step question. You can find it here

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But what breaks my heart is the very first answer :

I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it. Most people will never accomplish their dreams for many reasons, but the biggest when it comes to choice? Is the fear of failure. The fear of being ripped from beneath that comfortable space in society where people expect you to be.

But will you be content in dying and not giving your dreams a voice or a chance? All because of a little thing known as failure? Something, that if you choose you could take and learn from it. You could ask yourself “Why did I fail?” and, “Is it a bad thing?” You could even smile about it. I know it sounds weird, smiling over FAILURE. But I want you to look back right now and think of everything you’ve accomplished in your life.

If you can find one thing where you succeeded before failure you better let me know. Because you can’t and never will. You didn’t wake up already having the knowledge of swimming, riding a bike, walking. You didn’t wake up and know proper English, math. At one point you probably failed a test and was forced to relearn the theory until you knew it.

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You failed, and you did it. Failure is the natural process of growth. No one just creates perfection the first try. No one just wakes up one day and runs a marathon, writes a book, creates a painting, invents Facebook or the next thing to save mankind. And if you can conquer failure, you can conquer anything you want in the world.

The only thing that is stopping you from living, and reaching your goals/dreams is the little thing in your head screaming “I want to do that, but that’s not me. I’ll never be good at that.” People roll with it. When they see something they like that little voice comes up again, and says, “Hello Johnny! Don’t touch that, don’t even think about it. That’s not you, You will NEVER be good at that! Goodbye!”

You say, “Okay.” and continue living mundane, because you’re not meant to be famous, meant to be successful.

You’re meant to be you. Except ironically, you’re not living you because you allow all your dreams and aspirations to drown in failure. You need to study so you can learn and then one day you can teach, one day you can show and tell. You can be an example. You can be an example to your children on what success is. You can be an example of someone who challenged failure and became great. Or you can be an example of someone who had dreams and aspirations and with the fear of failing, accomplished nothing. Forgotten.

You could look at the world and say “There are 7 billion people out there, I will never be successful.” Or you could realize this one important detail.

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If I wake up today, go to work, then die. I will have died unsuccessful.

If I wake up today, pursue my dreams, fail, then die, I will have died successful.

If I wake up today, pursue my dreams, succeed, then die, I will have died successful.

So next time you hear failure slip from your mouth you better taste it. Because anything that screams failure also screams a possibility for success.

Your room to grow.

– Elliott Morreau

Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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