IMO stuff about mindset is fantastic who agrees?

Recently, a friend of mine met a woman while on vacation in another country. They had immediate chemistry and decided to keep in touch after he left. As the months passed by, he became more and more enamored with her, telling me that he had never met a woman like this before. He said he hadn’t felt this way since he met his last serious ex. Apparently, the feeling was mutual, as the woman continued to battle through time zones to keep in touch with him. Soon, despite living on different continents, they conjured up plans to ‘follow their dreams’ and see each other again.

At one point, he went as far as to suggest to me that he’d be able to arrange his work-travel situation to where he could even live in her country a few months out of the year and make a relationship work. This was serious business — especially coming from a friend I knew to be particularly commitment-averse.

Eventually, they found a solution. He had another upcoming trip overseas, and he could take the following week off at a beach town nearby and arrange to have her flown there to meet him with his frequent flyer points. She excitedly accepted. He arranged for a romantic room, massage trips at a local spa, walks on the beach, the whole nine yards. It was finally going to happen.

Following Your Dreams Isn’t Always the Answer

We are all beaten over the head that we should always follow our dreams, always pursue our passions, always turn reality into what we believe will make us happy. Most marketing and advertising is based on this. The majority of the self-help industry pushes this. And with the “lifestyle design” and “self-improvement” obsession of this generation, it has become a borderline religion.

To create and define one’s own life is viewed as some sort of salvation; to remain trapped within the confines of traditional society as some kind of hell.

But this isn’t necessarily rock hard capital-T truth. In fact, it’s largely a cultural belief. The entire modus operandi of the United States was the idea that any person can achieve what they desire assuming they work hard enough. Individuality and originality have been successfully marketed to us the past century to the point of parody. We’re told that such-and-such shaving cream will make us “our own man” and that driving a mass-produced sports car is the best way to express ourselves.

Here’s an Audi commercial that tries to tell you that you’re being unique by buying a $39,000 car:

But it’s not just materialism. The “follow your dreams” mentality dominates our relationships as well. It’s only in the last couple centuries that romantic love has been championed as the sole prerequisite for a happy relationship.

Lonely? Just fall in love and then live happily ever after! Duh.

It’s reached the point where practically all of our pop culture is based upon the idea that romantic love is a justification for just about any neurotic behavior.

The underlying assumption behind all of this? You deserve to follow your dreams. You owe it to yourself to pursue them at all costs. Achieve your dreams and they will finally make you happy once and for all.

Whether it’s a new career, being the best-dressed person at a party, reaching enlightenment, or realizing a tryst with a woman halfway around the planet, we’re told that we owe it to ourselves to go out and get it, and we’re some type of failure if we don’t. (Now buy this hemorrhoid cream for $19.95.)

Sometimes Wanting Something is Better Than Having It

Rock concert with guitar player standing on stage
This was supposed to be me one day.

For most of my adolescence and young adulthood, I fantasized about being a musician — a rock star, in particular. Any badass guitar song I heard, I would always close my eyes and envision myself up on stage playing it to the screams of the crowd, people absolutely losing their minds to my sweet finger-noodling. This fantasy could keep me occupied for hours on end.

The fantasizing continued up through college, even after I dropped out of music school and stopped playing seriously. But even then it was never a question of if I’d ever be up playing in front of screaming crowds, but when. I was biding my time until I could invest the effort into getting out there and making it work.

Even when I started my first online business, it was with an eye to cash in quick and then finally start my belated career as a musician. Even as recently as a year ago, I bought a guitar with half a mind to start practicing again and join a band in some of the locations I ended up living.

But despite fantasizing about this for over half of my life, the reality never came. And it took me a long time to figure out why.

I didn’t actually want it.

I’m in love with the result — the image of me on stage, people cheering, me rocking out, putting everything I have into what I’m playing — but I’m not in love with the process.

The daily drudgery of practicing, the logistics of finding a group and rehearsing, the pain of finding gigs and actually getting people to show up and give a shit. The broken strings, the blown tube amp, hauling 40 lbs of gear to and from rehearsals with no car. It’s a mountain of a dream and a mile-high climb to the top. And what it took me a long time to discover is that I don’t like to climb. I just want to imagine the top.

Our culture would tell me that I’ve somehow failed myself. Self-help would say that I either wasn’t courageous enough, determined enough or I didn’t believe in myself enough. Lifestyle designers would tell me that I gave in to my conventional role in society. I’d be told to do affirmations or join a mastermind group or something.

But the truth is far less interesting than that:

I thought I wanted something. But I didn’t. End of story.

I’ve since discovered that the rock star fantasy has less to do with actually rocking out on stage than simply feeling acknowledged and appreciated. It’s no coincidence that as my personal relationships improve dramatically, the fantasy slowly fades into the background. It’s a periodic mental indulgence now, not a driving need.

Reality is Always Messy

At the end of his brilliant album Antichrist Superstar, Marilyn Manson plays a loop of a spoken sentence, “When all of your wishes are granted, many of your dreams will be destroyed.” The line is repeated over and over as what was a dark and beautiful ballad devolves into a chaos of clustered samples and distorted noise.

Later, in his autobiography, Uncle Marilyn explained what that line meant and why he ended the album with it.

After achieving all of his goals — the fame, the fortune, the social critiques, the artistic statements, the rock star status — he was paradoxically the most miserable he had ever been in his life. Reality hadn’t lived up to his fantasies. There were stresses and pains he could have never imagined. Vices had taken hold. The character of those around him had changed.

In the book, he relates breaking down and crying into a pile of cocaine in the studio while recording the song. Because at the tender age of 27, he felt he had nothing else to look forward to in life. He had already achieved everything he had ever wanted. And the excess of it was destroying him.

In my own life, I’ve written about how the dream of living as a digital nomadtraveling the world and working online — has at times presented unpredictable challenges and downsides that you never get when you live in one place. Fellow nomad Benny Lewis recently wrote about similar issues in his life.

