Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Keep Moving Forward

There are a lot of things to learn about failure. Not just about how to improve your work, but you know those pesky life lessons that your parents always told you would build character. I often, for unwarranted reasons, feel like a failure. These are unwarranted, mostly because I have felt like I have failed, but when you put my experience into context it really isn't a failure. Failure is all about perspective, and how you feel when you have finished doing something.

Perspective is probably the most important thing to feeling like a failure for many reasons. First the reason that you feel like you have failed is, you play the comparison game. I am not doing as well as this person. Or you watch some reality television, or have a favorite role model that has filled you with a false idea of what it means to be successful. How to use perspective in this case. There are several billion people on this planet. The percentage of people that end up on reality television or make it to world renown status as a person in their field is well less than 1% of 1% (FYI as an artist this is just an estimate because I don't do maths). These people that get these great break-throughs in life are more rare than the people who have won the lottery. 

You are not a failure because you didn't catch the eye of some top guy in your field and automatically rise to the top, because he saw some unpolished gem in your eye. This is reality and well it just doesn't work like that. Also, just think about how many successful careers are made by those people who didn't have to work for what they got on those reality television shows, or who got their big break with no work. Can you think of more than like 5 who have actually made something out of instant success? I cannot even think of one. So, keep perspective, these others you see around you and who you see in the news and on television are no real judge of just how well you are doing in life. Not only that, without fighting for it you can take for granted what you have earned and squander the chance you have been given not really appreciate the big break that you got. 

Another thing we need to keep in mind about perspective is, whether or not we are actually done. Yes, you complete a project or a step to a goal at some point an think I am done, my work here is finished. But are you really? Think about it. Your end goal is really to be a success. If you are not successful then you a probably not done. There is more that you can do. If you have not completed something that people see as a success, then you need to either invest time into making it better, showing it in a better light so that people can understand it the way you do, or start over and fix everything that you may have passed over the first time. It is only after you have exhausted every course of action that you can call something a failure.

You are not done until you have not other step you can take on a project. If you didn't do something and think to yourself well that should be good enough, then you are not done, and if it fails it is not because the idea or the work was bad it is because you failed it. You didn't finish. You didn't put in all of the work in necessary to get what you wanted out of it. You have to be completely done with something before you can label it a failure and move on. Like Yoda said "Do, there is not try." You can do anything, you just have to do all of it. You are not actually doing anything unless you have invested your whole self and tried every option. Don't let disappointment and momentary set backs break you down so that you just stop working towards your goal. Life is going to try to keep you from finishing your work, but if you can work passed what you thought was failure and keep going, you are on the right road.

The last thing about perspective is, is your actual work praise worthy. Have you actually made something you are not just proud of but something others would appreciate to, Or did you just take a dump and then expect the angels of heaven to come down and pretend it is gold? Minimal effort on your part doesn't deserve your praise let alone the praise of others. Did you do your best? It is most likely that you are not some kind of savant in your field. You are going to have to work for what you want, and putting in a half-assed (sorry but this is the best description I can come up with) effort is not going to garner any such praise. Crap is crap and people are not going to appreciate when you try to sell crap as something other than what it is. You have to put in the effort, and the practice so that you are no longer putting out crap, and actually making the gold you told everyone that you were. It is time to get perspective and realize that maybe you could do a little more, that there was something of you that you were holding back, and that you can do better. To be successful you have to lay down all of your cards, your blood, sweat and tears, and your whole heart. Only when you have held back nothing can you feel like you have really tried. Be sure that you have left it all out there on the dance floor. 

If however you have invested your whole self into your work. You have taken passion out onto the dance floor and danced till you didn't have feet left and your muscles gave out and the DJ refused to keep playing music, and you still haven't gotten the success you have looked for then it is time to decide. You have to decide how you are going to feel about this. It is going to be disappointing. There is no way to candy coat rejection. However, it is now up to you to decided if you are going to let your attempt to be a complete failure,  bring you down and give up, or are you going to let your failure become a success. There is something to learn from every experience in life. Even if you have failed after putting out all you got, you will have learned something from what you have done. If you are human and can learn and heal and move on, you can always come up with something new. So, turn your failure into success. You learned how to bounce back from failure, maybe you learned a new strategy you can invest into your next venture, maybe you made connections that will help you with your next idea. No attempt is ever a complete failure, you just have to find the success that was there and incorporate it into moving forward. If you let a failure be a complete failure and gain nothing from the experience you will stop moving forward and never find any kind of success you were looking for in the first place.

Just keep moving forward, find the success in failure. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7p_eKV3SzwE

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