Failing on the Way to Success

 “When you get to the fork in the road, take it.”  Yogi Berra                                           

Every time I see that Berra quote, I have to laugh.  It’s not only funny, it’s true. 

Decisions, decisions, decisions.  It’s like it never ends.  It reminds me of the story about the stressed out executive. Every time he turned around he had to make another decision.  It got so bad, he stopped turning around.

So you have to ask yourself what is it you want to do?  What do you want to accomplish? What is important and what takes priority?

Whatever is on your wish list amounts to nothing without a high level of passion, conviction and action taken.

A few years ago, I interviewed a time management expert.  His name is Peter Tula. Check him out.  Tula is fabulous and what he told me was invaluable and made so much sense.

His advice: Iimagine having 95-one dollar bills in one hand and in the other, you are  holding 5-one hundred dollar bills.  Then, throw all that money up into the air and let the money fall all over the floor.

The next step: You have 10 seconds to pick up all that money.  So, ask yourself, what denomination are you going to reach for first?  Will it be the dollar bills or the five $100 bills?

What great advice!  Of course, we would all go for the bigger bucks.  That’s natural.

But, more important and significant are the choices we make.  What are the $1.00 choices and what ideas or projects do you consider to be $100.00 choices.  When you look at it that way, it really is up to you and what you consider to be of value.  Fabulous advice.

That’s not to say you can’t do everything.  When opportunity strikes, go for it, but prioritize.

I don’t know about you but I love what I’m doing.  Being over the age of 50, life has provided me a wide array of experiences; mostly good and some a lot less than swell.

Sure I’ve made some bad choices along the way but I think I’ve learned from those experiences.

Every once in a while, I’ve been known to brow-beat myself based on some past judgment lapse, but signing up for membership in Masochists Anonymous ain’t no option that’s even open for discussion.

I believe in the Law of Averages. Even when the only luck you’ve got is bad, eventually things do change for the better. That is if you allow it.

We learn from failure.  And, I find most people don’t use failure to further their lives and fortunes.

Now hold on, let me explain.

There is nothing worse than whiling away in splendid ambiguity.  You’ve got to make up your mind.

In life, we make choices.  Sometimes we don’t know what choice to make and then get stymied.  I believe one important reason for that is a mind set where the fear of and expectation of failure exists.

As you know, I’m an Author and a Speaker and now a Coach.

What I see missing in plans of action are failure steps.

Now, I’m not an advocate of the school of thought where if at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence that you even tried.

Funny line.  Now that might work in politics, but it doesn’t work here.

What I’m talking about is placing failure steps into a plan of action.  I’m not talking about celebrating failure.  But include some failure as steps needed to be taken on the way to success.

In other words, by failing you are actually succeeding.  You’re succeeding because you’re supposed to fail at a particular stage.  It’s built into your plan action so it doesn’t come as a surprise.  Some failure is expected. 

Look back.  Remember years ago, as you were working your way up the success ladder, it took some time. There were ups and downs. But, now in retrospect, it is pretty easy to overlook all those shortcomings on the way. And, who wants to dwell on that?

We’re human and past disappointments become meaningless.  Sure, they are lessons learned.  But failure is trounced by the number and quality of accomplishments  accumulated over the years.

So failure is not an option, right?

Wrong. And, therein lies the problem.

It is absolutely essential to eventual achievement to recognize and integrate failure steps into any plan of action in order to enhance a greater probability of success.

Consider it insurance.

Business consultant Mark Cofano says it is absolutely essential to include the possibility of failure into an action plan.  He refers to it as the Fatal Flaw Analysis.

Failure to do so gets us stuck, wastes a lot of time, wears us down and gets us nowhere.

And, once again you find yourself whiling away in splendid ambiguity wondering where to go and what to do.

Just the other day, I gave a talk.  Because the event was held a few days prior to a holiday, the audience size was fairly small.

But, it gave me an opportunity to add some new techniques I had learned recently from two expert coaching mavens, June Davidson and Dian Anderson.

