Category Archives: Failure
Last month I started a running program called Couch to 5K after seeing others posting their runs on Facebook. I had thought for a long time that it was probably something I could not do because of my hypoglycemia. But last year I had done p90X and learned how to control some of the muscle fatigue caused by low blood sugar. Then I thought, if I can’t do it, I’ll just stop but until I do it, I will never know.
Facing my biggest issue with starting something new isn’t, well, something new. The fear of failure has stopped me from doing so much. If I fail at Couch to 5K, I will move on to something else to try.
Failure may be on the horizon but for now, I am loving it. When I’ve completed the walk, run, walk, run pattern I feel like I’m on top of the world. I love that feeling. A little soreness or cramping may come later, but my brain loves the endorphins from the run. That feeling is what I remember and it helps me look forward to the next run.
I’m 42 years old and dare say I might be becoming a runner. I would have never thought it. I love swimming, hiking, skiing, kayaking and several team and individual sports but outside of sprints and hurdles, I always thought running was boring. As long as the muscles and joints stay in shape, I’ll keep training. If I fail, at least I will have fun until I fall on my shame.
Merriam-Webster defines hate as intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury.
There are very few things I hate for one primary reason. It takes too much energy to work up all that fear, loathing or anger. I see it as a total waste. But, I do severely hate something that made this past week more difficult than most others: birthdays.
I don’t fear growing old though I have difficulty embracing it at times. My anger about birthdays has subsided with time, 30 years to be exact but the deep scars of hurt linger. Each year with the arrival of my birthday, the wounds reopen. Each year I struggle to find a way to erase the memories that I hold onto as if they were all that I have. Well, they nearly are.
My 10th birthday party my Dad threw for me was the most awesome birthday party I ever had, ever attended or dreamed about. I saw him the following year but my 12th birthday came and went without any acknowledgement. Lost, confused and dejected, I turned the anger and disappointment on myself.
I’ve hated birthdays ever since.
Many topics this week had one common theme that I feel compelled to attempt to write about in a logical framework. This is always a personal challenge given my propensity of classical logic. Let me see if I can gather my thoughts more succinctly.
One conversation I encountered this week was someone not happy with the way someone else treats them. Most unfortunate is the fact that they have let it happen, never having set the parameters to which others can identify where they stand with this person. Isn’t it obvious that you have the power, the right and the innate ability to teach others how to treat you?
Dr. Death, Jack Kevorkian, died this week. He was world-renowned for his end-of-life assistance. Some say he was a murderer, assisting those who wished to die due to their medical realities. Some say he was a humanist, helping people find a peaceful end to their pain and suffering. Some say he played the role of God, helping people take their life that doesn’t belong to them in the first place. Is the decision to live or not live your own? This is more of a moral question than the first to apply self-empowerment to and one each of us has to answer for ourselves.
A couple of articles about overmedication was not surprising to me. One article focused on the military and the VA system not adequately tracking contraindications for multiple medications they prescribed to current and previous soliders. Another article spoke to the overmedication of seniors in nursing homes, specifically to antipsychotics prescribed to deal with issues surrounding their medical and life realities. But, this is where I don’t understand why people think they are powerless.
Unless you are strapped down and given an injection, you can make the decision not to pop that pill. The power of your own life over someone else’s instructions as to what you should do is infinite. We have been indoctrinated to succumb to authority, especially highly educated, trained specialists of things we are less knowledgeable about. You don’t have to trust or obey at the sacrifice of using your own brain. Maybe I’m just a little more rebellious than some.
Finally, I read a co-workers blog post about choosing to affect others. It is human to be self-absorbed. It is also human to look beyond what is going on in our own daily whirlwind and see what others are dealing with. We are empowered to make our day better by way of making someone else’s day better because we are social creatures. Sensing what we need from other people can be turned to providing that to them. Truly what goes around comes around.
We naturally seek control of our destinies at various levels. Our frustrations with the seemingly lack of control play out all too often and momentarily fool us into thinking we are not empowered with choices. Our lives are nothing but a long series of choices, made or avoided, to re-create our present and future each day.
Choose to make your day, your life what you will and take the world by storm. I have a quote in my office that helps me choose almost every day. Maybe it will help you: “what would you attempt to do if you knew you would not fail?” It has empowered me to attempt a goal I’ve had since I was 12 years old. Find what is holding you back, beat it with a stick and make that decision. You are empowered.
Without your smile my strength will buckle, the dam will break and I will come undone.
The pain will wash over me, and I will not want to come up for air.
With your smile my strength will buckle, the dam will break and I will come undone.
The pleasure will wash over me, and I will not want to come up for air.
Some words from the Bible, though I don’t make it habit to quote from this source, seems appropriate for the moment: “It is finished.”
Where I will gather strength from here is anyone’s guess. Perhaps finally, I have found my intestinal fortitude. It doesn’t feel like in this moment, but there are many days in front of me to find out.
“I failed,” said Jean Paul Sartre, and I quite agree. But lessons are learned from failure, usually not easy ones, yet important ones. I’m a good learner, actually a very good learner.
I am weaker than I like to appear but stronger than I think I am.
“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” – Lao Tzu
I am half way there already. I will find strength again one day. My courage gives me hope.
It is finished.
I am not smart but I enjoy being around intelligent, wise people and reading all kinds of information to compensate for my shortcomings. A recent company blog was echoed by someone I follow on twitter from the other side of the world. It’s sort of cool when things happen like that. When I read or hear it once, it’s interesting but when it is twice in two days from seemingly unattached sources, it makes me think I’m suppose to stop and listen. Both even mention Thomas Edison!
“We can choose to change our thoughts.”
“Are we allergic to change?”
“Failures sometimes produce results that are better than the original plan.”
“All those failures are just leading you to that one success.”
I have failed. I will fail again.
“There are no failures, just experiences and your reactions to them.” – David Krause
A change of heart, change of mind came in a flash of lightning months ago and I’m just now realizing it as it manifests itself in the strangest ways. Heartbreaking, gut-wrenching frustration and anger gave way to an almost giddy, idealistic dream-state a few weeks ago. Actually, that manifestation is denial of failure and change. Now that I understand it for what it is, I can face it, stare it down and crush it.