Please learn from my failures in 2017
This time last year, I was expecting things to get better after the epic shit-show that was 2016. But in many ways, things just got worse for me. A lot worse.
I made some big decisions that failed in spectacular fashion, pulverizing my finances and eliminating a slew of potentially lucrative missed opportunities. My body went on a rollercoaster ride from hell that landed me on a hospital bed with expensive medical bills, and after a failed five-year long relationship and during a six-month long business partnership that ended with zero ROI, I entered a spiralling depression where things got real dark, real quick. (Maybe one day I’ll make a post about it.)
But life is a wave. It oscillates down… and up.
What if our failures are the precursors to our success? What if our moments of glory couldn’t exist without them? Would you still let your failures define you? Would you still let them cripple you?
Eventually I’ve come to realize that the choices you make reveal the path you require. I made these choices because they pointed me to a place I hadn’t yet been; to a version of myself I hadn’t yet met. I needed to see where that path led, and I got my answers. Nothing more, nothing less.
My ever-supportive family, a handful of friends I’m not even sure I deserved, and an amazing woman saved me from the worst of it. The rest was taken care of with some carefully chosen role-models whose messages I put on repeat.
Intense suffering is a shortcut to massive personal and professional growth. These are two sides of the same coin.
Here are some of the things I learned
Maybe you’ll need to go through the same journey that I did—and that’s fine. Just remember that there is always a flip side to failure, and it’s usually just around the corner. Be strong.
Ignore the hype
Choose a path. Make a decision. See it through. Getting distracted by what others are doing is the fastest way to fail, because it pulls you off the straight line. If you are like a moth to a flame, you haven’t yet found yourself.
I hadn’t followed my original path to its final destination before I dove into new business partnerships between 2016 and 2017, and that’s one of the biggest reasons for my failures. I heard the noise, got drawn away, and lost momentum.
Which is a great segue into the next lesson…
Find your “why” and get ruthless with it
Uncover what your values are and what holds you to them. By operating from your own model, you can make choices that are aligned with the person you want to be and the life you want to live. Any hardship along the way will be offset by the joy you’ll get from living life on your terms.
And you’ll know when you’re aligned with your why when you notice yourself fighting anything drawing you away from it.
On a side note, it’s okay to be ruthless when you declutter your life of the noise and people that don’t serve this model.
Always acknowledge what you feel
A bit of stoicism can be healthy but never ignore your feelings. I’ve had two breakdowns in my life and both of them happened because I failed to communicate how I truly felt.
Humans aren’t robots… We’re complex organisms with a spectrum of emotions that need to be communicated somehow. Over time, we’ve gotten really good at ignoring these through fear of appearing weak, but it’s a lie.
Trusting in yourself to show your vulnerable side shows incredible courage and strength, and will bring you a deeper connection and respect with those who truly matter.
Women are much better than men at this! Men, you may want to check out Lewis Howes’ book The Mask of Masculinity, where he reveals just how conditioned men have become in avoiding these “weaker” emotions.
It’s paramount that we get comfortable in communicating transparently, as our inability to do that has already led to a catastrophic situation on a global scale.
Get good at asking the right questions
If—before we did anything—we asked the following questions, we might live much more productive, joyous lives:
- “Why am I doing this?”
- “Do I really need this?”
- “Is this the best use of my resources?”
- “What else can I do?”
- “Should I be promising this?”
- “Why is this helping?”
- “What’s a better way of doing this?”
- “How can I help this person?”
- “Why am I feeling so much resistance to this?”
Work on your self-awareness
Many of us look like we’re awake, but we’re actually asleep. I don’t mean that literally! What I mean is that we aren’t fully aware of our thoughts, emotions and actions and we end up missing out on amazing opportunities to grow, to produce value and to get more of the zest out of life.
If you’re still searching for yourself — and I don’t think it’s ever possible to know yourself fully — I think there are ways to get a good idea, fast.
Don’t settle for the status quo
If you’re below 30 with no kids, why not take more risks now so that you don’t have to later, when there’s more to lose?
If you know there’s something not right with your current situation, whether it’s your partner, friends, family, work, finances etc, then do not settle for second best. We only get one life, set yourself up to live the life you desire—not one that is dictated or handed to you. In the process of doing so, you’ll work harder for it, and be more fulfilled.
Give it another day
No matter how bad things get—no matter how shitty you might feel about life—please give it another day. Promise yourself you’ll put the work in, and that you’ll judge as little as you can. And it’s entirely possible that the extra day will bring you the hope you needed.
If you want to talk about your own situation or you need someone to be a sounding box for you, I’m here for you. Reach out to me at any of my online social media platforms and I’ll try respond as soon as I can.
Thank you for reading this! If you liked it, please do share it and show your support with the clap button. I am working on more content in the hope that I’ll help others in similar situations.