Take the “L”

In last week’s article I talked about my move to Italy for 4 months, and having been here a week I can’t explain how thrilled I am to start a new journey and explore and learn about the culture and history that Italy has. In addition to updating you on my life, I also asked you all to submit some questions, concerns or problems, as well as issues you had managed to overcome in order to help me keep writing consistent and effective pieces for you even while I am abroad. Today’s article comes from one such question.

There is often a misconception that the process of success, growth, business, entrepreneurship, creativity, or any sort of career path is straight forward. We look to people that are in positions of power or leadership – people who have attained the things we are striving to attain – and we tend to only see their accomplishments. We glorify these people in our minds because they represent everything we want to become or are doing things with their lives that we want to do as well. When we do this, we often forget to remember that they only SHOW us their successes. They only show us the final result. They only show us after they “win.” If you were to sit an have a candid conversation with such people about their lives, however, you would learn a new perspective. Nobody is succeeding 100% of the time. Nobody is focused 100% of the time, nobody is on track 100% of the time. There are bumps in the road. Anybody who tells you otherwise, is not telling you the full story. The question that inspired today’s article asked me to focus on how to bounce back when you do in fact, fall off track.

Falling off track can mean different things to each of us, but if we simplify our understanding we can accept that it is a “glitch” in our process. A moment where forward progress is hindered, and something takes you away from the most direct route towards what it is you are working towards. Some call it failure, some call it a challenge, some call it the “end”, but whatever we call it, we’ve all been there. So how do we do bounce back? How do we turn a situation that presents us with an outcome opposite to the one we were striving for, into something we can move forward from? Here is what I would suggest. Just take the “L“….

Some of you read that and thought, “why is he telling me to take the “L” and accept failure?” If that’s how you read it, then that is where you have to start. Don’t take the “Loss”, take the “Lesson.” This is a critical change in perspective that will help you ultimately set yourself back on track. We often see these things as us being defeated because suddenly what we have prepared for, what we have worked towards, has not quite paid off in the moment. The reason this happened, is not because you are not good at what you do, or not good enough to get what you want, it’s because you are still learning. So, every “L” is a “LESSON” not a “LOSS”.

When you find yourself in this scenario, understand the big picture. The first response to falling off track should be “why?”. Asking why immediately puts you back on track because you are taking action right away to find the source of the problem. In the process of finding the source you will not only get back on track, but you will learn how not to make the same mistakes again and begin seeing that lesson applied to any future problem that may arise in the journey you set out for yourself to achieve whatever it is you are striving for.

The question of how to bounce back from short term failure is a question of perspective. It’s simply the understanding of the moment you are in, and the overall journey you are on. The two are critical, because without each other, neither would exist. If you give up after short term challenges, the long term is not possible. If you give up on the long term goal, the short term success is useless. Understand this relationship, and bring it with you through everything you go through in your life. It is a journey, not an event.

Believe in the power of your dreams… #zuluechoinitiative

One Comment Add yours

  1. Ms. B. says:

    The long and short term do indeed have a relationship, a part of which is strife. We’d be naive without acknowledging that. Yet, that can’t keep us from forging ahead because, as you say, there’s no event here, no tickets to purchase. It’s the going along that matters, not putting an end to futuristic thinking or shuttering the door to pauses.

    The photo of you along a road not familiar looks good!


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