Recently, I had a discussion with a coworker about Billy Alsbrooks, an author and motivational speaker I enjoy. The subject was on being a champion. Mr. Alsbrooks states in his videos that we are all champions. This gentleman took a slight issue with that. “I am not always a champion. Some days I lose my temper and act in ways I shouldn’t.” he informed me. I would like to share with you my reply to him.
I do not pretend to speak for Billy Alsbrooks, but instead will give you my interpretation of his message and how it spoke to me. The first thing that came to mind was the definition of a champion. When people hear the word champion they think of the person holding up the trophy. Someone who did not lose. If you have read my writing for any length of time you will know I look at a champion differently.
To me, a champion is someone who is always learning, always growing. We consider a baseball player with a 300 average a champion. A 300 average means they ‘failed’ 7 out of 10 times! Think of people we call champions today. Lebron James was on a team in Cleveland that could not win a championship. He did not give up. He ended up playing in Miami where he won and then went back to Cleveland to win one there as well. Michael Jordan, who many consider the best player of all time did not make the cut on his high school team. He used that for motivation to work harder and won 6 championships. Tom Brady had to wait until the sixth round to be drafted. Then he was on a team who had a star quarterback. Instead of feeling dejected, he practiced twice as hard. When his time came he took full advantage and has won several championships.
This is not limited to sports. What if I told you there was a child who grew up with a mother and father who were alcoholics and mentally and physically abusive. At one point even having dish soap poured down his throat for something he said. Growing up poor eventually having six fathers and leaving home at 17 what would you predict for his life? Failure? Poverty? Surely there would be a general anger and distrust of people. That man was Tony Robbins who has gone on to be one of the best selling and most inspiring success coaches of all time.
The point is this. Champions are not people who win all of the time. They are those who learn and grow from their challenges and so-called failures. There are days we all don’t live up to our own standards. We lose our temper, we don’t follow through, we are not as productive as we should be. Those things do not mean we are not champions. All they mean is we have lessons to learn and chances to practice improving ourselves. It also serves as a great way to remain humble. Remember other fellow champions have their off days too. Be understanding and use those moments to remind them that they too are champions.
A true champion is not about their standing or their situations, but more about what they do with them.
Does this picture resemble your brain at any given moment in time? We are going to use what we learned yesterday to help us here too. This website is not to tell you what to believe morally or spiritually. I think as long as you are trying to better yourself without harming others, whatever path you choose is up to you.
That being said, how then can we know if what we are doing is right, wrong, moral, pushing us in the right direction or leading us down the wrong path in life? Goals. As I have discussed in previous posts this word used to send chills down my spine. Maybe it reminded me too much of homework in school? Maybe the fear of ‘failure’ was causing me not to set goals in the first place. The last few years I have learned to not only embrace goals, but failure as well. Here is the secrets I have learned. Goals can be both a motivator as well as a compass. Failure? It is not an adversary so much as a teacher. It can also present us with new opportunity. One of the biggest failures I read about was at 3M. An employee was making a permanent adhesive. When they put it to use it was anything but. What happened to that adhesive that didn’t adhere to perfectly? Sounds like the definition of failure, right? We now use them as ‘post it notes’.
When you set a goal as to who you want to become it can help you with everything from your moral compass to the correct action to take on a project. Say you wish to become a great film producer, then learning about different cameras could be helpful while learning about bug spray not so much. Wanting to become an exterminator? The story would be the opposite.
Tomorrow we will look at one of my favorite exercises to keep you motivated and on track for the rest of your life. It will be a little dark, a little scary to some, but very enlightening to all. I look forward to talking with you all tomorrow.
In the category of things that never made sense to me, but now have really changed the way I look at the world, I give you failure. Growing up with the guidance of well meaning people around me failure was a word that should attempt to be avoided. You didn’t want to fail because that meant you were no good. It meant you were not a success. As an adult I continued to look at failure in this light. It actually grew to be something I began to fear. I would do everything in my power to make sure I didn’t fail. That sadly included not trying things that were likely to end up in failure, at least at first.
If we look at our lives there are certain things we are naturally good at. I can usually get up and speak or give a toast with little or no problem. If you see me on the dance floor however, something would appear seriously wrong.
