I know many of my readers are accomplished, tech savy, and let’s face it–pretty awesome. Now why would you awesome gals and guys be interested in anything a 20 year old “pre-life” (Not a typo…there’s always something unexpected. I’d like to be ready for anything life throws at me) student has to say? Because, my good friends, I’ve dealt with failure. And it may not be the same as being fired, or losing a big account that could have jump-started a new career, but I’ve dealt with it. And I think we tend to complicate things (not that they aren’t imporant) and fail to see the basic lessons that we don’t learn from. We enter a situation, something goes wrong, and instead of relating it to how we gave up on running for the track team in high school (right before the first race), we dive into panic mode!
So today, I’d like to take you through some simple lessons that I’ve learned over the past two decades:
1. Don’t compare yourself to others.
Set your own goals. My first entry ever written in my first journal was a poem called, “Expect.” It was about how as a ten year old honors student, I’d been expected to meet a standard set by my family my entire life. But I realized, I had my own expectations. And while they may not always coincide with what my parents had in mind for me, one thing I wanted others to know was this: It’s okay to fall short of expectations, constantly adjust your expectations, and (most importantly) what you expect from yourself comes first. Regardless of whether you did a A+ job or a C+ job, at the end of the day, YOU know your ability and YOU know if you set your expectations too low, or too high.
2. Surround yourself with positive people and motivation.
Whether it’s by twitter, fb, linkedin, I make sure I follow successful, motivated people. Also, it is ideal to have friends that enjoy building you up. I’ve been through period of stagnation and regress; in those times, friends and loved ones were invaluable–more than any success guru I know.
3. Failing doesn’t make you a failure. Setbacks should be learned from.
Things happen. That’s something I’ve had to learn the hard way. Various factors may have contributed to failure X. In some cases, the fact that I didn’t value myself or have a specific goal CONTRIBUTED to the failure, but that doesn’t mean I have to be defined by my past. If anything I acknowledge that I may be my own opponent. But I learn. I catch myself before I start down that road again; I reassess and progress.
4. Learn, Always.
If you don’t get anything from my ramblings get this: Be Teachable. Don’t be so set in your ways that you don’t grow. My father always says, “Have a teachable spirit.” The man who knows everything essentially knows nothing. The ability to acknowledge this is what will always push you forward. Don’t be content with your small box. Branch out. I myself hope to start using lynda.com to start learning Sharepoint and other software to supplement my formal education. Learn from others. There are tons of people out there that want to help you. You just have to find them.
5. Be appreciative of everything and everyone.
‘Thank You.’ I didn’t realize until this year that I rarely say it to those that deserve it. For many people, there are people that always have your back. Whoever you just thought of, call them up and say thank you. Even the financial aid staff member that always helps me when my tuition is due, the cleaning lady, my bus driver, my sister–I say thank you. I essentially wouldn’t be able to be where I am without all these people. Sometimes just acknowledging the fact that people have emotions and respond well to praise can make you achieve your goals sooner than later.
6. Come hungry. You must want “IT” as much as you want to breathe.
This part honestly depends on your state of mind. For me, I haven’t been “hungry” in a long time. It had to come to the point where I’m literally fed up with failure. I’m tired of saying what Iused to do. It’s as if mediocrity was the best I could do. This would be fine–IF I DIDN’T KNOW that greatness itself isn’t even my best. I’m a record breaker. This is what I know to be true. There is evidence of this. I’m tired being almost good. I’m GREEEAAT. (I know, a little much, well that’s what it took for me to put some effort into building myself again.) Watch this video on success. You have to want success so bad that you know you can’t survive much longer without it. You have to want it as bad as you want to breathe.
Hope this helped, stirred something within you, or made you want to see if this REALLY works. =)
- Steve Jobs wonderful Stanford Commencement Speech (nickpoint.co.uk)
- The Purpose of Failure (herdwise.wordpress.com)