Thoughts on Failure
I was browsing Facebook this morning, as I do most every morning, and saw an article that my friend Mary Haight had shared. The caption she’d written was, “Do you believe in yourself?” and the article was titled The 10 Reasons Why We Fail. Quiet time with my husband out of town ramps up my introspective tendencies, and still stinging from a drop in my blog traffic, I took the bait.
Some of the reasons discussed absolutely don’t describe me …
No one has convinced me of my “station” in life. People try to convince you of this idea that “we are what we are, and we need to accept that because that’s all we’ll ever be” – but it’s never held with me. We get to decide who and what we are … and we can change our minds as often as we want! Sometimes you need to try being what you’re not to decide what it is that you are – for example, I tried being an accountant for many years and you see how that turned out. Taking a look at your life and throwing out the things that don’t fit is the way we evolve into better people – don’t pack your baggage with the crap that other people have handed to you.
For me, death is a motivator. The author suggests that some people use the fact that they could die tomorrow as an excuse to stop. For me the opposite is true. A few people know that one of the things that propelled us to jump into GoPetFriendly is that we had a close friend die in her 50′s. After finding out she had terminal cancer, she and her husband spent 26 beautiful months doing all the things they’d dreamed together. Rod and I decided to learn from our friends’ experience and not wait until one of us had a deadly disease to follow our dreams.
How I’ll be remembered is the least of my worries. My legacy never crosses my mind. Even my remains will not be planted in a cemetery with a headstone marking my place – the ashes will be scattered and life will move on. We don’t keep people alive in our memories the way other cultures do, telling stories that pass down through the ages … two generations after my death people may recognize my name on a family tree, but they’ll never know anything about who I was. It’s just the way things are, better to not be bogged down by it.
I can’t imagine celestial agents setting up road blocks. This belief that some outside force has determined my circumstances and therefore I should linger here until that force decides to change my situation doesn’t fly. The Universe is a powerful and wonderful thing, and we humans have been blessed with self-awareness, will power, determination and grit – we should use them. Unhappiness is a flashing neon sign that says: MAKE A CHANGE! And, while I do believe everything happens for a reason – to teach us a lesson or cause us to consider a path otherwise dismissed – I believe the Universe wants us to make our own way and will support our efforts.
The fear of losing what we’d built was tougher to conquer. But, after our friend passed, Rod and I quickly got over our fear of losing everything. It only took this realization: if one of us were truly sick, we’d both gladly give up everything we owned just to have our health back. There is a lot of freedom in moving those material possessions to their proper place on the priority ladder. It gave us the courage to risk it all and change our way of life.
But the message from this article that most struck me was, “You can’t strive for great achievements by dropping anchor in Goodville.”
Whoa. That little sentence flipped a switch inside me. I’ve been spending too much time planted on the front porch in Goodville – comfortable and content. Well, that’s about to change. It’s time to turn up the intensity, re-harness my passion and get some new projects off the ground.
Over the next several months you’ll see some changes at GoPetFriendly.com. We’ll be working on new functionality that will make planning trips with your pets even easier, and developing a place where you can share your experiences with the rest of the pet travel community.
The truth is, I’m not good at failure. I’m more of a go all out and push things over the top, or hit the wall and crash and burn kinda girl. So, to answer Mary’s question, I do believe in this thing with my whole heart. Fasten your seat belts!
Have you dropped anchor in Goodville? What are you going to do to get moving again?