Falling Forward by Eric Harrison (President of Sales-J.Renee’ Shoes)
Recently I read the difference between successful and unsuccessful people is that those who are unsuccessful fail 3 out 5 times they try something while the successful ones fail 2 out of 5. This is a much narrower margin of success – or failure depending on your point of view – than most people would guess. What do all of these people have in common, including you and I? We and they ALL fail. Every day, many times, perhaps.
If you are like me you want to live a life of meaning. It is not my intention to try to define what success means to you. I believe we each have our own definitions that are deeply rooted within that are as unique as we are. I also think we all have a desire at the end of our career or of our lives to want people to remember us and think of us as someone who made a difference. Just last week I read a quote Steve Jobs made to the Wall Street Journal in 1993 that says it wonderfully: Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful…that’s what matters to me.
For a long time in my life I have not done a lot of wonderful things. Why? Because I was afraid to make a mistake and mortified at the thought of appearing to be a failure. With a little more wisdom to go along with my gray hair I am learning to embrace what is important to me and to work steadfastly to do some wonderful things with the rest of my life. The more I do, the more I want to do. Does this mean that everything I do turns to gold? Of course not! I have found that as I become more aware of the reasons why I fail I become more self-aware and less likely to repeat the same actions or attitudes that have held me back in the past. I am stretching and learning and doing new things. I can honestly say I have learned more in the first few months of this year than I have learned in a long, long time.
The reality is I am the same person I have always been, albeit more focused on achieving meaningful goals and objectives. The difference between my mistakes of the past and my failures today is how I view them. Instead of obstacles I am treating them as opportunities for growth. Instead of making it the focal point of my day I make it a point to evaluate what I can improve next time and then move forward with more resolve to improve myself and my results next time. I no longer view myself or others as a failure but rather as people with the courage to try something new and better and be willing to celebrate the victories and accept the failures that go along with it.
I encourage you to examine yourself and your mindset as it relates to getting outside your comfort zone to try to make yourself a better person. It takes courage and it takes humility. Much more than that it takes you beyond yourself and gives you the opportunity to live your life to the best of your ability. Falling forward feels a lot better than doing nothing and hurts a lot less than knowing you haven’t given life everything you’ve got