My son asked me this question the other day. “If you knew you couldn’t fail at something what would you do?” Fortunately I’m in a position in my life to answer the question promptly by saying, “Exactly what I am attempting to do right now”.
There have been many times however, I would have answered differently. But what is failure anyway? The more people I talk to, the more I have come to understand that failure is a state of mind, a point in time that things didn’t work out exactly as planned.
Yes, I can hear it now …”It certainly feels like failure – It doesn’t feel good; By my bosses standards I am failing; What do you call not making my targets; Not getting the promotion; Being passed over again for HO Position – insert what ever you are dealing with at the moment. I respect and acknowledge that these situations are real and genuine for us and even painful at times.
The key thing to remember is, not to get attached to how you feel about it, get the feedback, integrate the learning and move on. If you ruminate on a ‘mistake’ or ‘failure’ without processing it fully it will come back – guaranteed.
If you can even dare ask yourself the ‘couldn’t fail’ question and get a clear answer, write it down and thank your lucky stars that you have something in your life that is calling you. However, if you didn’t get that “light bulb” moment, be patient and keep your eyes, ears and mind open for the answer. Just don’t expect a grandiose answer. It could be anything.
That is one of our problems as human beings – we make things up, we make meaning of things that fit into our beliefs and cultural acceptability standards. Stay open, to the answers you get. It could be anything like …. getting your drivers license, Bronze medallion in life saving, releasing 5 kg, running a half marathon, taking a business development course, getting a mentor, being a mentor, starting a leadership journal, starting a design course, completing a painting, rendering a wall, becoming a public speaker, a counsellor, a wellbeing coach, teacher, developing a Iphone app.
Most of us overestimate what we can do in one year but underestimate what we can achieve in five. If you find yourself after five years still moving towards the desire, and it still matters and is fuelling you, keep moving forward because you can’t fail. If you love it enough it will respond.
The biggest challenge is just asking ourselves the best quality questions we can and then listening. The next steps will always reveal themselves. Many a time when we conceive of a goal or something we want to create, we jump straight into the how. We need to stay in the incubation stage first and nurture our idea. Then comes integration, taking those first difficult steps into the outside world of form – rejection, roadblocks, difficulty, or flow. Most of the times it is all of them.
If you love the thing you are creating, you will continue even if it feels challenging, why, because it matters to you.