The truth is that pain, longing, and frustration are just a fact of life. We believe that our dreams will solve all of our current problems without recognizing that they will simply create new variants of the same problems we experience now. Sure, these are often better problems to have. But sometimes they can be worse. And sometimes we’d be better off dealing with our shit in the present instead of pursuing some ideal in the future.

Jim Carrey quote about fulfilling dreams not being the answer

How do we know the difference? How do we know what’s worth pursuing? We don’t always. But here are two guidelines that can help:

  1. Fall in love with the process, not the result1 – If your job is drudgery now, then there’s no reason to suspect it won’t still be drudgery when you make partner or when you’re managing your own division. We live in a results-based society, and unfortunately, this gets most of us (70% by some surveys) into the wrong pursuits and career paths, even if we find our ‘dream job’.2
  2. What’s motivating you? – Take a long, hard look at what’s really driving you. Is it some compensation for an unmet need? Or is it a genuine expression of enthusiasm and joy?3,4 The fact that I fantasized about being on stage in front of thousands of screaming fans and didn’t fantasize about writing or playing new songs is telling.

 

Does this mean you shouldn’t pursue your dreams? Is this some kind of nihilistic screed against how the world is shit and we should all waste away and nothing matters anyway?

No.

I’m simply urging you to exert a little caution. We’ve all been bombarded with the message that if we’re not making ourselves special in some way, then we don’t matter. But as David Foster Wallace wrote at length about, some of the most heroic people in the world are those who toil silently through the monotony and boredom, who live lives of simple satisfaction and anonymous successes. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

‘Follow Your Dreams’ Comes Crashing Down

When my friend informed me of his beach getaway plan with his foreign love interest, I strongly advised him against it. I went on about cognitive biases, how long distance relationships allow us to idealize others, about being blinded by infatuation, how it sets a terrible precedent for a relationship, and so on.

He said he understood. But he had never met a woman like her and that if he didn’t at least find out, he’d wonder “What if?” for the rest of his life.

Sounds reasonable, even admirable. And hey, I don’t really blame him. Although I wouldn’t have done the same. Because my point was that he actually hadn’t met this woman yet. The woman he had met who was “like nobody else” was a product of his fantasies and desires, not reality. In reality, he ignored dozens of real women directly around him to pursue a romantic phantom.

The week of the getaway came. He disappeared for a few days. When he resurfaced, his first message to me was, “Well, I know you’re going to say ‘I told you so,’ but…”

From his account, the first day was fine, if a bit awkward and distant. But then the weight of the stratospheric expectations crashed through on the second day. She couldn’t square the circle of their lifestyle differences, the living on two different continents. I imagine reality hit her like a slap in the face. What the hell was she doing on a beach somewhere with some guy she only met for a few hours a year ago?

She told him that she thought they should just be friends.

Obviously, my friend was disappointed. He had followed his dreams, and it didn’t work out. But by the third day, the disappointment had turned into anger — and not necessarily at her, but at reality. This woman “had everything he looks for in a woman,” and was like “no one he had met before.” And within three days, she  became “immature,” “entitled,” and “unappreciative.”

But the fact is that she had always been those things. Just as he had always been just a friend to her. They were just the last ones to find out.

(Cover image by eflon is licensed under CC BY 2.0)

Footnotes

  1. Dweck, C., & Leggett, E. (1988). A Social–Cognitive Approach to Motivation and Personality. Psychological Review, 95(2), 256–273.
  2. Kenyon, G. (2016, November 25). It’s not unusual to get your dream job—And then hate it. BBC.
  3. Studies of motivation often show we are way more motivated if we are excited, joyful, or enthusiastic. See: Patrick, B. C., Hisley, J., & Kempler, T. (2000). “What’s Everybody so Excited about?”: The Effects of Teacher Enthusiasm on Student Intrinsic Motivation and Vitality. The Journal of Experimental Education, 68(3), 217–236.
  4. Intrinsic (internal) motivation has been linked with higher achievement and well-being in a number of fields. See: Ryan, RM & Deci, EL 2008, ‘A self-determination theory approach to psychotherapy: The motivational basis for effective change.’, Canadian Psychology/Psychologie canadienne, vol. 49, no. 3, pp. 186–193.

such a great fanpage

If you want to succeed in business, there’s one truth you must make peace with:

At some point, you will fail.

Your launch will flop. Your book will get terrible reviews. You’ll miss your sales targets by a mile…

Or it may be more subtle. After you’ve been running your business for a while — especially your first business — you might take stock and realize that it’s not what you imagined. It’s not producing the money, joy or freedom you’d hoped for. What happened to those big dreams and ambitious goals? Because the business you’re running now certainly doesn’t feel like the business of your dreams.


Start focusing on what's working rather than putting so much energy on what doesn't.
Click To Tweet


When you realize you’re nowhere near achieving the goals you set for your business, you might feel like a failure, want to throw in the towel and move on.

Don’t walk away so fast.

While it’s tempting to quit, failure in business doen’t need to be the end of the story, it’s likely a just a necessary reality check.

Learning from Failure: A Reality Check for Your Business

Most businesses take quite a long time to become successful (even the ones that seem like they “made it” overnight).

Failure is a natural part of building a successful business. It doesn’t need to be the end of your story  — unless that’s what you choose.

The secret to moving on from failure is to actively look for, and capitalize on the lessons. Every stumble is a chance to grow wiser, stronger, and more capable of achieve your ultimate ambition.

In this live call-in show, I talk with Alicia, who confessed:

I’ve been running my own business for the last three years, but a lot of the things I wanted haven’t come true in the way that I hoped. I struggle with feeling like I failed. I’m left feeling like all of this effort I put in — all the things I worked really hard to create — none of them really generated the success I was hoping for and now I have to start from scratch. Help!

Alicia and I talk through how she measures success and why she feels so unsuccessful. Spoiler: It’s not because she’s a failure.

