Between the two, is success or failure the greatest teacher? You could probably make an argument for either one. Success is a great teacher because it fuels your passion. Failure is a great teacher because it helps align your dreams to reality. So, which is the greatest? It is simple: the one you learn from.
Success and failure have some things in common:
- Both can teach you perseverance.
- Both can motivate you.
- You can’t have one without the other.
Nobody bats 1,000. Failing is just part of the process. Eventually you are more likely to succeed if you don’t throw in the towel. The lesson is this: learn from both.
If you have been hitting your head against a wall trying to succeed and not making any progress, here are some suggestions:
- Ask someone who is not emotionally attached to the situation to help you see it for what it is. You may get the clarity that you have been lacking. Just make sure the person you ask has wisdom and common sense.
- You have to come to a point where you either have a breakthrough or you let it go. You don’t want to waste your life chasing your tail, but you also don’t want to miss the opportunity to see your dreams come true.
- If you have been knocking on the same door over and over and it isn’t opening, either find another door or seek a person who has the key. When I was in medical sales, my goal was to find one person of influence in the organization who believed in me and my company. If I did my job right, they did the selling for me to the ones who held the purse strings.
- Expect resistance, delays, competition, apathy, and even outright hatred for you or your project. Not everyone will be your cheerleader or friend. You have to have thick skin and not let the haters destroy your dreams.
Love what you do. Either love it or leave it.
“If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.” Zig Ziglar
“Gimme a break, will ya?” Have you ever felt that way? You just want to get a break and the cards you’ve been dealt are not going to win any games. Breakthroughs are tricky because we never know when they are going to come our way. All we know is that we will only break through if we are willing to push through.
Life is an incredible adventure, but it can be exhausting if you are just constantly focused on a breakthrough. Learn a valuable lesson and you will experience a lot less stress and gain the peace that has eluded you.
The lesson is this: enjoy the journey. Some people are so focused on the destination or goal that they miss all the blessings along the way. When we lose the joy of the journey, we can lose our way and miss our breakthrough altogether.
I had to take a LYFT ride the other day. The driver was a young single mom. She had 3 kids and was struggling to make ends meet. We had a long ride together, so I got to know a lot about her.
As I told her who I was, I shared my faith with her and encouraged her to draw close to God as she looked for her breakthrough. I asked her if I could pray for her and if there was anything specific she needed. Tears welled up in her eyes and she told me she had some health problems and needed healing.
I prayed for her and then left her with this: we had a “divine appointment.” She thought she was picking up someone who needed a ride, and I thought I was just getting from point A to point B. God had different plans. He sent me to her to encourage and pray for her.
She was the one who got the LIFT. God sends us divine appointments every day. We just have to ask for them, and then be ready to go with the flow. You will learn to see the opportunities to help people all along the way to your breakthrough. That is the secret to joy and peace on the journey.
For this blog, SOS has a dual meaning. Of course, everyone knows it is the international signal for “Help,” but there is another meaning that I want you to consider. I call it “Stuck On Stupid.” They kind of go hand in hand, don’t they?
When I ask you if you have ever known anyone that was SOS, you could probably produce a long list fairly quickly. Here is the catch: Is YOUR name on the list? Have you ever been SOS?
I think most of us would have to admit that we have had our moments of insanity and wondered after the fact how we could have been so stupid. They say that “You can’t fix stupid.” I disagree. You may be Stuck On Stupid, but you can get unstuck if you are willing to change.
SOS people tend to have this in common:
- They don’t listen when people with common sense are telling them to change.
- They don’t learn from their mistakes.
- They don’t believe that they CAN change.
- They often are frustrated and angry people.
If you want to know how to get unstuck for that “friend,” it is pretty simple:
- Admit you need help and be willing to consider the advice from those that love and care for you. Just make sure the one giving you advice is not SOS.
- Don’t keep making the same mistakes over and over. Figure out how to get a better outcome. It is a lot less painful for you and everyone else. Every mistake is an opportunity to learn.
- Change is possible if you are willing to change. Be willing to take the risk. All change involves an element of risk, but the risk of not changing might very well be your worst nightmare.
- Manage your emotions. It is never OK to go off on others. Get therapy if necessary.
SOS people need help. Perhaps you will be the one to rescue them. Just understand that if they are SOS, they may resist your best efforts. Don’t take it personal. Love them, encourage them, and pray for them. Let God be the one to get their attention.
Air Force Special Operations Combat Controller Jack Fanning is a hero. He survived five tours in Afghanistan. Then the unthinkable happened: his parachute failed and left him paralyzed from the neck down. Here is the amazing thing: he is not bitter. He is not blaming God. His attitude is: There is a reason for everything. He believes it was allowed to happen so he could help other Veterans who are disabled. Since he truly knows their pain, they listen to Jack.
I don’t know how I would react to such a tragedy and I pray I never have to find out, but I do know that when life smacks you in the face you have two choices:
- You can lay there and die, or
- You can get up and try.
Here are some takeaways from his testimony:
- Be thankful for what you have, because it could be taken from you at any moment.
- Faith in God will help you though the darkest hours you face.
- Your faith will sustain you; lack of it will restrain you.
- There is nothing good that comes out of remaining angry over what happened. Bitterness is a deep root that can destroy you if you let it. Get rid of the root.
- Bad things can happen to good people, and good things can happen to bad people. Life is not fair, so don’t be surprised by it.
- Whatever happens to you, find a way to get the focus on others. Regardless of how you feel at the moment, it is never just about you.
- You have to believe in yourself. When the tragedy happens, your true character is revealed. When you get squeezed, what comes out? I have to admit that I am sometimes embarrassed at how I react to things. I am working on responding vs reacting.
- Some storms you know are coming and some you don’t. Prepare for both.
- There is life after a tragedy. Jack still shoots, hunts, scuba dives, and even jumps out of airplanes.
Jack Fanning is the real deal.
If you would like to support his organization or just learn more, go to: