Gathering Motivation from this Year’s Failures
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Well folks, 2014 is about to end. Today is the last day of the year! As with each and every year, this one seemed to fly right by. I think I might have fallen asleep at the wheel and woke up in an unknown place. I can’t believe 2014 is over.
Many of you, including myself, like to take stock of how the year went for us. We like to see where we succeeded and where we failed. I have noticed that not everyone does this. Some like to only focus on their successes, but don’t like to dwell in their failures.
Well, I’m a little different than most. Some might call me strange and I’m OK with that. I’m different because I like to look at my failures more so than my successes. Why?
Failure is the Ultimate Motivator
In my book, there is no better motivator than failure. While the fear of failure can create motivation, I find that actual failure motivates me the most. While I hate to fail, I thrive when it happens. I don’t just sit down and wait for the next thing to roll over me. I quickly dust myself off, move forward, and think about how to right the ship. I’m not scared of failure because I look forward to it.
You are probably thinking that I’m nuts and my wife would probably agree with you. 😉 I’m a little nuts, but one thing my wife wouldn’t agree with is the notion that I’m a quitter or one that gives up when failure comes knocking. I try my hand at many things. Some I’m good at, others great. Then there are ones where I fail miserably. I don’t whine or cry about it, but suck it up and come up with a solution. This is exactly how I tackled my debt problem.
I was staring at over $50,000 in credit card debt alone, but had no idea how I got there or how I was going to get out.
I tried numerous things to get out of debt, but really all involved figuring out how to make more money. I wanted to get out of debt as I had failed in my quest to be financially independent. My debt was one of my ultimate failures. It showed my weakness and poor money making decisions. When I took the bull by the horns and decided to ride that debt out of my life, I didn’t know what to do. The only thing I was certain of was that I would fail a few times during the debt repayment cycle. I would slip up and put more on my credit cards (I did) or I would get the urge to buy crap I didn’t need (I certainly did).
When I faced my failures head on, I knew that my success would be inevitable. Failure is not scary to me. It doesn’t bother me or bully me. I control the outcomes of my failures. I can also control what I do next after the failure.
The Failures Which Inspire
I had a largely successful 2014. I’m proud of that, but it only came because I hustled my butt off. I did everything I could to get my financial state in a place where I could be proud of it. All of these successes are nice to think about, but I don’t dwell on them.
The reason is that they are done and gone. I succeeded in what I was trying to accomplish and now I need to focus on my next move. Success is like momentum; to maintain it you need to keep moving forward, even when that means possible failure. If your successes were great, then congratulations, but what about your failures? How are they motivating you to do something different in the new year?
One of my biggest failures this year was hiring an uninspiring realtor to sell our house. We went through the process and found one we liked. I thought it was going to make the process easier on me, but it ended up putting more work on my shoulders. I had to babysit the sales process through an entire three month period. It was agony and it took away from other things I enjoyed.
In the end, it was a $4,5oo mistake to use the realtor I did. I could have been sad for myself or hated the realtor, but that’s not how I roll. Instead, I figured out how I could face the situation when/if we have to sell our house. The process was a failure, but it taught me a lot and gave me the confidence in dealing with the sale the next time around.
So, as the ball drops tonight and you are thinking about 2014 and how it was for you, don’t focus on what successes you had, but think about your failures. A new year brings new opportunities and I treat every new year as a clean slate. I just like to be able to fill up that slate with a list of actionable goals. Luckily, my 2014 failures have provided a lot of fuel to my motivational fire!
By the way, happy New Year!
What do you think about this concept? Do you feel that dwelling on your failures might lead to more failures? What can you do differently in 2015? What goals can you create in order to fix the failures?