Watch the clip, and keep reading after the video to learn four mindset shifts that can turn your gnarliest failures into springboards to success.

View Transcript

Check out this episode on The Marie Forleo Podcast

Listen Now

Giving up on your business after its first failure or two is like leaving the theater in the middle of an epic movie.

Say you’re watching a two-hour movie, and 45 minutes in, all hell breaks loose — there’s a ton of conflict. The main character is floundering and the chance for success looks dire. If you walked out at that very moment, you’d think that character was a total failure.

But that’s just an inflection point. Their story isn’t over. And neither is yours.

4 Mindset Shifts to Begin Learning from Failure

Okay, so you’re in the thick of it. You failed. Big time. 

Now what?

Instead of bowing out in shame with your tail between your legs, the right mindset just might set you on a higher path. Use these mantras to turn your failure into a growth-opportunity:

  1. “Failure is an event, not a characteristic.” Judge Victoria Pratt said this to me during an interview and my heart cheered when I heard it. “Failure is just an event. It’s not a characteristic. People can’t be failures.” Look. We all make bad judgment calls. But your flops are events, not permanent character traits. Failure is not who you are. YOU are not a failure and can never be one.
  2. “I win or I learn, but I never lose.” This is one of my go-to mantras. Hearing it completely shifted my perspective. And thank God it did, because I used to love cataloging my every mess-up. But the truth is, there’s not a single instance in my past where my supposed “wrong” action or “botched” attempt didn’t eventually lead to something good and useful.
  3. “A fall isn’t final unless you stay on the ground.” We all wipe out. Physically, emotionally, creatively, financially, socially — everyone does dumb sh*t. It’s inherent to the human growth process. But here’s the key: a fall is never final unless you stay on the ground. Catch your breath. Get back up. Keep going.
  4. “Focus on what’s working.” Maybe you didn’t hit your sales goals this year, but that doesn’t make your entire business a failure. Instead of getting so caught up in the goals you didn’t meet, take stock of what you did. Look at everything you have accomplished. When we acknowledge wins and progress, we tend to notice them more. The more we notice progress, the more momentum we create.*

*This is backed by neuroscience. Research shows that celebrating small wins gives your brain a spritz of dopamine, a natural feel-good hormone linked with motivation, which gets you excited to keep going. When you stack and celebrate wins regularly, you build mental and emotional strength, which is an essential for long-term business success. 

DIVE DEEPER: This question will help you overcome your fear of failure. Plus, here are 4 steps to overcome a devastating setback with Dr. Cathy Collautt.

Finally…

Remember what F.A.I.L. really stands for. Think about the word “FAIL” like this: it’s a faithful attempt in learning. That’s it. A faithful attempt in learning. It’s nothing to fear and nothing to avoid. From this perspective, failure is not a glitch in your journey, it’s a must-have feature. As cliché as it sounds, you can only truly fail if you stop learning and growing.

What Key Lessons Can You Learn from Failure?

In the midst of or immediately following a screw-up, do I personally sometimes cry and feel like a clueless idiot? Yes, of course.

Do I ever beat myself up if I wasted massive amounts of time, money, or energy? Yes, yes, and yes.

But the nanosecond I remember “I win or I learn, but I never lose,” I begin to regain sanity and perspective. Something good will (eventually) come out of this. Something that’ll help me grow and do better next time.

So once you’ve wallowed, it’s time to figure out exactly what you can learn from failure.

Action Step: Look to your past and think about a specific time you failed (or more accurately, made a faithful attempt in learning). 

  • What are three good things that came from it? 
  • What lessons did you learn? 
  • What valuable understanding do you now have that you wouldn’t have otherwise?

Now think about your present challenge. How can you grow, change, or pivot now to avoid repeating this mistake?

Remember, hitting your goal is far less important than who you become in the process of working towards it. The biggest benefits of challenging yourself are the mental and emotional strengths you build along the journey, including: focus, discipline, determination, resilience, humility, and faith.

The qualities you’re developing through failure now are the distinguishing factors that’ll lead to success down the road.

Today’s Failure Leads to Tomorrow’s Success

“You always pass failure on your way to success.”

~ Mickey Rooney 

No one hits it out of the park on their first swing. When you’re feeling unsuccessful, remember that everything you’re doing now is an opportunity to learn and grow into the person you need to be.

Look, I get it. When you’re in it, still stinging with pain or shame from a disappointment, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture. That’s when we need other people to remind us that we can find solace and inspiration in the stories of people like us who have risen above setbacks and bounced back stronger than ever.

One of my favorite stories comes from actress and director Bryce Dallas Howard.

My grandmother said to me, “Do you know how many auditions the average working actor needs to go on before booking a job?”

I guessed one in ten. And she said to me, “No, it’s 64. One in 64 auditions.”

And it was this clarifying moment for me to statistically understand the odds.

My grandmother went back into acting in her 60s and she started counting the number of auditions she would go on. She got up to 100 without booking a job and then she’s like, “Okay, I’m gonna start the count over at one and we’ll see if I make it to 64.”

And by 64 she did actually book a job and she had this tremendous hot streak for the last 10 years of her life.

So when I started auditioning I was very inspired by her stick-to-it-ness, so I just started counting. One audition. Two auditions. And I promised myself I wouldn’t get upset if I didn’t book something before 64.

I got the job on my 48th audition, and my agent later asked me, “How did you not quit? Most actors quit long before you.” I told her the story about my grandmother and she said, “I wish more creative people understood this because then they wouldn’t be so hard on themselves.”

The takeaway from Bryce? Rejection is a prerequisite to success. Whether you get criticized, passed over, or flat out fired, it just means there’s more to learn. You’re on your way.

Thomas Edison’s grade school teachers said he was “too stupid to learn anything” and he was fired from jobs for being “unproductive.” But after 1000 unsuccessful attempts, he invented the lightbulb and made the future brighter for us all.

Oprah Winfrey was fired from her reporting job because she apparently couldn’t separate her emotions from her stories. Which, as we all know, is what made her into the world’s most inspiring and compassionate interviewer.

