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There is no failure, only learning!

“Why do they always teach us that it’s easy and evil to do what we want and that we need discipline to restrain ourselves?  It’s the hardest thing in the world to do what we want....  I mean, what we really want.  And it takes the greatest kind of courage.”  --Ayn Rand, Russian/American philosopher, playwright

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career.  I’ve lost almost 300 games.  26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed.  I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life.  And that is why I succeed.”  -- Michael Jordan, basketball player

“Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It's courage that counts.”  --John Wooden, American basketball player and coach



What would you do if you knew you could not fail? 

Often the stumbling block is anxiety or fear of failure.  But what is it that you are really anxious about? 

Maybe it’s judgement – your own and others’ - that you tried something and it didn’t work out.   Or that it just ‘proved’ to you that your idea was a bad one?

In the mid 1990s Simon Woodruffe, the founder of Yo! Sushi had a 'crazy' idea about bringing Japanese conveyor belt style eating to the UK.  It had not been seen here before. 

He was coming out of the music business at the time, so had no experience in that area.  His business plan was turned down by bank after bank.

But he knew that someone would eventually back him, and that he would have to get through a load of refusals first.  So every time another refusal came through (and there were about 60 of them), he said to himself, "Great!..... now I am one more closer to my backer"  (or words to that effect!!).  And now there are more than 60 restaurants in the UK.

I recently discovered Failure Club.   It’s a place where a group of people who want to make their personal dream a reality can go and share their experiences, be encouraged by and supported by others who are doing the same.  What a wonderful concept! 

How would it feel to have a group of like-minded people supporting you to achieve your dream?  Where and how can you find them?  You can start by telling others about the dream you’d like to achieve ...

One of the best books I’ve read this year is Mindset.  In this book, the author Carol Dweck explains why it’s not just your abilities and talent that bring you success – but whether you approach your goals with a fixed or growth mindset.  Believing that your qualities are carved in stone – the fixed mindset – creates an urgency to prove yourself over and over, whereas the growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts.  Take the test here to find out which mindset you have.

What have you accomplished and how have things changed for you during 2011?  How have you invested in yourself and what have you learned?  And what will you DO to take that learning forward into 2012 and the direction in which you’d like to go?

If you like to do some self reflection, here are 10 questions to ask yourself about this year and take forward into next year.  And if reflection is not for you, here’s a different perspective.


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