Friday, March 29, 2013

10 Ways To Fail in Love, Life & Business

A large misconception I'm trying to overcome is making it seem like I somehow have it all figured out.  The majority of what I write about comes from a place of guilt and lessons learned the hard way.  Not from an angle of superiority.

My BEST half told me a couple weeks ago that I should write about my failures.  Not what "other people" should do. 

Which is what I thought I was doing.  Sometimes though, saying the same thing in a different way can make all the difference.  So, here we go - 10 Ways to Fail in Love, Life & Business.....from personal experience.

1 - Stop Growing
   John Wooden once said, "Once you think you're through learning, you ARE through!"  I was successful.  I was good at what I did.  I made money, and had the title to go with it.  I was young, had all the superficial stuff that I thought mattered, and took my eye off of what really did.  Learning.  Learning what to do when times get challenging.  How to bounce back.  How to avoid the pitfalls.  How to plan for when I couldn't. No matter how high you get, or how good things seem to be, never, ever stop improving.  Become a life long learner.

2 - Turn Into a Human Trash Compactor
   Ready for the obvious?  What happens when you stop working out?  You get rounder.  What happens when you combine that with eating like a dumpster?  You get rounder, faster.  This is one of those "simple, but not easy" deals.  Work out, and watch what you eat, and you will feel better - in almost every way.

3 - Focus on Yourself
   The entire universe, with one VERY minor exception, is made up of OTHER people.  Focusing on myself was maybe the most destructive thing I've done.  Sure, at times you need to.  But, when you're already a selfish person by nature, and you compound that by ignoring others feelings, you become an impossible person.  People don't want to talk to you, be with you, and they no longer care about you - they simply feel sorry for you, and that's if you're lucky.

4 - Scrap Your Goals
   This world eats people up and shits them out without batting an eyelash.  The "world" doesn't care if you are sick, tired, sad, happy, nervous, afraid or whatever you feel like feeling like today.  It only cares about your value.  Bring value to the day, and your marketplace, and it will reward you.  The second I stopped focusing on my goals, was the second I started to fail.  I didn't know it at the time, because it wasn't instantaneous.  But if I'm not moving towards my objectives, I'm moving away from them.  There is no neutral.  The days I didn't make count are days I wasted, and can't get back.

5 - Forget The Dates That Matter
   Dates, anniversaries, birthdays, or any other day/time that is important.  Go ahead and just forget those.  Don't write them down.  Don't put them in your planner.  Run late, or just blow it off entirely.  This has been a HUGE downfall of mine.  I used to think that those kinds of events just didn't matter that much.  What I wasn't grasping was that it didn't matter because I made it not matter.  I could have made that date night, that birthday, that weekend mean the world to her.  But I didn't.  Because it didn't matter.  It wasn't that important.  I'm learning now that it can matter a whole hell of a lot, if I remember, care, and MAKE it matter.

6 - Live Reactively
   Sitting back, waiting for things to happen, and then deciding what I would do, say or think is a recipe for disaster.  In a relationship, and most things in life, you need to take the bull by the horns sometimes.  Be proactive.  When I did little in advance, and refused to take a "pay it forward" approach, opportunities were missed.  They say it's never too late to do the right thing.......sometimes it is.
7 - Refuse To Own It
   All of it.  Now, I'm not talking about the cars and the clothes and that kind of crap.  I'm talking about owning all of whatever comes your way.  The good.  And definitely the bad.  I wasn't failing, it was the economy, the marketing company, the sales reps, the demographics....blah, blah, blah.  Yet, when it was going well, guess who was taking all the credit??  Yours truly.  Only when I owned my failures and took total 100% responsibility for them did I turn a significantly important corner.

8 - Never Apologize
   There are a few words that I honestly regret not saying every single day.
  • I'm sorry
  • You were right
  • I was wrong
  • I love you
  • I appreciate you
  • Thank you
Along with the other things that we, as individuals, just love to hear.  Its amazing how my ego/pride/stubborness has prevented me from saying 2-3 words that could make a huge difference in someone elses day.  Whether you're a family member, friend, co-worker, etc. I screwed up when I kept my mouth shut during those now obvious moments.  For that, I'm sorry.

9 - Make Excuses
    Maybe this is an extension of refusing to take ownership.  Either way, it's worth exploring further.  There are excuses, and then there are reasons.  I chose to live a life with more excuses then reasons.  From the small things, like not doing more around the house because I was tired.  To the larger things, like justifying mistreatment of someone I care about because I was in a "bad mood".  We can justify and convince ourselves of whatever we want.  "I'm out of shape because I work too much."  "I don't have time for that because _______."  or "That's not my job".  Are all things I've allowed to leave my mouth and wish I could take back. 

If I could, I'd go back and remind myself that those are REASONS, not excuses.  Because I have a lot to do, I need to finish up more "honey-do's" around the house.  Or BECAUSE I work hard, I need to make sure that I'm in better shape. 

To be successful, truly successful, I needed to start to turn more of my excuses into reasons.

10 - How You Do Anything Is How You Do Everything
   If I procrastinate in one area, I'll likely procrastinate in most areas.  If I'm disorganized at home, I'll likely be disorganized at work.  If I'm inconciderate to one person, I'll justrify being that way to others.  I needed to understand that the type of person I want to be is not part of my genetic make up, but a result of habit and practice, and a conscious effort to be that way. 

Happy people are happy because they choose to be happy.  Healthy people aren't born healthy - they get their healthy asses in the gym.  If you really think you can differentiate how you are in one area of your life, and seperate that from other areas, you might be making the same mistakes I've made for years. 

They say there are a handful of ways to be more successful, and a million ways to fail.  If it's true that the most successful people on Eart are the ones who've failed the most, the fastest - then I must be making some serious progress!  I hope you are as well, and are willing to share......

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