Truly, the world’s most successful people welcome failure and rejection because they know that it’s one more notch in their belt. One step closer to their dream.

Your Turn: Practice Learning From Failure

In the comments below, tell me:

  • Which of the four mantras resonates with you right now?
  • How will you put it into practice today?

Remember, on the road to any dream, Faithful Attempts In Learning are inevitable. But the only true failure is letting it stop you from pursuing your dreams at all. All the other let downs? They are chances to learn new skills, clarify your goals, and reevaluate your measure of success.

Commit to learning from your failures — both the setbacks you’ve experienced in the past and those yet to come — so that nothing can stop you from using your gifts to change the world.

The post Learning from Failure: How to Move On After a Business Flop appeared first on .

IMO anything about self-improvement are great who agrees?

WorkFromHoome

If you could go back in time and give advice to yourself right before the pandemic hit, what would you say?

Here’s my answer. Let’s assume it’s January 2020, just as we’re beginning to hear news about a strange virus in Wuhan, China…

Welcome to the beginning of the strangest year the modern world has ever known. You don’t realize it now, but life as you know it is about to change drastically.

Remember how you’ve been talking to everyone about “working from anywhere” for the past decade? Well, now the entire workforce will be leaving their offices and telecommuting. One problem: they can’t actually go anywhere. Working remotely usually implies freedom, but in this case it points to constraint. Simply put, the workforce is working remotely because it’s not safe to work together.

Most of the world’s borders will have closed, though if you want to visit the Maldives, you can buy an unlimited pass to a luxury hotel for all of 2021.

So that’s what you’re looking at! Let’s make a plan. Making plans is something you’re good at.

STEP 1: LOGISTICS.

First things first, buy stock in Zoom and Tesla. Pretty soon the whole world will be using Zoom, even kids in elementary school. “I think you’re muted” will be the new “Can you hear me now?” No one knows why Tesla’s stock keeps rising, but buy it anyway.

Next, start wearing a mask sooner rather than later. Wash your hands frequently, and stop touching your face ten times an hour. Oh, and forget about that forty-city tour you’ve been planning for six months. It’s not going to happen this year.

STEP 2: LET GO.

This time will be unlike anything you’ve experienced. Weirdly, it will be unlike anything that anyone has experienced.

You might feel disconcerted or worried. You won’t understand why other people don’t feel the way you do. You’ll be mad at the people who say it’s all a hoax, and frustrated at the ones who are so afraid that they let it affect every part of their lives. At times, you’ll feel more or less optimistic, but these times won’t always coincide with how other people feel.

You’ll try to see it as an opportunity. Lots of “we’ll get through this together” posts and articles will be published, some even by you. Collectively, you’ll cheer on healthcare workers from balconies.

All of this will be in April. But then comes May, June, July, August, September…

STEP 3: LET GO MORE.

Okay, fine, you think. We’ve all had to struggle through this, but now we’re ready to get off the train. It’s time!

But it doesn’t stop. A bizarre class conflict breaks out over whether or not we should take measures to reduce the number of people getting sick. Meanwhile, 400,000 people ride motorcycles to South Dakota. What could go wrong?

It’s hard to relate to the statistics you hear. Well over a million people are dead from something almost no one thought anything about when the year started.

Then you’ll go into winter with higher numbers than before. It’s discouraging, no doubt, but you’re starting to hope again. There are vaccines on the way.

Is it dangerous to hope? Time will tell, but either way, you still have a next step. Your next step, once again, is to use this time to improve yourself.

SoapTrust

STEP 4: RESOLVE TO BE BETTER

Yes, hope is on the way, just as it usually is. Some countries are already distributing these vaccines, and it seems it’s just a matter of time. We will once again be able to have concerts and conferences and hugs with strangers, at least the strangers we want to hug.

The goal now is to see it through. Remain vigilant, but don’t put your entire life on hold. Be cautious but not afraid.

Stay tough during the holidays and do whatever you can to find moments of joy. Put yourself first, and you’ll end up being a better support to others.

All the while, keep your head down and work on something to share with the world in 2021.

It really will come to an end! Hang in there, everyone.

###

Worlds best method fan right here

If you want to succeed in business, there’s one truth you must make peace with:

At some point, you will fail.

Your launch will flop. Your book will get terrible reviews. You’ll miss your sales targets by a mile…

Or it may be more subtle. After you’ve been running your business for a while — especially your first business — you might take stock and realize that it’s not what you imagined. It’s not producing the money, joy or freedom you’d hoped for. What happened to those big dreams and ambitious goals? Because the business you’re running now certainly doesn’t feel like the business of your dreams.


Start focusing on what's working rather than putting so much energy on what doesn't.
Click To Tweet


When you realize you’re nowhere near achieving the goals you set for your business, you might feel like a failure, want to throw in the towel and move on.

Don’t walk away so fast.

While it’s tempting to quit, failure in business doen’t need to be the end of the story, it’s likely a just a necessary reality check.

Learning from Failure: A Reality Check for Your Business

Most businesses take quite a long time to become successful (even the ones that seem like they “made it” overnight).

Failure is a natural part of building a successful business. It doesn’t need to be the end of your story  — unless that’s what you choose.

The secret to moving on from failure is to actively look for, and capitalize on the lessons. Every stumble is a chance to grow wiser, stronger, and more capable of achieve your ultimate ambition.

In this live call-in show, I talk with Alicia, who confessed:

I’ve been running my own business for the last three years, but a lot of the things I wanted haven’t come true in the way that I hoped. I struggle with feeling like I failed. I’m left feeling like all of this effort I put in — all the things I worked really hard to create — none of them really generated the success I was hoping for and now I have to start from scratch. Help!

Alicia and I talk through how she measures success and why she feels so unsuccessful. Spoiler: It’s not because she’s a failure.

Watch the clip, and keep reading after the video to learn four mindset shifts that can turn your gnarliest failures into springboards to success.

