Fail to Succeed

Having just read the New York Times article “What if the Secret to Success is Failure?” I can’t help but nod in agreement.  Yes, to have an education, finish school, graduate from highschool or even a college degree does not ensure you will have a successful life.  A degree does not guarantee that you won’t jump off the balcony because of a broken heartache, nor does it guarantee you will know how to handle the stresses of life and stop yourself from falling victim to a nervous breakdown.  Traditional schooling paid attention to grades, to achievement tests, to placement exams and all the while, they forgot about focusing on the student’s character.  How do they handle stress? How do they interact? Are they a good person?  Do they think of other people?
The article mentions how those who succeeded in college were not always necessarily the ones who scored the highest in class and got the best grades.  They were the ones who knew how to get up after they failed.  They were the ones who knew how to handle a failure, a bad grade, and move on.  They sought for help and worked hard with a determination to succeed.  They were the ones who graduated from college despite coming from a background where college degrees were not the norm.

I think the same applies to everyday life.

Once out of school, out of the safe confines of classrooms and professors, being out in the world can be a pretty daunting task.  Whether you succeed or not depends a lot on your character.  How resourceful are you? Do you know how to ask for help? Do you know how to treat other people?  Are you aware of other peoples’ feelings?  Most importantly, do you know how to get up after you’ve failed?

If you never fail, if you are never allowed to fail, then you would never know how to pick up yourself after having failed.   That’s why you hear stories of girls committing suicide because of heartache and students who kill themselves because of a bad grade.  They didn’t know how to handle failure. They were never allowed to fail.  They thought failure meant the end of the world.  They grew up protected from failure.

It’s important to know that it is OKAY TO FAIL.   That I think is an important lesson everyone should know.  It’s okay to fail. Failing doesn’t make you a bad person.  We are humans. No one is perfect.

Failure in itself is a learning experience.  What’s more important is to ask yourself, what did you learn from that failure? What went wrong?  Once you realize this, you can move on so that you won’t repeat the same mistake again.

That’s a trait for success.  That’s what makes the difference.  Because you have failed, you know its pitfalls and you know how to avoid them.  Therefore fail to succeed.  Success cannot be gained without first failing.

Here’s to learning!

Little by Little

It’s been a few days since this writer last wrote and already I can feel the fingers and mind get a little rusty.  The words don’t flow quite as easily and the fingers have a little hesitation.  Or perhaps it’s my headaches that are slowing things down.  Whatever it is, there’s no excuse.  If you want to practice something or face a daunting task, I suggest do start doing it little by little.

For example, if you want to practice writing.  Keeping a blog is wonderful.  It lets you write a little each day.  Little by little each day you get to practice writing.  If you don’t want to publish, keep a little journal. Practice your handwriting.  My handwriting is awful now.  I type faster than I write.

If you want to lose weight and you have a two digit goal like 10kgs, the task can seem very daunting.

Where do you start? Where to begin? Some people give up just thinking about it and revert back to eating.  It seems too difficult. I fear I will not survive. I fear I would not succeed.  I fear I will not lose weight.  I fear it will yet be another failed attempt at dieting.  Our fears are endless.  There is a never-ending list of fears we have.  So forget about the fears and just do it.

So my suggestion tonight is if you have a big project ahead of you.  No matter how large, how daunting, what you can do is break it down into little pieces.  Make the goals achievable.  If you want to start writing, write just a few sentences.  Who said you had to write entire essays everytime? Essays that have to be perfect?

If you want to lose weight, aim first to lose 2kgs or 5kgs.  These are achievable goals.  Once you reach them, move them out.  Lose another two or another five.  By the time you finish, you’d have accumulated more weightloss than you first realize.  2kgs + 5kg+3kgs and voila, its already 10kgs!

Remember this: overcome your fears and break tasks  into small achievable goals.  If you can do this, then you can do anything you want in life. (Of course you can’t turn into a toad, unless you had a magic potion.  And  yes, I have to keep reminding myself of this also. It’s not easy, but its achievable)

A “Good” Time

And so the weekend is over. Just like that its done and over before you know it. Just like that and your life will have passed you by.  Just like that you’d have gone through that experience you feared, undergone that operation or crossed that terribly high bridge.  Whatever happened, it didn’t kill you and it was over.  Over just like that.

It’s the same thing with exercise and weightloss.   Many people still ask me how I did it. (Even a year after)  The answer is simple.  You just take a deep breath, decide to do it and DO IT.  Don’t hesitate, don’t waste another minute of your precious life wondering when is a “good” time to do it, when is a “good time” to start that project.

If you just do it, before you know it , you’d have reached your goal and be done with it forever and ever.  There is never a “good” time to do it as when the “good” time arrives,  you’d undoubtedly find another reason why some later time in the future is a “good” time to start that weight loss program instead.  It a “good” time when you start it, whenever it is.

Now is a “good” time.

So if you want to do something you’ve had on your mind and you are just waiting for the “good” and “right” time, my answer to you, is to start doing it “Now.”  For there is no time as good as the present 🙂  Before you know it, you’d be done and wearing that bikini you’ve always been dreaming of 🙂