Change for a Year

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Embracing Failure

I used to be in direct marketing. Some people would call it a racket or a scam or at the very least a shitty job for a college graduate. I never regretted it for a second. It gave me adventure, pretty girls, memories on the Florida beach, and plenty of lessons.

The most important–failure is good. If you’re not failing every day, you not trying.

This applies to almost all things in life, but rings especially true regarding weight loss.

I used to give little motivational speeches in the morning before the team went out. In sales the whole day is filled with rejection and failure. One day I shared an experiment done by an art teacher. On the first day the teacher divided the class into two groups. The first group of students would be graded solely on quantity. The more ceramic pots a student made, the higher his or her grade. The second group of students would be graded solely on quality. All they needed to do was make one perfect pot. The better the pot, the higher the grade.

Which group do you think made the most beautiful pots?

The teacher was surprised. The best looking projects came from students focused on quantity! While half the class attempted making one absolutely perfect pot, the other half made many–trying out ideas, making mistakes, learning what worked, and, by the end, getting the best results.

The only way we can get ahead is to fail early, fail often, and fail forward.
-John C. Maxwell

In order to achieve your dreams, you must embrace adversity and make failure a regular part of your life. If you’re not failing, you’re probably not really moving forward.
-John C. Maxwell

I’ve failed often. A person has to fail often to get to 371 pounds. It’s laughable how many times my promises to “really lose weight and get healthy this time” have completely backfired. But those are good failures. I should embrace them because through all those ideas, mistakes, and experiences, I’ve learned what works. Diets don’t. Fads don’t. Even running doesn’t if you’re still stuffing your face with junk. Being vegan and eating a whole-food, plant-based diet seems common sense now. It’s a laughably simple solution really. Maybe I’m slow. It took me 27 years to get here.

In an interview years ago David Brinkley asked advice columnist Ann Landers what question she most frequently received from readers. Her answer: ‘What’s wrong with me?’
-John C. Maxwell, Attitude 101

In short, everyone thinks they’re a failure. And everyone is. Embrace it. Make failure part of your every day life.

“We overestimate the event and underestimate the process,” writes Maxwell. Next week, next year, after this event, once that happens–only then will I be happy. I’ve thought that way often. I’ve overplayed the end game and missed out on the journey. The truth is I will always be failing, at least I hope I am. If I’m not failing that means I’m stagnant. I’m not moving forward.

I found a great video the other day courtesy of This if Life that speaks to just that idea. I’m ready for a lot of big changes this year, and I plan to be singing and dancing along the way.

6 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for reblogging my post! I also wanted to say that I am currently watching the documentary “Forks Over Knives” in my Biology class and they discuss the benefits of a whole-food plant based diet extensively. Have you seen it?

  2. When I was in seminary preparing to be a pastor, one of my professors (after giving me a failing grade on a particular assignment) said something I’ll never forget, “The purpose of seminary is not to teach you how to succeed in ministry. It is to teach you to learn from your failures so you can become a better pastor.”

  3. This is absolutely what I needed to read today, so no need to visit any more blogs! Feeling the Failure greatly this morning and looking for the Ah Ha lesson in it.

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