View Transcript

Check out this episode on The Marie Forleo Podcast

Listen Now

Giving up on your business after its first failure or two is like leaving the theater in the middle of an epic movie.

Say you’re watching a two-hour movie, and 45 minutes in, all hell breaks loose — there’s a ton of conflict. The main character is floundering and the chance for success looks dire. If you walked out at that very moment, you’d think that character was a total failure.

But that’s just an inflection point. Their story isn’t over. And neither is yours.

4 Mindset Shifts to Begin Learning from Failure

Okay, so you’re in the thick of it. You failed. Big time. 

Now what?

Instead of bowing out in shame with your tail between your legs, the right mindset just might set you on a higher path. Use these mantras to turn your failure into a growth-opportunity:

  1. “Failure is an event, not a characteristic.” Judge Victoria Pratt said this to me during an interview and my heart cheered when I heard it. “Failure is just an event. It’s not a characteristic. People can’t be failures.” Look. We all make bad judgment calls. But your flops are events, not permanent character traits. Failure is not who you are. YOU are not a failure and can never be one.
  2. “I win or I learn, but I never lose.” This is one of my go-to mantras. Hearing it completely shifted my perspective. And thank God it did, because I used to love cataloging my every mess-up. But the truth is, there’s not a single instance in my past where my supposed “wrong” action or “botched” attempt didn’t eventually lead to something good and useful.
  3. “A fall isn’t final unless you stay on the ground.” We all wipe out. Physically, emotionally, creatively, financially, socially — everyone does dumb sh*t. It’s inherent to the human growth process. But here’s the key: a fall is never final unless you stay on the ground. Catch your breath. Get back up. Keep going.
  4. “Focus on what’s working.” Maybe you didn’t hit your sales goals this year, but that doesn’t make your entire business a failure. Instead of getting so caught up in the goals you didn’t meet, take stock of what you did. Look at everything you have accomplished. When we acknowledge wins and progress, we tend to notice them more. The more we notice progress, the more momentum we create.*

*This is backed by neuroscience. Research shows that celebrating small wins gives your brain a spritz of dopamine, a natural feel-good hormone linked with motivation, which gets you excited to keep going. When you stack and celebrate wins regularly, you build mental and emotional strength, which is an essential for long-term business success. 

DIVE DEEPER: This question will help you overcome your fear of failure. Plus, here are 4 steps to overcome a devastating setback with Dr. Cathy Collautt.

Finally…

Remember what F.A.I.L. really stands for. Think about the word “FAIL” like this: it’s a faithful attempt in learning. That’s it. A faithful attempt in learning. It’s nothing to fear and nothing to avoid. From this perspective, failure is not a glitch in your journey, it’s a must-have feature. As cliché as it sounds, you can only truly fail if you stop learning and growing.

What Key Lessons Can You Learn from Failure?

In the midst of or immediately following a screw-up, do I personally sometimes cry and feel like a clueless idiot? Yes, of course.

Do I ever beat myself up if I wasted massive amounts of time, money, or energy? Yes, yes, and yes.

But the nanosecond I remember “I win or I learn, but I never lose,” I begin to regain sanity and perspective. Something good will (eventually) come out of this. Something that’ll help me grow and do better next time.

So once you’ve wallowed, it’s time to figure out exactly what you can learn from failure.

Action Step: Look to your past and think about a specific time you failed (or more accurately, made a faithful attempt in learning). 

  • What are three good things that came from it? 
  • What lessons did you learn? 
  • What valuable understanding do you now have that you wouldn’t have otherwise?

Now think about your present challenge. How can you grow, change, or pivot now to avoid repeating this mistake?

Remember, hitting your goal is far less important than who you become in the process of working towards it. The biggest benefits of challenging yourself are the mental and emotional strengths you build along the journey, including: focus, discipline, determination, resilience, humility, and faith.

The qualities you’re developing through failure now are the distinguishing factors that’ll lead to success down the road.

Today’s Failure Leads to Tomorrow’s Success

“You always pass failure on your way to success.”

~ Mickey Rooney 

No one hits it out of the park on their first swing. When you’re feeling unsuccessful, remember that everything you’re doing now is an opportunity to learn and grow into the person you need to be.

Look, I get it. When you’re in it, still stinging with pain or shame from a disappointment, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture. That’s when we need other people to remind us that we can find solace and inspiration in the stories of people like us who have risen above setbacks and bounced back stronger than ever.

One of my favorite stories comes from actress and director Bryce Dallas Howard.

My grandmother said to me, “Do you know how many auditions the average working actor needs to go on before booking a job?”

I guessed one in ten. And she said to me, “No, it’s 64. One in 64 auditions.”

And it was this clarifying moment for me to statistically understand the odds.

My grandmother went back into acting in her 60s and she started counting the number of auditions she would go on. She got up to 100 without booking a job and then she’s like, “Okay, I’m gonna start the count over at one and we’ll see if I make it to 64.”

And by 64 she did actually book a job and she had this tremendous hot streak for the last 10 years of her life.

So when I started auditioning I was very inspired by her stick-to-it-ness, so I just started counting. One audition. Two auditions. And I promised myself I wouldn’t get upset if I didn’t book something before 64.

I got the job on my 48th audition, and my agent later asked me, “How did you not quit? Most actors quit long before you.” I told her the story about my grandmother and she said, “I wish more creative people understood this because then they wouldn’t be so hard on themselves.”

The takeaway from Bryce? Rejection is a prerequisite to success. Whether you get criticized, passed over, or flat out fired, it just means there’s more to learn. You’re on your way.

Thomas Edison’s grade school teachers said he was “too stupid to learn anything” and he was fired from jobs for being “unproductive.” But after 1000 unsuccessful attempts, he invented the lightbulb and made the future brighter for us all.

Oprah Winfrey was fired from her reporting job because she apparently couldn’t separate her emotions from her stories. Which, as we all know, is what made her into the world’s most inspiring and compassionate interviewer.

