I get knocked down but I get up again….

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Nice quote by Nelson.  As for the song, that was a pretty nonsensical band name, and album name and over all a one hit wonder that got annoyingly stuck in the brain.  Kinda similar to how annoying it is when you are have a really crappy day and your super perky friend (whose favorite vacation still is Disneyland) gives you bear hugs, singing Dionne Warwick loudly in your ear while reminding you that life is so much better than you think.   COME ON PEOPLE, we need practical help not movie scenes and barney songs!

But yes, we must all admit the power of positive thinking or laughing it off has to change the mindset that enables us giving it another go.

Just the other day I was late to a meeting I wasn’t prepared for only to realize the metal strip on the side of the plastic wrap container sliced my finger which bled onto my white shirt, I had forgot a kid’s lunch box at home running out the door. (Luckily if was just the lunchbox and not the kid themselves, though I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t previously done that too…I only made it down the street 2 houses though so it wasn’t that bad.)  I grabbed a random sticker from the floor of the car, put it over the blood stain and feigned ignorance that a child had put it there (as I thought that was less embarrassing), and I went into the meeting.  Unfortunately, the meeting became an all out critical session of my business plan and concept.  Cue the Dionne Warwick.

However there are 2 logical options on how to proceed:  1) throw the plans out, throw the shirt out, have a winey lunch and cry; OR 2) take the feedback seriously, make improvements, and glue the sticker to the shirt for forever.  As I have started and will write there are many many failures that I have had but also some successes (or at least fun/interesting adventures).  None of the good times have happened isolated from all failures.  Failures were part of every one of them.  If you are a crazy fortunate brilliant person to have escaped the pre-failure part of success -more power to you.  I certainly have not, but I don’t regret any of it either.  Right now it is easy to think that many folks are that lucky given how many young 20-somethings are starting businesses and making millions quickly.  I think though if they were honest and told their whole story this fast and painless success wouldn’t be the norm we believe it is.

I kinda equate it to running (or insert any kind of strenuous exercise).  I have been running on / off (and off some more) for many years now and even when I’m on a roll being consistent, the first 8 minutes of my run is tough.  I have to get into it, my body needs to remember how to breath under pressure, I have to stop flailing my arms like a chicken on fire…it takes time and effort to make it through the first part.  But then if I stick through it, somehow (i don’t know how) it starts to get easier and I can keep going. I have talked to lots of other folks, professional athletes and amateurs alike and EVERYONE has their ‘pivot-point’ when the body engages and it gets easier.  For some maybe it only takes 1-2 minutes, others may need to stick it out longer.

Sometimes that extra glass of wine at dinner the night before makes my pivot point shift. Likewise, if I rushed through an important aspect of a new project, decided i didn’t need instructions for my DIY something, my pivot point for the work may extend (significantly at times).  Sometimes the things that shift our pivot points are in our control (too much vino, following directions), sometimes they are not (new import/export laws drafted overnight, business certifications and process times).  Also eventually, no matter how good the run is you eventually poop out and need to take a break. Sometimes work is going really well but then other life priorities pull us to shift focus, direction (or countries, HAHA).  Overall, it helps me to think of failures and successes a little more as a continuum rather than beginnings and ends.

Eventually we all help to learn from our mistakes and make those pivot-points quicker.  So let’s all give each other an encouraging look, try to not get frustrated and use those failures to our advantage (whether it’s just to laugh at the ridiculousness of them, learn from them or improve our overall product).

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