Success and Failure

Success is just failing over and over again, until you succeed. ~ JP ~

Let’s face it. No one likes to fail. In fact failure in western society is looked down upon with disdain. We are taught from an early age that we should do certain things in life to “succeed”, examples of this are that we should go to school and get good grades moving from grade to grade getting ever more “successful.”

Success in our culture means winning. Losing is not even a thought amongst most of us, because losing is failure. Failure is painful because most of us have been trained from a very early age to believe that failure is bad, that failure is to be avoided at all costs.

We have been lied to by our parents, teachers, employers and society.  It really isn’t their fault though, the “failure is a bad thing” mentality was taught to them from their parents, teachers, employers and society, and
so it was passed on to us like a virus. Failure is not a bad thing and with the right mindset “failures” can be a launching pad for further reflection and subsequent course changes in our life.

Failing must be looked at with an eye towards change instead of an end game. We all fail, every single day. Everyday millions of people beat themselves up for not doing something the “right” way.  The Greek philosopher Socrates has been attributed with the quote, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

I agree. When we do or don’t do something and then feel like we have failed, instead of berating ourselves we should take Socrates advice and examine our actions with an dispassionate observer’s point of view. Examining and thinking through actions/inactions will help in discovering the real reasons for the supposed failure.

Failure is only as permanent as we let it be. Failure is a teaching tool, a moment in time and should be dwelled on it order to grow and change, but not to wallow in. The next time you feel like you have failed yourself or another, give yourself the space to step back and realize that you are human and that it happens to everyone. Failure can defeat you or propel you onto bigger and better things with the mindset of self-forgiveness and inner reflection.

Go out into the world and fail big! Success however you define it is always built on the ruins of failure. Always.

JP

A death in the family

There are periods in everyone’s life that requires a little self-reflection. A death of a close friend or family member is one of those times. My brother passed away very recently and I find that I am going through the normal stages of grief and emotions that go with such an event.

Remembering the person who is now missing is important to those left behind.  A hole is left in your psyche that needs time to heal, to scab over and finally to rebuild with a scar to remind us of what has been lost. Each death diminishes all of us in some way, even if it is not felt by anyone but you.

The rolodex of memories that I have for my brother is full of good, bad and otherwise but I am fairly sure that isn’t abnormal. The good includes the time my brother rescued me as a small child from a flock of angry Canada geese. The bad includes the time my brother almost shot out one of my eyes with a homemade bow and arrow. So many memories to sort out, so many times that my brother and I fought or ignored each other…

If you have a brother or sister tell them you love them today. Do it now, for we know not how much time we have left on this Earth. Don’t take anyone in your life for granted, love each minute that you can have with your siblings, family and friends.

Love my dear readers is the only thing that really matters. Love transcends death and suffering, love transcends loss, love bridges lifetime to lifetime. Love is the glue that holds human relationships together. Love is the most powerful force in the Universe.

JP

Time to think

The last couple of weeks I have been home on short-term disability (work imposed). As I work through the medical maze and insurance paperwork that accompanies such things I have realized that I have time to think. You may surmise that a statement like this odd but hear me out…

My “normal” day usually starts at 5:00 A.M. followed by a nearly 50 mile commute through the worst traffic in the state of Washington, then a full work day and another 50 mile commute through the worst traffic in the state of Washington. You get the idea. Now that I have been at home for a spell, it struck me this morning as I listen to Mozart that I have a few moments to contemplate my situation as it is and how I would like it to be.

Time to think about the past, present and future. The mistakes that I have made, the triumphs that I have had, the good and the bad things I have done for myself and for others. Time keeps rolling, it cares not what we do, into the future it moves like we are not even here as it has always done.

Take some of your “time” this week and think about what is important to you. Is it your wife or husband, your home and children or all of these or none of them? What is important to you? Really important, only you can answer that question. An important question it is though and one that takes some “time” to ponder properly.

In my interim status I have the rare occasion to mull over many things and as it has been written long before any of us were here…”there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.

Never take for granted your health, family, home or job for you never know when they will pass away from you life.

 

Be well.