Truly, the world’s most successful people welcome failure and rejection because they know that it’s one more notch in their belt. One step closer to their dream.

Your Turn: Practice Learning From Failure

In the comments below, tell me:

  • Which of the four mantras resonates with you right now?
  • How will you put it into practice today?

Remember, on the road to any dream, Faithful Attempts In Learning are inevitable. But the only true failure is letting it stop you from pursuing your dreams at all. All the other let downs? They are chances to learn new skills, clarify your goals, and reevaluate your measure of success.

Commit to learning from your failures — both the setbacks you’ve experienced in the past and those yet to come — so that nothing can stop you from using your gifts to change the world.

The post Learning from Failure: How to Move On After a Business Flop appeared first on .

Important Post

By Leo Babauta

Contemplating on how I want to live recently, I became clear in the last few months that I needed to create more space in my life.

My life is full, which is a wonderful thing — I have lots of people in my life who care about me, want to spend time with me, want to work with me. Amazing!

And yet, it’s become clear to me that in order to show up fully for everyone I’m serving … I need to also have space to replenish. To fill up my tank.

So I set out to create that space.

Here’s how it looks for me at the moment:

  • I’m taking Decembers and Junes off, mostly: I had to talk with all of my clients and shift my programs so that I could do this, but it’s happening! It also means I did a bunch of writing ahead of time. I am still doing some work, including creating a new course and setting intentions for 2021, but I’m not doing client calls, webinars or meetings. This month is the first time I’ve ever taken off a full month!
  • I cleared Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays: I used to have meetings on Fridays and Saturdays, but now I keep those days clear. I still do some work, but it’s much more spacious and I can take the days completely off if I feel like it.
  • I’m leaving the other days more spacious as well: I only do about 3 calls a day (down from 5-6 calls a day at my peak) and I don’t block off every hour anymore, so that I can have a greater sense of spaciousness.

What do I do in those spaces?

Anything I feel like!

Here are some of my more common ways to use the space:

  • Rest
  • Head out to nature & spend some time in solitude
  • Listen to a podcast
  • Read with my kids
  • Hang with my wife
  • Call my mom, grandma or siblings to catch up
  • Read a book
  • Reflect on bigger picture stuff
  • Take care of chores
  • Write a book about my grandmother
  • Or do whatever work I feel like

I’ve found that this kind of space is incredibly nurturing, replenishing, life-giving. And so few of us take it for ourselves.

I know that not everyone has this kind of freedom, and I am grateful that I can do it. But I challenge you to see where you’re cutting this possibility off for yourself, and see if you could create it. It might take a few months to create, but if you stand for this possibility for yourself, you might surprise yourself.

Planets biggest self-improvement fan right here

The English philosopher Bertrand Russell once said, “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.”

Perhaps what’s even more amazing is that he said this long before the advent of the internet.

Today, due to the joys of social media, we are regularly exposed to legions of people who believe they know what the fuck they are talking about when they do not. And, indeed, as Russell pointed out, the more clueless these people are, the more confident in their pronouncements they seem to be.

It turns out that Russell’s axiom has been studied and the data back it up. People who are bad at something do believe they are good at it, and people who are good at it do believe they are bad at it. Amateurs are overconfident and experts are underconfident. Newbies believe they’ve got it all figured out and the weathered veterans understand that nothing is really known for sure.

In psychology, this is known as the “Dunning-Kruger Effect.” It’s a psychological tendency named after the two researchers who initially measured it. And it’s surprising how wide its applications are in our lives.

The Dunning-Kruger Effect: Ignorance of Ignorance

There are four types of information:

  • Known knowns

    Information you know you understand. (e.g., how to ride a bike.)
  • Known unknowns

    Information you know you don’t understand. (e.g., quantum physics.)
  • Unknown knowns

    Information that you know, but you didn’t realize that you knew it. Bonus! (e.g., we didn’t realize we instinctively knew how to be a parent until it happened.)
  • Unknown unknowns

    Information that you’re completely oblivious to. Not only do you not know it, you don’t even know that you don’t know it.

The unknown unknowns are where the Dunning-Kruger effect comes into play in the worst way. It’s our tendency to overestimate our own knowledge/skills/competence and underestimate our own ignorance.1

The Dunning-Kruger Effect goes beyond ignorance. It presents a meta-layer of ignorance—the ignorance of our own ignorance.

It’s one thing to make a mistake and then realize you did so because you just didn’t know any better. But it’s next-level shitbaggery to make a mistake and not even know it and then continue to believe you never made a mistake because you’re awesome.2

That is the Dunning-Kruger Effect. And that is what Russell says is so wrong with the world. The fact that we all do this. That we predictably overestimate our knowledge and abilities in a way that causes more errors and graver mistakes.

For example:

  • Gun owners who think they’re highly knowledgeable about gun safety score the lowest on tests of gun safety.3
  • Medical lab workers—the people who process samples for medical test results—who rate themselves as highly competent in their jobs are actually the worst at their jobs.4
  • Elderly people who think they’re better drivers than most are actually four times more likely to make unsafe driving errors.5
  • The lowest performing college students dramatically overestimate their performance on exams6 and their general knowledge in their area of study.7
  • The lowest performers in a debate competition wildly overestimated how well they did. They thought they’d won 59% of their contests when they actually only won 22% of them. 8

Yeah, but Mark, You Don’t Get It… I Really Am Awesome

Now, I know what you probably did when you read through that list. It’s probably the same thing I did.

“Psh, those other people are soooo dumb. Good thing I know about all of the ways I’m terrible at things… which means that the things I’m amazing at, I actually am pretty amazing.” 

We read things like this and at no point do we stop to consider the areas where we think we are great are also delusional. We fail to consider that we also fall victim to this blindspot.

Yet we do… oh, we do.