We naturally tend to pursue things that we have some basic skill in. For me writing and speaking are two of my more natural skills so I tend to do things that use those skills. Bartending and DJing use my speaking and relating skills. This website and my books use my writing skills (Notice I did not say grammar or editing skills). The reason we do this is our chance of failure is less likely and we naturally excel at them. This gives us a feeling of self confidence and accomplishment. That is great and I believe pursuing things you are passionate about will lead to great success.
That being said, do not let fear of failure stand in your way from exploring new things. Once you learn a new skill as we showed above in can translate into several other options. Realizing this can make enduring the initial failure can be a little easier. Failure is not an end, but part of the journey. The quicker we do so, the quicker we can move on to developing our skills and becoming more proficient. Here is another little trick I find that works. If you can somehow use a skill you already have to learn a new skill it can make learning a lot less painful and a lot more fun. When I was learning how to become a DJ and my wonderful teacher, who happened to be the patient love of my life, was showing me all of the technical aspects (most of which I am still learning) I leaned heavily on the speaking part of the job because that is what I am naturally good at. It gave me a feeling of competence and a hope that I could one day be a great DJ like she is.
Takeaway today is don’t fear failure, embrace it. Do so quickly, because as soon as you get it out of the way you will be one step closer to success. Now if I could just find a way to link speaking and writing with dancing….
I love this post because it points out something very important, there is a recipe for both success and failure. If you do the three things mentioned above life will suck, period. Number one, complain about everything, does little to change anything for the better. What it does do is put our focus on what is not working. This in itself is not a bad thing, we need to focus on what is not working in order to be able to correct it. However, complaining is seldom if ever solution oriented. It is actually totally useless. In fact, it is worse than totally useless. When you complain for a long period of time you are thinking and vocalizing what is wrong in your life, with the world, or with someone else you think should be living differently. You leave the conversation feeling worse than when you started. As for anyone who is listening to you they also feel worse and very well may look to avoid conversations with you in the future. This would only add to the negative and thus, life would suck more
Number two, blaming others for your problems we will deal with in the next post. What we can say about it here is that it often leads to number one. It also contributes to number three. Worse it does something that makes you feel even worse, but again we will discuss that tomorrow.
Number three, never be grateful, is a joy killer. When you fail to appreciate what you have in life, that leaves you to focus on what you do not have. How does this leave you feeling? Like your life is a state of lack. You always feel that your life is missing something. That also would suck.
So at the risk of this sounding negative this post also gives us the recipe for success. How? In the face of every negative situation, there is the seed of a positive one. In this case just do the opposite of those three. Reduce the amount of complaining you do and focus on what is going right and how to solve what is not working. Accept responsibility for your role in your life’s problems, and always, always find something to be grateful for. Those are the three ways to succeed in life.
If you found this read helpful or inspiring please feel free to share/like and comment. Tell all your friends about secret2anamazinglife.com Let us all work together to make the work a more positive place.
I’m VERY excited to be writing this post. This is a picture that my lady posted on Facebook. I fell in love with it right away, much like I did with her. Here is the powerful thing about this, it points out a very important thing that many of us do not utilize. We can control what things in life mean to us. What it is often perceived as a negative experience can often be the greatest of all lessons and motivate us further. If you look at words they have a powerful impact on how we feel. When someone says you ‘FAIL’ it makes us feel bad, but if you ask any successful person they suggest you should embrace failure. Why? because when you fail, you are getting one step closer to succeeding. In fact, if we never fail, we would never learn anything. We would never grow. If we change our definition to “first attempt at learning” we can better understand how it can help us grow.
‘END’ is another word that can make us feel down. A job comes to an end, we can feel like we did something wrong. Only if we give up. If we change our definition to “effort never dies” it encourages us to keep going. So next time we are told we have come to an end, let us not accept that. If that door closes, let us go on looking for another which may very well open up into a room full of new opportunities that we may never have encountered.