JP

Oblivion

I have been thinking a lot of oblivion in the last six months. After the death of my friend Chris, it has been weighing heavily in my life. I see that life moves on without him as it would move on in any case if any of us left this level of existence.

 

All talk about religion and the afterlife aside here…life lives on in the living, through the people who are in the here and now. Our time is limited and biology makes it so. We have a numbered amount of days and that is all we get.

 

Sometimes the number is up to us and sometimes it is determined by the actions of others. The end result is the same, we are out of the framework that seems so real to the ones that are living in this bubble of matter and light and noise. There are some days that I see glimpses of what it is like to be absent from this time-space continuum. Twice I have almost died so I look upon death with a different perspective than most. I do not fear not being. I do wish that I had made more of an impact of others lives though.

 

Yesterday when I was waiting in line for the cashier at the grocery store I looked around me and a surreal feeling came over the whole situation, I realized that if I was not standing here in this time and place that it would not matter if I stood here or someone else did. If I would not have met my ex-wife and had children, they would not exist, but someone would be in this time and place to take their places.

 

What makes up our sense of reality? Timing, experience, feelings, intersecting with another along your life’s path to create more life? If we don’t do it, someone else will and the balance that is currently maintained would go on without the single person. Or possibly millions…

 

If our local star Sol exploded today and destroyed the Earth and the whole solar system that we live, would anyone notice. Would the existence or lack there of, make any difference in natures balance? Only the observer from a distance might notice a flashing light in the night sky on some distant world, hundreds or even thousands of years later when the light from an exploding sun reached them.

 

Oblivion comes before and after our brief time here. Sometimes I think that it would be easier to drift into the dark, quiet place that almost embraced me twice. The most peaceful time that I have ever known. This life is so full of anger, violence, noise and hurt.

 

If you can look for the beauty, joy, light and happiness. I am still seeking that place and maybe before it is my time to go, to rest in the dark quiet place that I know is coming for us all, I will find a way to be happy, to be a guide to the person or people who I came here to help.

 

If not, I like so many before me will fade into the stream of time, to be forgotten. Seek your own truth concerning this matter for only you can decide what is best for you, not your spouse, children, ex’s, religious leaders, friends, no one but you.

 

Look into that place in your heart that no one else knows but you, if you have the courage to seek your own path in this matter. We all come into this life alone, we walk our path alone even if we don’t think we do and finally we step out of this time and place alone, to what no  one really knows.

 

That is the way it should be.

 

Be well.

 

JP

 

 

 

Your action is required

From generation to generation it seems that a lesson has to be
relearned. No one is going to make you a success but you.
Participation in life is mandatory to not only live but to thrive in a
world that cares nothing for people who won’t even try to help
themselves.

To learn anything, earn money, create a blog, raise a child or build
and maintain a marriage requires action and input by each and every
one of us. No one gets to set back and cruise along without working
for what they want and those that do; are standing on the backs of
those of us who work and strive for a better life.

Work and struggling are not only good for the soul but necessary for
the individual and the human race as a whole. Purpose gives each and
every one of us a sense of where we are in the world and a goal to
strive for. Goals are hard for some as they think of them as
roadblocks instead of stepping stones to the top of life’s ladder.
Really it is completely based on attitude at that point.

The mindset of goals, actions and involvement in life needs to change.
Humankind was meant to strive, to fight, to figure things out. Living
on the welfare of others is no way to live. Don’t get me wrong here,
we all are down on our luck sometimes and need some help, but past a
certain point it becomes using and welfare.

Pull yourself up by the bootstraps as the old saying goes and make
some goals however small to strive for and start moving. Do it now!
NOW! If no one depends on your actions then depend on yourself.
Momentum will build and movement forward in your life will happen,
have faith in yourself and your abilities; there is no one on this
planet like you.

James Keating one of my instructors in the martial arts has a saying
“Just Keep Moving”. Good advice. Get moving, keep moving and never
give up on yourself and those who care about you. Life is lived
through action and action brings results. Adjust accordingly if you
must but try each and every day to improve yourself and your world.

I will end this post with a quote by Pablo Picasso…

Action is the foundational key to all success.