Failure Is The Doorway
To New Beginnings
Fortunately, we get more than one attempt at success. In fact, life constantly moves from New Beginnings to Failures and back to New Beginnings. It’s the universal cycle of personal experience. The cycles begin when we take our first breath and never end till we take the last. Unfortunately, Failure is the center piece of that cycle.
We don’t like it, but what that means is failure is inevitable. Not bad. Not regrettable. Not unusual. Everyone fails. It is unavoidable, but perceptions notwithstanding, failure isn’t entirely negative.
Winston Churchill said:
Failure is not fatal!
It may feel like you’re dying at the time but with the right approach, failure becomes the mechanism that helps us improve. The number of people who have succeeded through failure is endless.
Don’t worry. I’m not going to bore you with the entire list of every person who failed and then succeeded. Someone else has done that elsewhere.
More to the point, Failure is why there are Refresh buttons on browsers, Restart buttons on Apple TV and Ctrl+Shift+Esc on PC’s. Software development, like life, is an imperfect science and constantly needs updating. Happily, the outcome of that process is a new start and a better experience.
Since we live the process, we should own it and following are eight ways to refresh your life, whether your aiming to improve the next year or the next week.
Stop Waiting On The Future and Start Acting Now
The only time you have is Now!
You don’t have tomorrow.
You will never have tomorrow.
When tomorrow gets here, it is Now.
Words like tomorrow, later, future and mañana are euphemisms for “Wait, do nothing yet.”
It Was My Intention is a euphemism for “I wasn’t really sure about doing that.” Even the intentions we refer to as Good are usually left unattended.
Planning for the future is smart but whatever plans you make can only be acted on Now!
Now is always here, Tomorrow always someplace else.
Stop Doing What You Hate And Start Doing What Energizes You
We are all different. We should neither be like others nor insist others be like us. That rule should apply whether the others are your kids, neighbors, friends, workmates or whoever.
People can’t be stereotyped. What one person loves, another may hate.
In other words, don’t focus on being what someone else is. If you hate math, but have no other choice but to endure it, at least get what you can from the experience. You will at least learn the difference between what smothers you and what energizes you.
It may take trial and error but once you isolate what enlivens you, apply the 80/20 rule. Dedicate 80% of your time to the thing you love, as much as possible.
And remember, God blesses effort more than people. Rather than pray, “God bless me,” a better prayer would be:
“God, help me find the thing I love, the thing you created me for. Guide my actions and bless my efforts.”
That’s a much more legitimate request.
When we act within our abilities, and never stop trying, we can expect a breakthrough. God can bless that.
Stop Trying To Be The Best And Start Being the Best You Can Be
The Best at anything is an unachievable goal, so stop aiming for it. No one is the best at anything.
Stephen King is an incredibly successful author. He’s published 54 novels, 6 non-fictions and 200 short stories. His books have been adapted in movies and TV series and he has produced, written and acted in productions.
Is he the best? Not for me. I admire his talent. His popularity is unquestionable. Most will never equal his achievements but, The Best? No.
You don’t need to be the best at anything to be happy and/or successful. Just be the best you can be.
Stop Trying To Avoid Stress And Begin Managing It
You should thank God everyday for stress. Without it you couldn’t live.
Many healthy activities produce stress. Exercise stresses the muscles. Eating stresses the digestive system. Studying stresses the brain but all these stressors in the right amount are good for us. You can’t grow without stress.
Gravity produces stress. We’d be useless without it.
There are many ways to manage/relieve stress: reading, cooking, walking, shopping, yoga, exercise, coffee at the cafe, gardening or breakfast with a newspaper. A few minutes may be sufficient one day and an entire weekend the next, but it depends on you.
Find the stress channels you can live with. Discover the activities that release pressure when needed. And be happy. You’d be bored out of your mind without stress.
Stop Being Needy And Start Being Needed
By Needy I don’t mean mutually beneficial relationships like employers and employees. They each have a need that corresponds to the other. One needs money. The other needs help. As long as both do their part, everyone’s happy.
That’s not what I mean. I’m talking about one way relationships. The kind where one meets a need with little or no hope of getting anything in return.
There are people who need this from us. There are times we should be available.
It’s a scary idea. This kind of Need isn’t short term. If you have a child, he or she will need you for many years and won’t be in a position to return the favor for a long time.
Stop Working For Money And Make Money Work For You
If all you do is save money, you’ll probably never have enough since the value of money is never constant.
It isn’t practical to avoid making purchases but you can make the ones that save money. We bought a bread machine that didn’t pan out. The special ingredients needed to make wholesome bread were more costly than buying great bread from the shop. We lost in the long run.
The Air Fryer was quite different. We buy potatoes very inexpensively, process them into nicely sized packets of chips, freeze and cook whenever we like, maybe three times a week. It’s healthy and saves money.
Use the money you save in investments that work for you. There are many options.
Stop Thinking Don’t Do And Start Thinking Do
When standing at the doorway to a new beginning, you may be tempted to think of all the things you won’t do this time around. Wrong approach! You’ll never get anywhere with a list of Don’t Do’s.
The only way to build something and make a difference is to Do very specific things. Make a Do list and follow it closely. That approach is both constructive and protective. As long as you stay busy with Do’s, you won’t have time or energy for Don’t Do’s!
That’s a good strategy for parents too. Help your kids develop a taste for constructive Do activities and they’re less likely to be fooled by the false euphoria of Don’t Do’s like drugs.
Stop Trying To Forgive Yourself And Accept The Forgiveness Only Jesus Provides
You might want to be forgiven. You might need to be forgiven but you cannot forgive yourself. The person you offended can’t forgive you either.
If you really want to be forgiven, you’ll need to trust Jesus for that. And He really forgives.
He doesn’t whitewash, bury or forget about your offense. He takes care of them completely. “As far as the east is from the west” is how far He removes your sins from you (Psalm 103:12). Incredible!
That’s why salvation is called a “New Birth.” That’s why the Bible says:
If any person is in Christ, he or she is a new creation. Old things are passed away. Behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17