Tag Archive | success

Success or Failure – You Choose!



Failing. We talk about it often. We think about it even more. But what is failing?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word as:

A usually slight or insignificant defect in character, conduct, or ability

Really. That’s all? Then why are we so fearful of failing? Everybody has a chink in their armor, we all mess up in our conduct at one point or another, and not having the ability to write really doesn’t exist. You pick up a pen or tap a keyboard and put one word after another. And then, if you are a true writer, you go back and rewrite, and rewrite again until the end product is something you can live with. So there must be more to it than what Merriam-Webster has to say.

What this is rare quality that so many people fear? Someone very close to me has a terrible fear of failing, which paralyzed her to not succeed in school. She thought: If I don’t try, I can’t fail.

Is that it?

Is trying, failing? I think so. You see, when we “try” something, we are allowing ourselves to fail. Whereas, if we DOING something, the project or attempt may not turn out the way we want it to be the first time, but we can say, “That was okay for the first attempt. Let me do it again. (Notice I didn’t say: Let me try again?)

Not getting up after you’ve fallen down is failing. Giving up because you’ve been rejected or criticized is failing. Not trying because you have deemed yourself unworthy is failing.

Even quitting isn’t always failing. Consider a guy who goes to a job day in and day out that is completely wrong for him. He hates it so much, but he trudges, collects his weekly paycheck, and goes back for more on Monday. He sees no way out because of pressures that he puts on himself–like providing for his family the only way he knows how. Living such a life of drudgery is so sad. Wouldn’t it be better for him to do something he loves, even though he might not be paid as well? Wouldn’t it be better if he could look forward to his work day on Monday? I think so.

Failure is not to take a chance. Success is a willingness to do so. And guess what? Success breeds success because on the next attempt, a person will always do better.And doing something more than once builds confidence. When we feel confident, people perceive us as successful. See how that works?

Don’t make yourself feel bad–there are plenty of others who will do that for you. The face of failing is in the mirror, but so is the face of success. You get to choose.

My advice (for what’s it’s worth) is this: Be yourself. Write what you want to write. Sing the songs you want to sing. Dance your own dance. Be strong in your own skin. If you love what you are DOING, the world will eventually come around. Let the world have its own opinion. Don’t get sucked in by the naysayers. Find friends who love to laugh.  Be happy DOING what you were intended to do.

Most importantly, remember, there is only one of you — you are unique. Don’t try so hard to be different– you already are.

The Secret of Success=Balance


Balance. An important concept in all things from nature to personal health. Throw off the balance and there will be conflict and trouble.

Balance is a common device in literature, too. We call it conflict. We put our characters in situations where they have to choose a path, make a deeply personal decision, and eventually solve the dilemma–at least for awhile. It’s an essential element to the novel. Learning how the protagonist works his/her way through the situation keeps readers turning the pages, right?

Solving the dilemma through our characters is difficult. But put the element of balance in your own life, and well that’s a completely different animal. Keeping work, play and meditation balanced is a constant struggle. Like little children, individually they cry for  your attention. If one aspect gets too strong , it pulls on the others. And  ta-da! You’re in conflict. It makes for a good story, but in real life, being out of balance sucks.

Keeping a healthy balance equals SUCCESS to me. Unlike a lot of my contemporaries, who think success is a pile of money, big houses and expensive cars--although, I wouldn’t object to any of this–it might be fun to even money to get all the bills paid on time, success to me is a  healthy balance of work, play and meditation.

I’ve come to the conclusion in my middle-age life that in order to achieve success, I have to work at something  I enjoy; I have to play enough with friends, and I also have to have enough time alone to maintain a healthy spiritual life. If I can keep these three things even,  happiness and contentment follows.

My present challenge in keeping balance is struggling with my desire to have a vacation–to get away and not think of the challenges I have at home. I’m sure you’re thinking — so get on a plane, already. But here’s the conflict. I also have a strong need to keep my husband who suffers from MS safe and cared for properly. That responsibility and desire is pulling me away from the vacation I need just as strongly. I feel it would be selfish to just take off and leave him and my everyday life behind. I know I should go.I know I need to go, but so far, I haven’t figured out a way to have peace of mind knowing Ken would be all right while I’m gone. And until I do, I will be out of balance. And so it goes.

The moral to this tale: When you’re feeling angry or sad about something, look at the balance in your life. Is it out of whack like mine? If it is, try to pull it back and see what happens. I’ll bet you feel better if work, fun, and spirituality each have their equal piece of the pie. Go ahead, try it. I dare you!