Just one example: we have blindspots when it comes to our emotional awareness. We might project our own bullshit onto other people, misplace our anger and judgement, shut down when we get uncomfortable, overcompensate for feelings of inferiority, let our jealousy get the best of us, be an insensitive prick without even realizing we’re being an insensitive prick, and so on. We all do it. All of us.

But some of us think we don’t do it nearly as much or as poorly as others. And yet, studies have shown that people who rank lowest on objective emotional intelligence tests think they’re far more emotionally aware than others.9 And it gets worse. These same people were more reluctant to listen to feedback about their scores and—AND—were much less likely to express interest in resources that would help them improve their emotional intelligence. Go figure.

The Dunning-Kruger effect - a man with a bag over his head

And it’s not just with emotions, it’s with… well, everything.

People with the unhealthiest lifestyle habits rate themselves as comparatively healthier than they actually are.10

People who score poorly on cognitive reasoning and analytical thinking tests severely overestimate their cognitive and analytical abilities.11 Meanwhile, the people who score highly underestimate their performance.

People who hold the most politically biased views also hold the most inaccurate “factual” beliefs. They wildly over or underestimate numbers related to things like welfare participation and government budget expenditures.12

So here we are, trapped in a universe where the people who need the most help not only refuse it, they refuse to even believe they need help in the first place.

Are we just totally fucked? Or is there a way out?

The Paradox of Overcoming Ignorance

Perhaps the most frustrating thing about the Dunning-Kruger effect is that it’s incredibly difficult to overcome. And that’s because it’s wrapped in contradiction.

How do you get someone—or yourself—to look for something they can’t even see? How do you correct an error if you don’t even know you made one?

This is the paradox of trying to overcome our own ignorance: The very thing that would help us see our mistakes is the same thing that would keep us from making them in the first place.

You can’t reason with a conspiracy theorist precisely because they didn’t form their beliefs with reason. Had they the ability to change their beliefs based on reason and evidence, they wouldn’t have believed in wild conspiracy theories in the first place. In fact, they think they’re the only ones being reasonable to begin with.

Part of the problem is that there is comfort in the feeling of knowing. People don’t like uncertainty. And so settling on a belief helps us feel like we’ve made more sense of the world. When we can make sense of the world, we feel safe. Whether that belief is true or not doesn’t matter—it just has to give us some relief from the anxiety of not knowing.

Maybe there’s a backdoor way to infiltrate our stuck minds and unfuck them somehow. Research suggests it’s sorta-kinda-maybe possible.

Getting people to focus on developing related skills, rather than assessing their own abilities, seems to have some effect in reducing the Dunning-Kruger effect in task performance.13

For example, if someone is terrible at accounting but doesn’t realize it, perhaps you teach them organization skills so that in the process of learning how to better organize paperwork and transactions, they come to realize that they are the world’s worst accountant.

It also might be effective to simply teach people about the concept of blindspots and the Dunning-Kruger Effect to begin with and then let the idea percolate in their minds for a while until they start questioning their own assumptions.14

Also, as much as you’d like to be a dick to some of these people, it turns out it’s not helpful to ridicule them for how stupid they are.15 Ridiculing people simply causes them to become more defensive and double-down on their challenged beliefs, not relinquish them.

That said, you can gently peer pressure someone into seeing their ignorance. Try showing them examples of top performers in whatever field they’re so overly confident about.16 This might or might not work depending on how delusional the person is, but it’s worth a shot.

In the end, though, I think the only way to ward off our own ignorance is by choosing to have fewer opinions and more loosely held beliefs.

Humility is an important value. In fact, the Dunning-Kruger Effect suggests that humility can be highly practical. By intentionally underestimating our understanding of things, not only do we open up more opportunities to learn and grow, but we also foster a more realistic view of ourselves, and prevent ourselves from looking like a narcissistic assface around others.

That is… until we decide that we are the most humble person you’ve ever met. Nobody is more humble than me. I’m so much more humble than everybody else…

…and now we’re back to square one.

Footnotes

  1. Dunning, D. (2011). The Dunning-Kruger effect: On being ignorant of one’s own ignorance. In J. M. Olson & M. P. Zanna (Eds.), Advances in Experimental Social Psychology (Vol. 44, pp. 247–296). Academic Press.
  2. In psychology, this is known as the “double burden” of ignorance.
  3. Ehrlinger, J., Johnson, K., Banner, M., Dunning, D., & Kruger, J. (2008). Why the unskilled are unaware: Further explorations of (absent) self-insight among the incompetent. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 105(1), 98–121.
  4. Haun, D. E., Zeringue, A., Leach, A., & Foley, A. (2000). Assessing the Competence of Specimen-Processing Personnel. Laboratory Medicine, 31(11), 633–637.
  5. Freund, B., Colgrove, L. A., Burke, B. L., & McLeod, R. (2005). Self-rated driving performance among elderly drivers referred for driving evaluation. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 37(4), 613–618.
  6. One study found that the poorest students thought they scored in the top 40% of their class when they actually scored in the bottom 15%. See: Ehrlinger, J., Johnson, K., Banner, M., Dunning, D., & Kruger, J. (2008). Why the unskilled are unaware: Further explorations of (absent) self-insight among the incompetent. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 105(1), 98–121.
  7. This includes a wide range of fields from medicine, nursing, biology, psychology, engineering, business, law, education, and management information systems. See: Mahmood, K. (2016). Do People Overestimate Their Information Literacy Skills? A Systematic Review of Empirical Evidence on the Dunning-Kruger Effect. Communications in Information Literacy, 10(2), 199.
  8. Ehrlinger, J., Johnson, K., Banner, M., Dunning, D., & Kruger, J. (2008). Why the unskilled are unaware: Further explorations of (absent) self-insight among the incompetent. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 105(1), 98–121.
  9. Sheldon, O. J., Dunning, D., & Ames, D. R. (2014). Emotionally unskilled, unaware, and uninterested in learning more: Reactions to feedback about deficits in emotional intelligence. Journal of Applied Psychology, 99(1), 125–137.
  10. Miller, J. E., Windschitl, P. D., Treat, T. A., & Scherer, A. M. (2019). Unhealthy and unaware? Misjudging social comparative standing for health-relevant behavior. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 85, 103873.
  11. Pennycook, G., Ross, R. M., Koehler, D. J., & Fugelsang, J. A. (2017). Dunning–Kruger effects in reasoning: Theoretical implications of the failure to recognize incompetence. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 24(6), 1774–1784.
  12. Kuklinski, J. H., Quirk, P. J., Jerit, J., Schwieder, D., & Rich, R. F. (2000). Misinformation and the Currency of Democratic Citizenship. The Journal of Politics, 62(3), 790–816.
  13. Kruger, J., & Dunning, D. (1999). Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77(6), 1121–1134.
  14. You know, like I’m doing right now.
  15. Sheldon, O. J., Dunning, D., & Ames, D. R. (2014). Emotionally unskilled, unaware, and uninterested in learning more: Reactions to feedback about deficits in emotional intelligence. Journal of Applied Psychology, 99(1), 125–137.
  16. Miller, J. E., Windschitl, P. D., Treat, T. A., & Scherer, A. M. (2019). Unhealthy and unaware? Misjudging social comparative standing for health-relevant behavior. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 85, 103873.