First, I listened attentively.  Then I had members of the audience discover their own solutions.  I didn’t provide answers.  I just asked a lot of questions.  If I did anything it was guiding participating audience members to some solution.

Out of the questioning came some keys to resolution.  Needless to say, in the short amount of time we had to do this exercise, it gave the participants some food for thought.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best: “When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.”  And, right now, I’m seeing quite a few heavenly creations that I call opportunities.

Currently, I’m helping raise $15 million for an environmental project.  I’m assisting a friend in selling lighting by getting him to the right people.  I’ve got my Radio show on Talkers.com.  I’m studying Coaching and working with a Radio syndication firm selling programs to stations.

Will I fail?  Of course I will.  I have included failure steps in my plan while I’m on my way to success.  Will any of these projects flop?  I don’t know but I’m a persistent SOB and there’s enough on my plate where if one thing doesn’t happen, I’ll just throw the cards up in the air and pick another $100 idea.

The best part of all this activity is the energy it gives me. I am not bored.  In fact, I can’t get bored. I don’t have the time.  These are all “hands-on” opportunities.

Believe it or not, I am not overloading myself.  Just as with the time management expert, I have my order of priorities. I’m just making sure that they are of the $100 variety.

I’m sticking with it so I don’t go on overload.

All of this activity gives me more information, information that I’ll add to my platform presentations and my second book.

Speaking of which, it is now half way to completion and should be out in a few months.  The book is called “The Upside to Down Times.”

One undertaking powers my interest in other areas.  Plus, it’s surprising how often all these projects are similar in nature and seem, at some point, to actually intersect with each other.

What I’m saying is that once getting beyond the initial stages of mechanics and basic understanding of each area of interest, I found out that there’s surprisingly so many similarities to everything else.

It proves to me that there really is nothing new under the sun.

Do I know anything about the science behind environmental projects?  Nope.  When it comes to lighting, the only thing I know how to do is throw a mean electrical switch on and off.  Radio is in my blood so that takes care of the show and syndication.

And I’ve been writing now continually for the past few years, and my composing is actually improving; not award winning but…improving.  Most important, I’m now comfortable with the notion that writing is really all about re-writing and re-writing with the hopes of expressing myself with greater clarity.

I’m certainly no genius.  If I can do it, I know you can too,  in your own way.

The hard part is just getting started.  Don’t worry about starting at the beginning.  Just start anywhere. If you give it time, whatever project you’re involved with will disclose its own form and reveal its own beginning, middle and an end.  Remember you are failing on your way to success.

Otherwise, what’s the alternative?  Let me tell you: wiling away in splendid ambiguity is a tough way to live.  So, make up your mind what you want, be specific and allow for some failure in your plan of action otherwise you become a featured player in the story of your life.

Isn’t it time you do what you want to do?  Failure is just a stepping stone on your way to eventual success.

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Sellouts, Sycohphants and Shaddenfreude

                                  “Don’t give up.  Don’t lose hope.  Don’t sell out.”                                                                                          Christopher Reeve

Am I the only one seemingly imprisoned in some vile and eerie state of surrealism where Sellouts and Sycophants have ensnared, outmaneuvered and subjugated the custodians of common sense?

It’s a field day for eunuchs, quislings and the narcissistic.

Now, we all need financial relief and recognition for a job well done is greatly appreciated.  Plus, it’s getting cold.  So, there is immediate need for making provision for winter’s unrelenting disposition.  We do what we need to do.

But, what the hell is going on?   It seems what’s wrong is right and what’s right is meaningless.  It’s as if some ominous pathogen has quietly but deliberately infected our basic sensibilities and caused a seismic shift in what is considered basic Values.

We all know the adage, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.”  Sure, that’s true.  But, volume is an imprecise assessment of substance.

This is not a political rant.  In fact, may a pox befall most elected officials.   Generally speaking they are Sellouts and Sycopchants beholden only to “others.”  Most times, the agenda of “others” is in sharp contrast with the concerns directly affecting you and me.

