Meeting success and failure with centering on practice

I really appreciate the conclusions Elizabeth Gilbert came to when faced with her success and then less than successful book publishing.  This is a great example of not getting overly emotional about what seems to be either success or failure.  In the martial arts, as in yoga or meditation or any part of life – Practice for the sake of practice and the results will come.


Using Failure as a Growing Tool

A series of post's on leadership in the familyWatching your son or daughter trying to accomplish a task that brings with it a reward that they want very badly is very hard for a parent.  In our school as a child is demonstrating their jumping rope, performing a form or some other skill, many parents have told me they have sat on the side holding their breath, hoping for success.  For all parents though just this one thought:

Success does not mean avoiding failure.

In fact, with the right attitude, failure is neither fatal or final.  It can be the springboard to success.

All of us fail.  The only way we will not fail is if we do not try anything.  The question is how will we fail?  How will we view mistakes?  If we are to be a success we must learn to fail in the forward direction.  In other words our mistakes must not get inside our head and stop us from giving it another try.

When we are teaching our children about success –  we can also teach them about the power of failure.  Learning from their mistakes, thinking about how to improve ourselves and the situation, focusing on the rewards of success will keep our children and ourselves from becoming negative in our attitude and mind.  Failure can be a great learning experience, an opportunity for growth and character building experience.

Goal setting: Fall down 7, Get up 8

One of the most difficult parenting challenges we have is seeing our child fail at a task that we know that they really want to achieve.  In fact many parents have a tendency to do everything in their power to not allow their child fail – at almost anything.  We have discussed before how important it is for children to learn that failure is part of life and that we can reorganize and try again.  I am reminded of Thomas Edison, who after his factory burned to the ground said something to the affect of, that now they could get started on some new and better ideas.

This is a good time of the year as we look at what we have done this year and see the areas of our own failure to reach a goal to evaluate how we will react.  Our own reaction will teach our children how to reevaluate and move forward.  Take a look at this acronym and use it as a guide to moving forward.

F – finalize your goal

O – order your plans

R – risk failing by taking action

W – welcome mistakes

A – advance based on your character

R – reevaluate your progress continually

D – develop new strategies to succeed

If you stay determined, and are willing to get up when you have been knocked down, you will achieve not only your goals but also your dreams.

When we are not confident

Last night in our classes I talked to the students about how we talk to ourselves when we are not feeling confident. So many times when we are not feeling confident is when we are going into a new situation of something we do not know what to expect, trying something new, maybe a test or a challenge at work that seems insurmountable.
The way we talk to ourselves at that time will have an impact on how we react to those situations. If we talk in a negative way, “you can’t do this”, “this is not going to work out”, “you know they are going to reject you”, we are setting ourselves up for failure. We get what we see is going to happen so often.
I called this the “grumpy voice” that is inside our head. Do you have one of them? Most of us do! If we had an acquaintance who had doubts about a situation, we would never talk to them like that though, would we? So why would we talk to ourselves like that? Lets find a better way of talking to ourselves and get rid of that “grumpy voice”.
I do not believe in just positive messages to ourselves. If we say “there are no weeds”, “there are no weeds”, “there are no weeds”, and there are weeds, it really is of no help. The real questions are different than that. Next time the real questions. For now though think about the messages you say to yourself. Would you say them to a friend, and if not, then don’t say them to yourself.