At some point, you’re going to fail. Not just a little setback. I’m talking about a massive, public calamity. A big time defeat for you and all the world to see.
How do I know this?
Because it happens to everyone. Even the conservative, cautious people who play it “safe” trying to protect themselves from ever failing. I could even make the argument that playing safe actually increases your propensity to fail. (Actually, I did make exactly that argument in my book, Risky Is the New Safe.)
When this failure happens, it might seem career-ending, or fatal. The pain might be excruciating. You may believe you’ve faced public humiliation that will prevent you from ever being taken seriously again.
You could feel so depressed and despondent that you don’t think you have the strength to go on. But 999 times out of 1,000, you do have the strength to pick yourself up, and have another go at it. The most important part is recognizing this reality.
The reality is that almost everyone who has ever faced a devastating tragedy – even the most horrific ones, such as losing a loved one, getting a terminal diagnosis, etc. – discovered a hidden blessing after the fact. And remember what I told you in the last post: If you aren't regularly facing failures, you're not really living up to your true potential; you're just phoning it in.
Let me be the first to admit this: Sometimes life sucks. Shit happens. It’s not fair, and we can do nothing to prevent bad things from sometimes happening. Sometimes we are dealt challenges that test the very core of our being.
But it is your ability to evolve, to change and grow, where the real breakthroughs live. Your ability to face down adversity in any form, and ultimately ask the questions that lead you back to victory. Questions like:
The faster you adapt after challenges, setbacks and adversity – the better your odds to reach success, happiness and enlightenment.
You’ve heard me say it a million times: You can be a victim, or you can be a victor, but you can’t be both.
Sometimes you have to take a time out. (I've been there!) You’ve endured such psychic damage, you simply have to give yourself time to regenerate your equilibrium. Other times you’re better to jump back on the horse before you have time to think about it. You don’t even face the fear. You simply decide, “Fuck you fear! I’m going to jump back in so fast you don’t even have time to develop.”
Nobody can really tell you which option is the best in a given situation. That one you have to decide for yourself. But what I know is this:
The kind of life you live – whether healthy, happy and prosperous, or disillusioned, bitter and sad – will be determined by the way you respond at these painful moments. Choose mindfully. And know that I have been there too, and I believe in you.