Politicians can be so megalomaniacal that it puts into question their mental soundness.

Perhaps I’m wrong but when it comes to most affairs of state, the only winner is the holder of the cards in a game of “3 card monty.”   And, guess what?  That ain’t us.

Enough said on that front, but it does shine the light on Sellouts and Sycophants.  They will do all they can for the sake of power and control.  It’s not just personal power.  It’s the capacity of lording over others.

It reminds me of the old Show Biz line, “Enough about me. Let’s talk about my show.”

Look, we all need a paycheck and life in the early 21st Century isn’t all angel cake and tinker bell on gossamer wings.  So, it is imperative we make mid course corrections and then move on so we’re not left behind.  .

Unfortunately, there are those who inflict as much pain as possible on others.  I’m not a psychiatrist by any definition of the word but life experience and a bit of research have shown me that there are individuals who relish “shaddenfreude.”   Shaddenfreude means gloating with glee over the gloom or discomfort of others.   These are people who like to manipulate and inflict distress upon others.  Call it whatever you want, but it is sadistic in nature.

These people are ingrates.  They present themselves as better and smarter than most of humanity.  Privilege is due them. They are the “squeaky wheels” driven by an abundance of arrogance and a delusional sense of entitlement.

What they don’t realize is something once said by Ralph Waldo Emerson:  “What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.”   Actions really do speak louder than words.

In reality, the crux of the matter is most of these people have very little self-regard.  In fact, they use their arrogance as a shield.  The shield pushes away others so their deceit is secure and their fraud remains undetected.

However, they live in fear of being “found out.” They can’t bear the thought of being discovered for whom they really are.  That’s why they are so thin skinned.  They can’t take criticism.

And, since they can’t control their own lives, they set out to control the lives of others.

That’s the real issue: Control.

Years ago, in my DJ days, there was a Radio Manager who was considered a programming genius but a total S.O.B.  He put the fear of god into those who worked for him.  He made life miserable for many people in Radio.

Jump cut 20 years later and I had the chance to meet him.  He turned out to be a really great guy and was very helpful to me.  In our time together, he was totally honest and explained why he took on that S.O.B persona.  The reason:  He didn’t want anyone knowing how little he thought he knew, so his safety net was total control.

Those of us over the age of 50 know a phony when we see one.  We still have to deal with them, especially in a professional work setting.  But, it doesn’t mean emulating their controlling demeanor.

People who have no control over their own lives have a tendency of wanting to dominate the lives of others.  Psychiatrists refer to it as Displacement.  Since they can’t control their lives, they look for a source outside themselves to control.

On the other hand, those who have self-control have little or no interest in dictating how others should live and breathe. They will guide and mentor.  In the work place, they can even be rough at times, but they will be fair.  They are confident enough in their own talents and abilities.  Domination is a classification so remote from any personal character analysis.  .

These are uncertain times and, in order to get ahead, it’s very easy to mimic the behavior of Sellouts and Sycophants.   We all want more.  And, many of us are panning for gold by exploring and considering the latest secrets to success.  Sometimes, it’s all too tempting to adapt behavior alien to our core values.

And, by doing so, we take on the characteristics of what we find so alien.  We assume the identity and behavior of a sellout and sycophant.  And, that’s crazy.  It’s not who we are.

Here’s a warning:  Be careful.  Replicating fabricated identities, you do so at your own peril.

You see, living a lie means a lack of” Ease.”  And, when taken out of a position of ” Ease”, it creates an environment ripe for the incubation of Infection and Disease.

Now, let me take this one step further. We know when we are out of sorts.  We feel it when we see it.  The same holds true even in the most unexpected sources.

In the book, “The Hidden Messages in Water”, Author/Photographer Masaru Emoto took pictures of ice crystals.

So, what’s significant about that?

Well, through highly advanced micro-photography, Emoto captured amazing transformations.  He observed when someone with a positive disposition approached the ice crystals while being photographed, the configuration of the crystals turned totally white and beautifully shaped.

