Turning failure into success.
How do you stop behaviors that are not working for you?
What is failure anyway?
As featured in the Master Key Experience (MKE), Og Mandino describes failure and success in the first scroll of his book The Greatest Salesman.
What they will teach me is more to prevent failure than to gain success, for what is success other than a state of mind? Which two, among a thousand wise men, will define success in the same words; yet failure is always described but one way. Failure is man’s inability to reach his goals in life, whatever they may be.Og Mandino, The Greatest Salesman
I suspect everyone at some point comes to think about their life, questioning:
- How have I done in my relationship, career, school, and life in general?
- Can I say I am successful or am I a failure?
- On what are we basing our measure of success and failure?
According to Mandino, “Failure is man’s inability to reach his goals in life, whatever they may be.”
Inability to reach, what does this mean?
- Why are we not able to reach what we want to accomplish?
- Is it because we are not trying enough?
- Is it because we are trying but doing it a wrong way?
What do you think?
Ask Tough Questions
Recently I have been wrestling through some very important decisions personally and professionally. I have been feeling overwhelmed and exhausted for quite a while dealing with these personal, relational and professionally challenging situations.
I have always expected myself to do my best in whatever I do, whether that is personal growth, family relationships or my career as an Occupational Therapist. With this mentality I have pushed myself to keep on going with all of my responsibilities, always feeling obligated to keep on going.
Taking Care of Me
But I couldn’t ignore my inner self rising inside me to alert me in all aspects (physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually) that I need to slow down, step back and take care of myself.
I am so glad that I was finally able to make the decision to take several months off my full time job and focus on my health and wellbeing. I would have had a hard time making this decision in my usual thinking process, but it has been great to be able to see things clearly and honestly regarding what is best for me.
Prior to MKE, I used to operate in the mindset that I must continue striving to fulfill my duties as best as I can. But through MKE, the Spiritual Formation program and my life’s continuous journey, I realized that I had to ask myself touch questions like:
- Is this life giving?
- Is this truly what I need and want?
- Am I ignoring my own needs and wants just because I am afraid to disappoint people around me?
I have lived my life without asking and answering these tough questions and couldn’t go on anymore with signs and symptoms of near burn out. Thank God that He brought the necessary people in right time to wake me up to face this reality and truth.
Do you feel stuck? Break Free!
You can make a choice for yourself to break free if you fee stuck!
In all of our MKE journeys, we are learning about very important aspects of our thoughts and beliefs about our life. So many of us lived our lives for a long time thinking that we don’t really have any choice but to continue the way we’ve always been doing or thinking about ourselves or life situations.
Is it true that we are stuck in whatever circumstances even though we are feeling exhausted and tired in our current state?
It is not true!
We always have a choice to make for ourselves regardless of the circumstances and how dark, hopeless, and unfair they might look like.
Is failure only not doing something? What about not stopping something that is not helpful?
Yes, it’s not easy when we have lived such a way for a long time without questioning or reflecting on what is true and what is not. Many times, we call failure when we are not doing somethings that we ought to do but what about failure to stop doing something that is not productive or helpful to us?
Are we blinded by life’s circumstances and our frustration about the situation without exploring and asking tough questions to see clearly for what truly is beneficial and helpful for us and those around us?
What am I Pretending Not to Know?
This was the case with me when I made the decision to take several months off working. It was quite an eye-opening process to ask myself questions, such as:
- Why I did I feel that I am obligated to continue work when I feel so exhausted and tired?
- Is it because I was afraid of what others might say and expect of me?
- Is it because for some reason I was satisfied to show others how hard I have been working and prove that I am capable, and I am needed?
When I faced myself honestly, I realized that I do have a choice to make for myself not feeling pressured by anyone else, but “I” needed to make a decision for “me”. Once I made the decision, I could see things more clearly and how much I needed this time off to focus on my health and wellbeing. I could see how ironic it was for me to tell myself to keep going when I was telling others to slow down and focus on their wellbeing.
One of the questions that we ask ourselves in MKE program is “What am I pretending not to know?”.
How true it was that I was pretending not to know that I had to decide for “me” sooner than later, but I was literally pretending this was not necessary and pushed through.
How tragic is it for us to miss this important opportunity to give ourselves “permission” to be ok to decide for ourselves not thinking about what others will say, what others need but focus on what we need.
This is not being selfish when you are doing it out of love for yourself. It is a foolishness when we pretend and ignore our own needs when this is only hurting ourselves and those around us.
What are you pretending not know in your life right now that you know that you need to stop?
Yes, it is not easy to make this decision as it’s always easier to stay in our comfort zone even though keeping on may not necessarily the best option for us. It is so freeing once you realize, stretch out your comfort zone and step out in faith and courage.
WHAT A FREEDOM AND CLARITY IT BRINGS!
I went to San Jose, California, to visit my younger daughter who has been teaching full time as a middle school teacher and taking the classes full time for her graduate program in counseling for almost a year. She lived away from home for 4 years in college and then another 4 years working in California.
It has taken quite a toll on her working full time and going to school full time, and she had to decide what’s best for her not what she feels like she should do. I have watched her journey over the two weeks of making the wise decision of planning to stop working as a teacher at the end of this school year and also stop going to school full time.
She has decided to return home to Toronto, Canada, to take much needed break to rest, refreshed, recharged before she finds a job that fits her passion and find a school program that she can take it part-time. Initially she felt like she was failing herself and disappointing others by making this choice.
It has been a pure joy for me to be able to see her processing through this decision for herself and she was at ease once she was able to say, “I’m doing this for me”. I was so proud of her and happy for her
Let Go of The Banana: Turning Failure into Success
Charles Haanel’s Master Key System 15:3 states: Difficulties, inharmonies, and obstacles, indicate that we are either refusing to give out what we no longer need, or refusing to accept what we require.
Is it true that many of us suffer through in our lives because we refuse to stop doing what we’ve been doing for a long time thinking that we are stuck in that place without choice? But is it true that you are stuck and have no choice?
I don’t think so as we always have a choice in any circumstances but many times, we resort to what’s comfortable or what we are used to, not even realizing that’s what we are doing and then we blame the circumstances and others around us. Maybe it’s about time that we look at ourselves straight in the eye and ask, “What am I pretending not to know?”