anyone else like mindset as much as i do

By Leo Babauta

Contemplating on how I want to live recently, I became clear in the last few months that I needed to create more space in my life.

My life is full, which is a wonderful thing — I have lots of people in my life who care about me, want to spend time with me, want to work with me. Amazing!

And yet, it’s become clear to me that in order to show up fully for everyone I’m serving … I need to also have space to replenish. To fill up my tank.

So I set out to create that space.

Here’s how it looks for me at the moment:

  • I’m taking Decembers and Junes off, mostly: I had to talk with all of my clients and shift my programs so that I could do this, but it’s happening! It also means I did a bunch of writing ahead of time. I am still doing some work, including creating a new course and setting intentions for 2021, but I’m not doing client calls, webinars or meetings. This month is the first time I’ve ever taken off a full month!
  • I cleared Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays: I used to have meetings on Fridays and Saturdays, but now I keep those days clear. I still do some work, but it’s much more spacious and I can take the days completely off if I feel like it.
  • I’m leaving the other days more spacious as well: I only do about 3 calls a day (down from 5-6 calls a day at my peak) and I don’t block off every hour anymore, so that I can have a greater sense of spaciousness.

What do I do in those spaces?

Anything I feel like!

Here are some of my more common ways to use the space:

  • Rest
  • Head out to nature & spend some time in solitude
  • Listen to a podcast
  • Read with my kids
  • Hang with my wife
  • Call my mom, grandma or siblings to catch up
  • Read a book
  • Reflect on bigger picture stuff
  • Take care of chores
  • Write a book about my grandmother
  • Or do whatever work I feel like

I’ve found that this kind of space is incredibly nurturing, replenishing, life-giving. And so few of us take it for ourselves.

I know that not everyone has this kind of freedom, and I am grateful that I can do it. But I challenge you to see where you’re cutting this possibility off for yourself, and see if you could create it. It might take a few months to create, but if you stand for this possibility for yourself, you might surprise yourself.

Anything about self-improvement is really important

The Opportunity in Adversity

By Eckhart Tolle

Life unfolds between the polarities of order and chaos. It is important at this time to recognize these two fundamental opposites, without which the world could not even be. Another word for disorder is “adversity.” When it becomes more extreme, we might call it “chaos.”

We would prefer, of course, to have order in our lives, which means to have things going well. We would like relative harmony in our lives. Yet, that very often is marred by the eruption of some form of disorder. And, usually, we resent that—we get angry, or despondent, or sad.

Disorder comes in many, many forms, big and small. When disorder comes it usually creates a kind of havoc in our lives, accompanied by strong underlying beliefs. “There’s something very wrong, this should not be happening, maybe God is against me,” and so on. Again, we need to understand that disorder, or adversity, is inevitable and is an essential part of a higher order.

 From a higher perspective, a higher level, the existence of order and disorder, or order and chaos, is a necessary part of the evolution of life.

 Many people have found that they experience a deepening, or a deeper sense of self or beingness, immediately after and as a result of having endured a period of disorder or chaos. This is sometimes called “the dark night of the soul,” a term from medieval Christianity used to describe the mental breakdown that many mystics experienced prior to awakening spiritually. There was an eruption of disorder, of destruction. Then, out of that, a deeper realization arose.

 And although that can be very painful, the strange thing is, it’s precisely there that many humans experience a transcendence. A strange fact is that it almost never happens that people awaken spiritually while they’re in their comfort zone. Or that they become deeper as human beings, which would be a partial awakening. It almost never happens. The place where the evolutionary shift happens, or the evolutionary leap, is usually the experience of disorder in a person’s life.

And so your life then moves between order and disorder. You have both, and they’re both necessary. There’s no guarantee that when disorder erupts this will bring about an awakening or a deepening, but there’s always the possibility. It is an opportunity, but often, it is missed.

 So here we are at this time, and our mission is the same: to align with the present moment, with whatever is happening here and now. The upheaval that we’re experiencing at the present time probably will not be the last upheaval that’s going to come on a collective level. However, it is an opportunity—because although this is a time for upheavals, it is also a time for awakening. The two go together. Just as in an individual life, you need adversity to awaken. It’s an opportunity but not a guarantee. And so what looks tragic and unpleasant on a conventional level is actually perfectly fine and as it should be on a higher level; it would not be happening otherwise. It’s all part of the awakening of human beings and of planetary awakening.

To learn more about Eckhart’s teachings on Conscious Manifestation, click here.

Join for free and receive upcoming articles, teachings, special announcements, and more.

The post The Opportunity in Adversity appeared first on Eckhart Tolle | Official Site – Spiritual Teachings and Tools For Personal Growth and Happiness.