However, when someone troubled and negative came within proximity to the crystals, they turned ugly, shapeless and grey.  Check out those pictures in Emoto’s book.  They are amazing.

So, if something as minute as ice crystals can be affected by positive and negative energies, then you must consider how Sellouts and Sycophants influence you.  Their effect can be be nothing short of amazing or destructive.

What I’m saying is don’t allow yourself to be seduced and drawn into a vortex of ethical ambivalence.

Until proven otherwise, don’t jump to mirror the appearance of strength.  It might be hiding a host of inadequacies.

Look, we all need a paycheck and life in the early 21st Century isn’t all angel cake and tinker bell on gossamer wings.  In life, we all make certain realignments but then move on.

But, there are those who inflict as much pain as possible on others.  I’m not a psychiatrist by any measure of the word but life experience and a bit of research show that there are individuals who relish “shaddenfreude.”   Schaddenfreude means gloating with glee over the gloom or discomfort of others.   These control freaks manipulate and inflict hardship on others.  Psychologists refer to it as a form of displacement. It is limiting, debilitating and sadistic in nature.

These are strange and unsettling times in which we live.  It’s incumbent upon each and every one of us to be true to our own moral and value compass.    Today, it’s our safety net in today’s 3 ring Circus that we call life.

We can start by not ceding Control of our lives to Sellouts and Sycophants.  If they can’t control their own lives, what the Hell are they doing trying to run ours.

I always return replies that are sent to dickheatherton@outlook.com

 

 

Getting to the Other Side of Nowhere

   “Our Greatest Glory is not in Never Failing, but in Rising Up Every Time We Fail.”         Ralph Waldo Emerson

All I’m really looking for is Getting to the Other Side of Nowhere.

Sounds like the title of a County song.  Today it’s the clarion call for so many of us over the age of 50.

Let’s get real.  Things just don’t seem right.  Today, we are fed a daily regimen of celebrity absurdity and a torrent of matters inconsequential, all designed for the purpose of diversion and distraction. It’s modern day Bread and Circuses.  But, delusion doesn’t pay the bills nor open many doors. We know in our heart of hearts, things just don’t seem right. The feeling is palpable.

But, we are Entrepreneurs.  We do what we need to do and do it on our own.  We are driven by vision, motivated by passion and guided by experience and intelligence.

It’s very rough out there, but it doesn’t matter.  While others remain on shore waiting for the tides to turn, we take advantage of the lack of competition.

Right now might not be the perfect season for career transition consideration, but that’s a personal decision.  Each of us answers to our own muse.  We understand we must commit to something focused, something concrete.  Wind chimes and marigolds reside in sonnets and do diddly squat in advancing the quest for success.

The same holds true when displaced by circumstance and assigned to the land of  “in-between success”.   Sitting all day in front of a computer hungering for scraps of “opportunity manna “is the personification of aspiration passivity.

Here’s a News Update:  The fortune fairy doesn’t deliver online anymore.

By any calculation, that means acceptance and recognition of the unexceptional and mundane.  That contradicts all aspirations of Getting to the Other Side of Nowhere.

So, turn off the computer, forsake another exciting game of solitaire and get out there and start mixing with humanity.  It is all in the dogged pursuit of reclaiming prosperity and the attendant peace of mind.  Tough times are not virtual. We know that. It’s displacing passive interface with energetic Interaction.  We know it.  We just need a reminder now and then.

At one time or another, most of us have traveled down similar paths and experienced comparable scenarios.

It’s rough out there.  That’s a given.  Being aged 50 Plus only adds to the challenge.

Perhaps this is a time where you find yourself licking wounds from previous ill-fated encounters.  You lose yourself momentarily in reflections of past but brilliant triumphs only to be jolted suddenly back to the cruel reality of life currently filled with unrelenting turn downs.   .

And, you are burned out on Almost, disheartened by Dead Ends and exhausted by the unconvincing Maybe.

Sound familiar?  But, we are survivors.  Sure, we bitch and moan but adjust to the changing marketplace.  Sometimes, it’s easy to do.  Other times, it is insufferable.