How about when we have been pushing and doing our best and someone tells us ‘NO’? We must not accept that as a final word. In my own life I have faced many ‘NOs’. Each one has had me feel let down. From now on, thanks to my beautiful Margie, I will understand that is just means “Next opportunity”. In my professional career I have been pushed to new jobs, new people and new gifts and talents I would not have discovered had I not lost the position that I had previously. In my personal life, a lot of ‘FAIL’ ‘END’ and ‘NO’ has changed my life for the better more than anything else.
If you like this as much as I did, thank Margie and feel free to like/comment/share with others!
Don’t ask what if I fail. You will. A better question is when I fail, then what? This may not seem to positive at first glance, telling you that you are going to fail and all. Still, failure is only absolute if we learn nothing from it. Believe me when I tell you I was as guilty as anyone of being afraid of failure. I was especially afraid to try new things for the fear I may fail. Then I realized that by being a slave to my fear I was failing to try. Plus, what is the worst thing about failing? People laughing at you? Well first of all that seldom happens, we all have failed and know what it is like. Feeling like a failure? This is something that happens internally. We must understand failure is a lesson. Instead of becoming depressed we must learn to become curious. Why did I not succeed? What can I learn from this experience? These questions actually give us power when we do fall short and give us valuable lessons to move us forward. In fact failure is one of the best teachers. So when you fail realize you just became smarter. Like a lot of other things in life, the secret is learning to use failure, not letting failure use you. So this weekend when things do not go your way, get excited! Ask yourself what you can learn to make your future brighter and to limit or eliminate this sort of challenge from occurring again.
Adaptation of above image illustrating an Internet meme (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I do a lot of talking about goals on this blog, which in a strange way is rather ironic. If you had asked me 2 years ago about goals the mere sound of the word would’ve caused me to go in the opposite direction. Goals brought up a feeling of deadlines and the possibility of failure. Neither of which sounded overly pleasurable to me. What if I don’t make this deadline? Do I want that hanging over my head? What if the deadline comes and I fall short? What if I fail? Sound familiar? I actually found myself fearing goals. If I never set a goal I could never fail. One problem with this. I am also a procrastinator. I never realized that part of my reasoning for not setting goals was that it would force me to take action which I was uncomfortable doing. Then I heard a couple of phrases that changed the way I view goals altogether. Funny thing is they were not about goals or goal setting. They were about the one thing I feared the most – failure. Who wants to fail? You look foolish, people think less of you, it may discourage you from trying new things. That is what I thought. Then I heard the phrase “the key to success is massive failure” I couldn’t comprehend that Until I listened to one of my favorite motivational speakers, Tony Robbins. How can failure lead to success? Well in my own world I notice my fear of failure was actually keeping me from trying new things. If I never tried, I could never fail. Then I had to question my definition of the word failure. In essence to me it meant not achieving a certain end you had set out to accomplish. Now it may mean something slightly different to you, but in general I think we are close here. I realized by fearing failure I had not tried, therefore I had not accomplished much of anything. It was keeping me from learning and growing. I also had to ask myself the tough question “what happens when I do fail to reach my goal? What happens when I fail?” Again I thought of Edison and his quote about having to try 10,000 different materials to find one that worked as a filament in a light bulb. When someone asked him how he could keep going after failing so many times. he responded “I didn’t fail, I just discovered 10,000 ways that didn’t work” I always read that and thought I am not sure if after 100 times of trying something I would keep going…maybe even after 50 or 25 depending on the situation. Yet look what having a deadline does to most of us. As a deadline draws nearer our action intensifies, we begin to try anything and everything to get this accomplished. Have you ever done this? maybe the night before an exam? Even if we fall a little short we walk away with more knowledge and a far better chance of succeeding next time. An example from my personal life is as follows. Let’s say i set a certain amount of my book I would like to sell in a month. As the end of the month grows closer I will try many different methods to get my book in the hands of as many people as I can. Some may work, some may not. Now if the end of the month comes and i am short of my number should I feel terrible? Like a letdown? No! I sold more books than if I had no goal at all. Than if I had been afraid to try and afraid to fail. I also will have learned some new marketing tools and some that may be a waste of time and money. All because I wasn’t afraid to fail. Think of your own life. What are you fearing doing? What may you learn if you embrace that possibility of failing? Why are goals so damn important anyway? That is what we will look at tomorrow!