Fight and fail; the only option worth taking

Lately it seems I’ve be learning a lot of lessons.  Which is another way of saying; I’ve been attempting new activities and not achieving the preferred outcome.  This is frustrating for me and I imagine the same for others who are constantly doing the same.

I don’t want to learn anymore lessons for a while.  I want a normal day of mediocrity, filled with a calm contentment and no surprises; like working on an assembly line for a few months.

Then I heard the quote from Teddy Roosevelt again and was inspired to change my mindset.  It goes; “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” ( 23 April, 1910)

WOW!  How could I surrender, sit on my hands, and not continue to fight for another day to achieve greatness.  I must – for if I don’t risk knowing victory, I’m destine to feel a life of regret.  Am I alone in that feeling?  Can you relate?

Once I’ve define the goal, I need to put it into action.  Here are three ideas I need to keep in mind:

Find a GoalMate.  I cannot achieve greatness alone.  I have tried and failed.  I hit an intellectual and conceptual wall that prevents the introduction of new ideas and the reinforcement of new behaviors.  There are people in my life that are committed to my success and want me to succeed.  Some people don’t want me to change, grow and succeed, because they risk being left behind.  When we change every one around us changes.  When we grow, we meet new people at our new level.  Find someone that will crush the self-doubt that holds us back.  Someone that will tell you when you are not living up to your potential.  Someone that will not tolerate your excuses and self-limiting mindset.  You will find the answers along the way, only if you don’t give up and quit.

Think selfishly – Act unselfishly.  Being selfish has always been interpreted as being bad. When we spend time reading does that benefit one’s self?  If we go to fitness club and spend an hour working out, who does that benefit?  If we are committed to eating right for a longer life and better health, who wins?  These are all selfish activities.  But the cycle does not end there.  We need to take care of ourselves first, before we can give our best self to others.  If we are not committed to being generous with our knowledge, we are selfish.  If we don’t donation our time to serve an organization for the greater good, we are selfish.  If we don’t financially contribute to groups that make a difference in lives of others, we are being selfish.  Take care of yourself, serve others and you will have a strong sense of purpose, fulfillment and meaning at the end of the day.

Commitment > Consequences.  If you are responsible for performing a certain task and you don’t, what happens?  I imagine there are some consequences.  Not doing something is a decision, just as doing something.  Do you ever weigh the short and long term consequences of not doing something and the impact it would have on your life?  Too often I meet with salespeople that are smart, talented and capable; but they struggle to execute.  When they don’t, termination is on the radar.  Compare sitting at home on the couch, not getting paid, watching television against being paid to perform the necessary task of your role; which would you rather do?  Every decision we make has to be weighed against the consequences of inaction.  Is your commitment to perform the necessary activities of your role greater than the consequences if you don’t and fail?

If you are learning lesson like me, you are growing.  It is easy to quit.  Think of those companies and people that have committed to serve the marketplace, individuals and other companies, and the challenges they had to overcome to survive.  Not all survived.  They had to fight and risk failure to continue to grow to survive and thrive.  You are one of those people whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming.