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Failure Quotes – Celebrating my Failures of 2009

Heading into the end of the year I'm tempted to take stock of my failures in 2009 and start waving my finger at myself for all the things I've let slip during the year. All the failures punctuating the months from January to now. I'm reminded of all the doe-eyed dreams I had 12 months ago, and all the many goals I set myself at the beginning of the year. All those failures. I can't help but smile. The year is however come and gone, no matter how long I wag my finger no matter how down I get this is the present I have inherited from myself, failures and all. In many respects 2009 has been, as my footballing friends would say, a rebuilding year for me. I've taken stock of myself and realized a number of things that I possibly wasn't ready to last year or the year before. Where I am, that is where you'll find me.

I think I'm going to tattoo that on my forehead this new year. I love the fact that I've reached a place in my life where my failures no longer define me. I am free of failure let the success roll in.

Famous Failures:

“My imperfections and failures are as much a blessing from God as my successes and my talents and I lay them both at his feet.” Mahatma Gandhi
  • Einstein was 4 years old before he could speak.
  • Iassc Newton did poorly in grade school and was considered "unpromising."
  • When Thomas Edison was a youngster, his teacher told him he was too stupid to learn anything. He was counseled to go into a field where he might succeed by virtue of his pleasant personality.
  • F.W. Woolworth got a job in a dry goods store when he was 21, but his boss would not permit him to wait on customers because he "didn't have enough sense to close a sale."
  • Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team.
  • Bob Cousy suffered the same fate, but he too is a Hall of Famer.
  • A newspaper editor fired Walt Disney because he "lacked imagination and had no original ideas."
  • Winston Churchill failed the 6th grade and had to repeat it because he did not complete the tests that were required for promotion.
  • Babe Ruth struck out 1,300 times, a major league record.

Failure quotes:

Failure is an event, never a person.  ~William D. Brown, Welcome Stress!

I have not failed.  I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.  ~Thomas Edison

Try again.  Fail again.  Fail better.  ~Samuel Beckett

One fails forward toward success.  ~Charles F. Kettering

A man may fall many times, but he won't be a failure until he says that someone pushed him.  ~Elmer G. Letterman

A failure is a man who has blundered, but is not able to cash in the experience.  ~Elbert Hubbard

There is much to be said for failure.  It is more interesting than success.  ~Max Beerbohm,

Mainly on the Air, 1946

The men who try to do something and fail are infinitely better than those who try to do nothing and succeed.  ~Lloyd Jones

If you're doing your best, you won't have any time to worry about failure.  ~Quoted in P.S. I Love You, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Image credit / CC BY 2.0


Real Growth, Personal Development from the Inside Out

Real Growth this way

Real Growth this way


It’s a tricky business. You can think you’ve pulled all the weeds of in-authenticity and the next thing you know, you’re realizing you’re doing something for the sake of “growth” that doesn’t really matter. The prolificacy of fake growth often hides in hard-to-find corners of your mind. It often arrives in unassuming forms.

Jonathan Mead - The Number One Self-Development Mistake, And The Fake Growth Addict

In the realm of Personal Development, Real growth is the key indicator of success or failure. So what defines real growth or false growth? Much of the information and programmes in Personal Development available are at best insincere and at worst scams. The belief that your problems can be fixed from the outside in, that your goals can somehow be found in between the covers of  the latest glossy Personal Development book is the myth. Personal Development is well, personal. The Personal Development industry can only help accelerate real growth, it can’t start it.


Conquer your Fear of Success

“Procrastination is the fear of success. People procrastinate because they are afraid of the success that they know will result if they move ahead now. Because success is heavy, carries a responsibility with it, it is much easier to procrastinate and live on the 'someday I'll' philosophy.”

Denis Waitley quotes (American motivational Speaker and Author of self-help books

As old as I am this success thing still confounds me. As hard and as long as I work toward my goals it often feels like I”m using large amounts of my time fighting with myself. There’s just no way to win. Now this is not going to be a scholarly discussion of fear of success. I’m no psychologist I can’t diagnose a phobia and I’m definitely not a wiki.


All I want to do today is discuss what I know, the frustration caused by the symptoms of fear of success and how to combat it before failure moves into your spare room and starts bonding with your kids. The definition and psychology of the fear of success is pretty simple its fear of change dressed up like an elephant and standing in your living room. No one mentions it but we all know it’s there as we choose over and over to be mediocre.

Supping on the Bananas of disappointment

When we talk about fear of success, the change we fear just happens to be positive. We hairless apes are very clever but we long for routine. Change in any shape size or flavor scares the crap out of us. Until we find the motivation to change, the motivation to succeed we will continue on our negative path supping on bananas of disappointment feasting on meal worms of failure until we finally hit rock bottom or worse still, never hit rock bottom and live our neat lives of quiet desperation living in constant fear of success.

So how do we escape the clutches of this self inflicted mediocrity? Let's not try let's do!

Feel the Fear of success, and connect with your Passion

  • Start right now and admit your fear of success and the changes it will bring
  • You’re afraid of that promotion, afraid of losing that extra weight just plain afraid
  • Take a bit of time to understand why you’re afraid of success. The most common fear is that after you solve your biggest problems you cease to have excuses without excuses what ever would you complain about.
  • Connect with your passion when mediocrity comes calling in your life never focus on what you don’t want focus on what you do want let that connection with your passion become the rope that binds you to it and keeps the fear at bay
  • Visualize success and all the benefits that come with it often
  • There is abundance in life open your eyes, focus on your goals and on all the success you see in the world, look at all the ways you are already successful. No one needs to lose for you to win there are infinite opportunities for everyone.
  • Failure isn't the worst thing on earth

Forget thinking, do!

  • Stop over-thinking, success is good, they say that our ability to reason sets us apart from animals well sometimes we just need to put our brains in neutral and focus on doing.
  • Once you start doing you start learning and that learning is invaluable it also takes your mind off of all those imagined problems success will apparently bring.
  • Success is good go read the definition in the dictionary you fool
  • When you start doing you start learning to flow, to tune out the world stop thinking and take pleasure in the doing. Allowing you to auto-pilot your way to success. Remember what it feels like when you are in flow and are able to produce at a high level for long periods. being able to call on this flow state is the key to lasting change.

Talk your way to success

  • When you’re not doing talk. Talk about what you’ve done talk about what you are still going to do keep the dialog going. Everything is created twice. Talking about what is going on in your head breathes life into your dreams and makes them real to you and your network. Talking makes you accountable for your actions to others and yourself
  • Plan big go ahead and plan every part of your success, every step you plan to take, every meeting every document, hell plan your outfit when you make it. The best way to combat change is  to anticipate it. Plan for success and you’ll find your fear will become trivial.

Start Small but start!

  • Start small see this guest post based on Leo Babauta’s excellent The power of less for tips on how to approach your goals effectively
  • The only failure is failing to try start as small as you feel comfortable with but start now.

As the world barrels along the enemy of great truly is good. We are all of us settling for good when great is within our reach. We need to remember that success lies on the other side of failure if we turn tail and run whenever we fail we’ll never make it. Fear can be the fuel for your success or for the flames of your failure. Only you can decide if good is good enough though.

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Reconnect with Passion, 4 ways to Achieve your Goals

A while back I discussed the Price of Perfection, as it related to my writing goals. Writing that post reminded me once more to find ways each day to reconnect with my passion for writing and for life if I want to achieve my goals. I have never been one to spend my time obsessing about my goals but it is important to internalize goals if we are to have any chance of achieving them.

You’re probably motivated by fear of failure

Without clearly defined goals I can guarantee you one thing. You are just as likely to achieve what you value as goals as you are to achieve what you don’t. That’s a 50% chance of failure right off the bat. Now I see you looking at me with pleading eyes, “please Michael can’t the glass be half full” I hear you cry. Ok for you I'm going to make the glass half full … Except now that I think about it, one of those thick books on my bookshelf is on NLP. Would you believe me if i told you that 9 out 10 people reading this post are motivated by what they don’t want not by what they do want and value. We are very literally running on auto-pilot away from our goals. The problem is all our goals and everything we value is on the far side of that mountain of fear and self loathing not in the other direction.


Your fear is your fuel

I see I’ve got you thinking now. To those shaking their fist at me, no I’m not a quack, in fact stay behind after class I have a note for your mother. The proof, as one of my best friend reminds me so often, is in the pudding. The majority of people on the planet today are living lives that are less than or equal to mediocre. Your life probably has a fair sprinkling of mediocre in it too. When you are not connected to your goals you are probably connected to your fears. Your fears are feeding your mediocrity, keeping your goals at arms length.

Passion is about values not value

It’s not about your bank balance, car or your salary. Mediocre is about how well you are living. How closely your life, goals and your values are aligned. How proud are you when you speak about who you are, not about what you have? Any Yahoo with enough money can buy a shiny BMW. Only you can live a life that allows you to sleep soundly at night with a faint smile. Only you can figure out how to fall asleep secure in the knowledge that today you exercised your purpose  achieved your goals on this planet and added value to the world.

These are some of the best ways I’ve found to integrate my goals with my life:

Spend at least 5 minutes a day dreaming

This tip is the most fun on the list, for each goal you are working toward spend part of your 5 minutes visualizing what achieving that goal will look like, smell, like, feel, sound like and what it will taste like. The more senses you call upon the better. Visualizing helps to make this possible future and achieved goals more real. Only when your dreams and goals exist in your minds eye completed and achieved will your body start taking the many steps toward them.

Leave yourself visual reminders of your goals

Put up post it notes with your goals on them. Write your goals in the margins or inside covers of your notebooks. Send yourself future dated e-mail reminding yourself to focus on your goals. Get software get posters get crayons if you want just get creative with remembering your goals. The only way these reminders of your goals will work is if they can knock you out of our stupor during your normal work day.

Tell your friends

Speak about your passions and goals often. Tell your friends tell strangers tell your cat. The more you involve other people the more committed you force yourself to be to your goals. All the poor people you tell will become walking breathing reminders of your commitment to your goals and the fact that your name is on the line. Always remember though your goals are for you. So use the livestock around your cubicles and the love of your friends and family to your advantage for a change.

Research success

Spend your free time reading about people who exhibit the values you wish to have. Find people who have succeed in areas you desire success. The exercise will teach you how how it’s done also you’ll learn from the mistakes from others. The most powerful lesson I take from research is that it is possible. How empowering is that statement? It is possible! As soon as you allow that thought into your life a lot of excuses disappear like manure in the sun.

The only way to achieve your dreams is to live your goals. Use these techniques and any others you come across to incorporate your goals in your living.

See also: How to use Evernote and GTD for setting and achieving goals and objectives

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