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Failure redefiined


Listening to Bill Tracy today something that caught me flat and I paraphrase:

We are all failures because we have all failed at something before. The thing to realise is that there is really nothing bad about failure because it simply a source of feedback and feedback is a great source of growth…Secrets of Self-Made Millionaires

The thought process here is so simple yet profound. Here it goes…when things don’t work out, accept it hasn’t worked, assess the situation, find the lesson and move on. Do not stay there and wallow. The more we learn to treat challenges this way we will realise that there really is nothing like failure. We will rename it as challenges and challenges are a part of life. They are not a bad thing perse and can be the greatest teacher we ever have. In simple terms…refuse to accept failure as a possibility. To some, this sounds like denial yet I differ on that. I have chosen to change how I see and respond to the happenings of life. I do not deny that there will be times when things do not work our as planned or that the ideas fall apart and do not work. However, I will not stay down for all my days rather I will make the effort to rise and be counted as the few who sit there think things through, stand up dust themselves off and move on with key learning in their hearts and pockets. That is the stuff that differentiates people and I aspire to be different.

When things fell apart in the not so distant past, it was so easy for me to blame the person who did not do their part fully or the one who dropped the ball or the weather or the venue or a whole plethora of things. However, when push came to shove, I have realised that there was something that went significantly off track and it started from me. So I am learning to assess the situation and ask loads and loads of questions before I get confused. I ask questions like, Did I explain it right? Did I find out if the team had understood? Did we give it our joint all? Are there undercurrents I had not read? Where did we go off track? Do I have the right team? Am I the right person? Am I easy to work with? Do I complicate matters more than needed????? And the list is endless.

One of my realities has become that after so many years of doing things well I got comfortable with success and assumed that we knew all the nooks and crannies and we could not go wrong. Talk about over confidence and a warped focus. I simply assumed that based on the past track record we could do this our eyes closed and ace it all the same. This has not been so in a few instances this year and hence I have had time to sit and understand the situation and find a way out.

The challenges (that I would have called failures in the not too distant past) have taught me more than I could ever imagine once I became objective. I realised that:

  • There will never be an end to learning and improvement
  • I do not have the monopoly of ideas and plans and never will
  • I will find situations where I am not the best in the field
  • I will find challenges and want to hide my head in the sand
  • Honest assessment and reflection must become my best friends
  • I must learn from every situation
  • Failure is not the end but a fresh opportunity to learn something new
  • If I get complacent something will happen to remind me that I am as human as the next person

 

In the end I have come to appreciate the getting something wrong every once in a while is better than always expecting to be right. If I am right all the time then I am not growing and have become arrogant and the road to extinction has begun for me. The more important reality is that only God is always right so unless I say I am God there is no way I will always be right.  So my new focus is “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:1. When I am able to understand that I can always learn something and I can get better daily from the things that happen around me then I am a better person. Hence I will give thanks in every situation and find a lesson, find joy and hope in all I do.

I am now thankful that I face challenges or failures everyday as they are an opportunity for me to stop, assess my life, re-focus on God and then move on to the purpose He has and continues to establish me and I will continue to trust His will, plan and purpose for me.

The Simple Life

Release


Faith Tabernacle

November 5, 2012

 

SMALL STRAWS IN A SOFT WIND by MARSHA BURNS:

 

If you will release others from your own expectations of what they need to be or do, breakthrough will come suddenly and solidly.  The places in your life where you have gotten stuck and can’t seem to move forward result from thoughts and desires that are apart from My nature and will.  Rise up.  Be done with unreasonable expectations and be established in the flow of My Spirit, says the Lord.  You will not regret this change in course.

 

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

 

RELEASE…that is a word I am thinking about and wondering how to embrace and fully incorporate into my life. It is a big deal for me as I only realised this week that people are so important to me but I have a set of standards that I expect them to live up to. I know that I need to leave people to be who they are but what happens when it makes me hurt and cry when people do not keep in touch and make me feel unwanted. Yet I am commanded to…RELEASE. It is at times as elusive as trying to hold the wind in a jar yet somehow I know that it is not inexplicable or abstract. It is something that I can connect to when I connect to Papa and his plan for me. It frees me to be all I need to be and influence the world one person at a time.

