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Failure Makes You Who You Are

Failure Makes You Who You Are


    Gina Amaro Rudan is a genius. That is, she wrote a very well-received book called Practical Genius that was endorsed by Seth Godin. But Gina wasn’t always a genius. She wasn’t even considered smart.

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    One day when Gina was in third grade at her Catholic grammar school, some children were pulled out of the classroom and taken to a much nicer room with beautiful windows and potted flowers. This new and improved room had been designed for the gifted students in the class, and Gina waited for her name to be called. It never was.

    One of the nuns explained to Gina’s hardworking single mother that although she was a sweet child, academically she was just average.  Gina’s mom, whose high hopes for her extraordinary child had just been dashed, told Gina that she would just have to try harder. So – trying harder – and getting attention for the abilities she knew she possessed, became Gina’s challenge, as well as the theme of her educational and professional experiences, for years to come.

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    From Gifted Kid to Corporate Loser

    I can relate to Gina’s story because I have one of my own. Unlike Gina, I was a gifted kid. And that giftedness was my undoing when I entered Corporate America as a cocky twenty-two year old who had no clue about making a strong first impression or being diplomatic. It took me only a few months to get kicked out of my boss’ office and taken off several key client engagements.

    The string of failures in my early career became my calling card as I traveled from speaking engagement to speaking engagement across the globe. I found that sharing my setbacks allowed my audiences to relate to me as a human being and encouraged them to listen to me.

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    There is no question that my early career was emotionally difficult, but I wouldn’t trade those years for anything. If I hadn’t crashed and burned so spectacularly, I wouldn’t have taken personal development courses like Dale Carnegie so seriously, and I wouldn’t have learned all of the critical lessons that formed the foundation of my bestselling book, They Don’t Teach Corporate in College. Those experiences alone fueled my passion to make the college-to-career transition easier for young professionals, and without them, I would not have a fulfilling career today.

    Failure Resonates For All Time

    Most people advanced in years will tell you that it’s not the successes that have the greatest impact on your life, but the failures.  It’s the failures that we remember, it’s the failures that make us think.  So whether you’ve been recently fired, humiliated in front of a senior executive, or told by a trusted mentor that you will never make it in this business, don’t let your current negativity trick you into believing that your career is over.  In reality, this is a temporary setback that will fully shape the professional you will become.

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    Like the scar you got at age eight when your older brother pushed you through the first-floor window, your failure will be a mark of your authentic self. Talking about it will provide a refreshing dose of humility in a world rife with self-promotion and overinflated egos. So be grateful for it.

    I am.

    (Photo credit: Golf Bunker via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on August 20, 2018

    Quit Your Job If You Don’t Like It, No Matter What

    Quit Your Job If You Don’t Like It, No Matter What

    Do you know that feeling? The one where you have to wake up to go to your boring 9-5 job to work with the same boring colleagues who don’t appreciate what you do.

    I do, and that’s why I’ve decided to quit my job and follow my passion. This, however, requires a solid plan and some guts.

    The one who perseveres doesn’t always win. Sometimes life has more to offer when you quit your current job. Yes, I know. It’s overwhelming and scary.

    People who quit are often seen as ‘losers’. They say: “You should finish what you’ve started”.

    I know like no other that quitting your job can be very stressful. A dozen questions come up when you’re thinking about quitting your job, most starting with: What if?

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    “What if I don’t find a job I love and regret quitting my current job?”
    “What if I can’t find another job and I get in debt because I can’t pay my bills?”
    “What if my family and friends judge me and disapprove of the decisions I make?”
    “What if I quit my job to pursue my dream, but I fail?

    After all, if you admit to the truth of your surroundings, you’re forced to acknowledge that you’ve made a wrong decision by choosing your current job. But don’t forget that quitting certain things in life can be the path to your success!

    One of my favorite quotes by Henry Ford:

    If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.

    Everything takes energy

    Everything you do in life takes energy. It takes energy to participate in your weekly activities. It takes energy to commute to work every day. It takes energy to organize your sister’s big wedding.

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    Each of the responsibilities we have take a little bit of our energy. We only have a certain amount of energy a day, so we have to spend it wisely.  Same goes for our time. The only things we can’t buy in this world are time and energy. Yes, you could buy an energy drink, but will it feel the same as eight hours of sleep? Will it be as healthy?

    The more stress there is in your life, the less focus you have. This will weaken your results.

    Find something that is worth doing

    Do you have to quit every time the going gets touch? Absolutely not! You should quit when you’ve put everything you’ve got into something, but don’t see a bright future in it.

    When you do something you love and that has purpose in your life, you should push through and give everything you have.

    I find star athletes very inspiring. They don’t quit till they step on that stage to receive their hard earned gold medal. From the start, they know how much work its going to take and what they have to sacrifice.

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    When you do something you’re really passionate about, you’re not in a downward spiral. Before you even start you can already see the finish line. The more focus you have for something, the faster you’ll reach the finish.

    It is definitely possible to spend your valuable time on something you love and earn money doing it. You just have to find out how — by doing enough research.

    Other excuses I often hear are:

    “But I have my wife and kids, who is going to pay the bills?”
    “I don’t have time for that, I’m too busy with… stuff” (Like watching TV for 2 hours every day.)
    “At least I get the same paycheck every month if I work for a boss.”
    “Quitting my job is too much risk with this crisis.”

    I understand those points. But if you’ve never tried it, you’ll never know how it could be. The fear of failure keeps people from stepping out of their comfort zone.

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    I’ve heard many people say, “I work to let my children make their dream come true”. I think they should rephrase that sentence to: “I pursue my dreams — to inspire and show my children anything is possible.” 

    Conclusion

    Think carefully about what you spend your time on. Don’t waste it on things that don’t brighten your future. Instead, search for opportunities. And come up with a solid plan before you take any impulsive actions.

    Only good things happen outside of your comfort zone.

    Do you dare to quit your job for more success in life?

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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