I don’t pretend to have all the answers but let me run a few suggestions by you:

1).  Go out there and FAIL.  Yes, fail!  But, fail on the way to success.  Let me explain:  From now on, apply for everything. Everything!  Not that you are going to accept just anything, but you need practice. Get your act down.  You are not failing.  You are Rehearsing.  This is known as “Show Prep.”  So, when the right scenario comes into focus, you are more than ready.  Be thankful that you have the ability to fail.  By failing, you are succeeding.  Plus mingling with humanity is an energizer.

2).  You are over the age of 50.  You have background.  Having accomplished as much as you have in life, you can paint verbal pictures based on past experience.  You  make these visions come alive because you have lived them.  Your frame of reference allows for the anecdotal, not just hypothetical.    You conjure up past undertakings.

You can relate an anecdote that has relevance with or is similar to the situation at hand. Now, compare this to someone younger than yourself. Lacking experience, their frame of reference is hypothetical and theoretical.  They lack experience and come across as a one trick pony.

One precautionary note: Don’t get too verbose.   Waxing nostalgia labels you as old and out of touch: That projects a retirement vision. Get to the anecdote that advances your response and then move on.

3).  Getting down on yourself when all doors appear shut and opportunity seems non-existent can place even the most optimistic individual’s trajectory into a downward spiral.  Why is it when things degenerate to such an extent, we seem to join the depredation chorus?

That is self-treachery.   It’s taking perverse joy in the celebration of our existing contraction status.   We hurt ourselves.  We isolate in desperation and cocoon in despair.

Believe this or not, research proves this is normal human behavior.  We actually get a temporary lift from masochist demeanor.

Nobody ever said human nature makes sense

In fact, it’s all part of Mazlow’s study on the Stages of Depression:  Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.

As delusional as it sounds, this behavior is part and parcel of life.  Just don’t allow this fleeting but aberrant demeanor to permanently confiscate your normality.

4).  Isn’t it something!  When we want to escape from “funk”, we feel a strange, illogical deference to it.  It’s like over paying on allegiance to a sentence of self-ruin.  And, until  and until such time, we cannot free ourselves from this self-imposed confinement.

On the surface, this sounds like a load of BS to the 10th degree.  But, it’s not

It makes no sense, but what does making sense have to do with anything?  Now here’s the kicker. Any positive action undertaken to change this mindset is viewed with disdain and regarded as an inferior alternative to the current negative status..

Consider this: Imagine reverting back to toddle-hood right now, with your current intellectual capacity.  Do you realize you would probably convince yourself you couldn’t walk.  At a certain point, toddlers stand up instinctively.  They take a step or 2, fall down and cry.  They do this over and over again until they finally get it right.  They get frustrated but they don’t stop.  We do.

So, be a baby.  Again, fail and fall on your way to success.  Look upon this exercise as a rehearsal.

5).  Be grateful.  Unfortunately today, all too many people venerate victim-hood.  Even Entrepreneurs have been known at times to retreat into the throes of anguish and get caught up in the culpability game.

It is celebrating and reveling in despair. As a victim, none of what happens in life is ever due to personal resolve. It is all the fault of others.  No personal accountability whatsoever.  Now, at one time or another, we have all “done and been done in.”   That’s life.  We learn from all our experiences good and bad.  But, abdicating responsibility means relinquishing control of your life to others.

And that brings to mind the old Golden Rule:  He/She who has the Gold Rules.

So, be grateful. Don’t give up. Never cede your power. Don’t allow control of your life into the hands of others. Their interest in you is, at best, peripheral. Get out there and start failing on the way to Success. Remember, it’s a rehearsal.  Mingle with the masses and the Mighty.

This is no time for passivity.  Solitaire, Land Mines, TMZ and Miley Cyrus will just have to make do without you.

It’s all part of Getting to the Other Side of Nowhere..

Because of spam and viruses, it’s best to contact me at dickheatherton@outlook.com