 

To release is to:

  1. To set free from confinement, restraint, or bondage: released the prisoners.
  2. To free from something that binds, fastens, or holds back; let go: released the balloons; released a flood of questions.
  3. To free (a person, animal, etc.) From captivity or imprisonment
  4. To free (someone) from obligation or duty

 

Wow…this was a strong reminder to me. There have been days when I have been so upset because people are not behaving the way I would expect them to behave. One of the things I have been reminded is that I am who I am because of factors of my birth, socialisation, faith and choices. I should therefore not expect people to think, behave or process things the way I do.

 

I cannot make other understand me fully but I can explain what I need done and work from there. Yes my friends and I get along because we understand each other and the related needs but there will be many I will explain to and they won’t get it. So here I am being rebuked for expecting too much from people yet I have not been clear of what is important to me and interacted with people as is best suited for them.

 

 

The answer depends on every one and the matters arising in our individual lives. In my life I have released many people but there are others I hold onto and make things harder for them due to great expectation. In many ways I have moved on and allowed people to be free of my expectations but there are some select few who I expect the world from. This expectation has continued to taint my relationship with them.

 

The hardest thing for me is the realisation that I am struggling to find balance and a way to connect with people and keep in touch. I so often feel that they have decided that I don’t matter and it is a case of out of sight out of mind. The end result is loneliness and frustration in the space that I have reserved for those relationships. So I wonder if I need to hold onto that place or just remove the barrier that has demarcated their space.

 

Reason and logic says I need to move on but I don’t know how. When I did not know how to do about the business I enrolled in school. I am not sure how I will get to the end but I know that I am in the place where I can chose the way I live and make my life happier. I cannot live with a sense of despair and loss that I feel in this relationship yet I don’t know how to move from here.

 

I will however keep walking and working to make sense of my life and the challenges on the walk of life. I choose to release everyone around me to be all they can be and pray that they too will release me to be all I can be. May our love for each other allow us all of use to make the best of our lives and bring great joy to all? It is well and there is great hope every day.

 

Shalom Papa is in control

 

 

The Simple Life

Failure is never the end


I read something online that got me thinking…it was a quote that said:

You have to be prepared to fail spectacularly. That has always been the cornerstone of how I operate – Tham Khai Meng

 

Do you think there is any truth to this statement? Has an experience in life ever pointed this way? Or do you totally disagree with the statement?

 

I believe there is a lot of truth in this statement. However, this truth is not always plain to see and needs honest introspection. Yet, once we begin to understand this statement, we can learn a lot from ‘failure.’ Take time to think about it carefully and you will see what I mean.

 

When I was in my last year of high school I read and read and read and failed my exams time and time again. I could not understand what was going on but I knew deep in my heart that I was brighter than I was doing. At the end of the second term I had failed so badly I was overcome by a desperate need to at the very minimum get a C+ so I could go straight into campus and not have to do the bridging classes. That holiday I spent loads of time thinking about what I had been doing and figured that I needed to find something different to do or else I would be lost for life. In the end I figured I needed to change my study patterns and find longer rest periods and deal with the stress. Amazingly, just one change enabled me to get good grades and achieve my dream of going straight to university.

 

Over the years I have learnt that when I look back, hindsight is indeed 20:20. Often, I have shared my sense of loss with a friend clarity comes with the realisation that there is an opportunity to find good in every circumstance and failure is not a bad thing per se. I have learnt that when something doesn’t work out the way I want it to I often call that failure. The question begs, is it really failure?

 

I have come to see failure differently:

  • Failure is a golden opportunity to redirect my life and find new ways to do things.
  • Failure is a chance to learn something new, discover new paths or rediscover a passion.
  • Failure is an opportunity to redirect attention to other critical issues in life that need attention.
  • Failure will bring to the fore what isn’t working and we need to change or at least alter it slightly.
  • Failure is a reminder that God is in control and I am but a vessel in His service.

 

Today I accept that when things don’t work out the way I want them to there is a point of growth just around the corner that I will value deeply and greatly a few steps down the line. This has been true time and time again but sometimes I have forgotten this truth.

 

I choose to connect with God and the challenges he allows my way because I know that they will make me strong and I will bring honour to him.