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

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

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 16, 2019

6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

Have you ever thought of yourself as a problem solver? I’m guessing not. But in reality, we are constantly solving problems. And the better our problem solving skills are, the easier our lives are.

Problems arise in many shapes and forms. They can be mundane, everyday problems, or larger more complex problems:

What to have for dinner tonight?

Which route to take to work?

How to fix a project that’s running behind schedule?

How to change from an uninspiring job to a career you’re really passionate about?

Every day, you’ll be faced with at least one problem to solve. But it gets easier when you realize that problems are simply choices. There’s nothing ‘scary’ about them other than having to make a decision.

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No matter what job you’re in, where you live, who your partner is, how many friends you have, you will be judged on your ability to solve problems. Because problems equal hassles for everyone concerned. And people don’t like hassle. So the more problems you can solve, the less hassle all-round, the happier people are with you. Everyone wins.

Why Are Problem Solving Skills Important?

Problem is something hard to understand or accomplish or deal with. It can be a task, a situation, or even a person. Problem solving involves methods and skills to find the best solutions to problems.

Problem solving is important because we all have decisions to make, and questions to answer in our lives. Amazing people like Eleanor Roosevelt, Steve Jobs, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., are all great problems solvers. Good parents, teachers, doctors and waiters all have to be good at solving different sort of problems as well.

Problem solving skills are for our everyday lives.

How to Enhance Problem Solving Skills

Most people believe that you have to be very intelligent in order to be a good problem solver, but that’s not true.

You don’t have to be super smart to be a problem solver, you just need practice.

When you understand the different steps to solve a problem, you’ll be able to come up with great solutions.

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1. Focus on the Solution, Not the Problem

Neuroscientists have proven that your brain cannot find solutions if you focus on the problem.[1] This is because when you focus on the problem, you’re effectively feeding ‘negativity,’ which in turn activates negative emotions in the brain. These emotions block potential solutions.

I’m not saying you should ‘ignore the problem,’ instead, try to remain calm. It helps to first, acknowledge the problem; and then, move your focus to a solution-oriented mindset where you keep fixed on what the ‘answer’ could be, rather than lingering on ‘what went wrong’ and ‘who’s fault it is’.

2. Adapt 5 Whys to Clearly Define the Problem

5 Whys is a problem solving framework to help you get to the root of a problem.

By repeatedly asking the question “why” on a problem, you can dig into the root cause of a problem, and that’s how you can find the best solution to tackle the root problem once and for all. And it can go deeper than just asking why for five times.

For example:

If the problem is “always late to work”…

  • Why am I late to work?
    I always click the snooze button and just want to go on sleeping.
  • Why do I want to go on sleeping?
    I feel so tired in the morning.
  • Why do I feel tired in the morning?
    I slept late the night before, that’s why.
  • Why did I sleep late?
    I wasn’t sleepy after drinking coffee, and I just kept scrolling my Facebook feed and somehow I couldn’t stop.
  • Why did I drink coffee?
    Because I was too sleepy at work in the afternoon, not having enough sleep the night before.

So there you see, if you didn’t try to dig out the root of the problem, you may just set a few more alarms and have it beep every five minutes in the morning. But in fact, the problem you need to solve is to quit Facebook surfing endlessly at night so you’ll feel more energetic in the day time, and you won’t even need coffee.

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3. Simplify Things

As human beings, we have a tendency to make things more complicated than they need to be! Try simplifying your problem by generalizing it.

Remove all the details and go back to the basics. Try looking for a really easy, obvious solution – you might be surprised at the results! And we all know that it’s often the simple things that are the most productive.

4. List out as Many Solutions as Possible

Try to come up with ‘ALL POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS’ – even if they seem ridiculous at first. It’s important you keep an open mind to boost creative thinking, which can trigger potential solutions.

Coming from 10 years in the corporate advertising industry, it is drummed into you that ‘No idea is a bad idea’ and this aids creative thinking in brainstorms and other problem-solving techniques.

Whatever you do, do not ridicule yourself for coming up with ‘stupid solutions’ as it’s often the crazy ideas that trigger other more viable solutions.

5. Think Laterally

Change the ‘direction’ of your thoughts by thinking laterally. Pay attention to the saying,

‘You cannot dig a hole in a different place by digging it deeper.”

Try to change your approach and look at things in a new way. You can try flipping your objective around and looking for a solution that is the polar opposite!

Even if it feels silly, a fresh and unique approach usually stimulates a fresh solution.

6. Use Language That Creates Possibility

Lead your thinking with phrases like ‘what if…’ and ‘imagine if…’ These terms open up our brains to think creatively and encourage solutions.

Avoid closed, negative language such as ‘I don’t think…’ or ‘But this is not right…’.

The Bottom Line

There’s nothing scary about a problem when you start to adapt my advice.

Try not to view problems as ‘scary’ things! If you think about what a problem really is, it’s really just feedback on your current situation.

Every problem is telling you that something is not currently working and that you need to find a new way around it.

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So try to approach problems neutrally – without any judgment. Practice focusing on defining a problem, keep calm and not to make things too complicated.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Planet of Success: Problem vs Solution Focused Thinking

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