Happy New Year!
I wanted to take a minute-or longer- to talk about this business of resolutions. Though I understand the desire to have a better year than the last, I take exception to the concept of 'righting' last year's failures. You know what I'm talking about-last year I didn't do such and such, or this is the year I will... That kind of talking smacks of failure talk. I'm sick of it!
Please understand, this idea has been working itself in me for a long time. I was fairly clueless about it for most of my life. I have a rather sunny disposition and set backs didn't seem to effect me long term. In the last five years of my marriage, I was confronted on a daily basis with the concept that some people see themselves through the lens of what they do. Similar to labels ( that's another thing I have a problem with and will probably be a later post), some people label themselves as failures because certain areas in their lives haven't worked out the way they intended. They can't, or won't focus on the areas in which they have succeeded, only on the ones that support the concept of failure.
I want to stop that thinking. We, all of us, are not failures! We are unique individuals. Each of us fearfully and wonderfully made. When did we, individually or corporately, decide that trying something and it not work out the way we thought it would equalled failure?
Let's think about it. Did you on your first attempt, walk? Talk? Print your letters? How sad would it have been if your parents at those moments in your life had shook their heads in dismay and labeled you a failure. You weren't then. That wasn't the response. If you are a parent now, you know what they did as you probably did the same thing, you rejoiced at the attempt! You knew that what you were seeing was a child exploring the world, taking a risk, going for it-and you applauded the effort!
So why can't we do that now for ourselves, for the ones we love? Why now when a friend wants to take a risk ? Or quit a job that is killing them (literally or figuratively) do you come up with a list of why they shouldn't-top of the list including some warning of failure? Or, and I speak from experience, do we stay in a relationship that is sapping our true self only to avoid 'failing' at that relationship? Or why do we dream of...(fill in the blank), but hold ourselves back from taking the risk because we are afraid of failing?
Think of all the things we now enjoy that are the product of risk taking, not getting it right the first time, and repeated attempts. Two that most of us are familiar with come to mind- the light bulb and flying. Even if you don't know the complete story of Edison or the Wright Brothers, you know that they didn't 'get it right' the first time. They kept at it until their ideal found a reality. History records their attempts, not to highlight how many times they tried, but to show how determined they were to succeed.
Then there is a personal friend of mine. He is a modern day explorer. He loves to seek out new business opportunities. He loves the thrill he gets from creating a new business, but the idea of staying with that one business for the rest of his life bores him. He is constantly on the move, constantly exploring new options. Thankfully, he knows this about himself and doesn't interpret his many career attempts as failures, they simply are the results of his risk taking. He rejoices over the business that 'work' and is able to put aside those that don't. He is one of my heroes as he daily lives from his heart. He is showing his children a much better way to live.
In this New Year, I ask you to begin to take the word failure out of your vocabulary. Love yourself! See each attempt for what it really is-a risk, a step toward the goal or a step that shows you what not to do the next time. Rejoice in the risk! Embrace your uniqueness. Live from your heart! -Sheep M 1/2/09
Evaluate each situation. Look at the steps involved, not whether you succeeded at the first attempt. Take the risk. Rejoice in the attempts! Realize that each of us has a part to play.