Fail big!

It’s a brand new year and you probably have put together a list of resolutions and goals for 2014. I’ve simplified my own goals for this year. I figure that if I can stay on top of these, the rest of the success I want will fall into place. I’ll let you know in December if it worked.

Except my goals revolve around one idea: I want to fail spectacularly in 2014.

Yes, you read that right.

Fail. Spectacularly.

It means I’m headed toward some Big Hairy Audacious Goals. If you don’t have goals that are HUGE… that scare the snot out of you a bit, then you don’t have a BHAG. So get a ginormous goal that you’re not sure you’ll be able to achieve and start planning to achieve it.

There are a few other simple goals I’ve made. Such as:

Be Grateful

[themecolor]The Cowboy[/themecolor] and I started an evening tradition about a year ago. After dinner, we have a glass of wine and we toast each other. We already had been doing that for years. But we began to preface our toast with three things for which we were grateful.

Sometimes I’m grateful for small things such as having the ingredients on hand to make a decent dinner. Sometimes they’re bigger like landing a great project with a great client. But no matter what, we always find at least three things that happened during the day that made us feel grateful.

Being grateful reminds you of the good stuff. And a funny thing happens when you’re grateful. For some reason, it seems that even more good stuff happens when you appreciate what you’ve been given. I have no idea why it works out that way, but others have noticed it too.

So no matter where you are in life, whether it’s in a job you don’t like or a living situation that is less than perfect, find a few reasons to be grateful. It can calm you, fill you with peace and even bring some hope. I’d say that’s a pretty good deal.

Be Humble

I’m a woman of faith and Christmastime always reminds me of humility. As I attended church and listened to a beautiful bell choir ring out traditional Christmas carols, I thought of the reason we were celebrating.

A manger is… well, smelly. It’s a place were animals are sheltered until they’re needed for a job, whether it’s pulling a wagon or providing milk and eggs.

It also isn’t a hotel or even a camping lodge. No fluffy bed was available let alone 1000 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets. Stiff straw was all Mary and Joseph got. And in the manger, a baby was born.

Someone who was going to live a profound life full of revolutionary acts of kindness and mercy, was born in one of the lowliest environments imaginable.

That’s humility.

We live in a world where the “humblebrag” is everywhere. It’s very difficult to resist letting others know how well you’re doing.

But here’s the thing – if you are doing well, someone will notice. And they’ll often say something about it.

I’d much rather have someone send a tweet congratulating me on a great presentation than broadcast my own update: “Another presentation and… we need a bigger room.”

I loved Steve Martin’s quote, “Be so good they can’t ignore you.” If you focus on being the best you can be, to always be improving your game and reaching for mastery, then it won’t be long before someone notices you.

A person who downplays his or her accomplishments usually impresses everyone. And they usually avoid the braggadocio hanging out at the bar, telling everyone who will listen what an amazing guy he is.

Be Positive

This perhaps may be one of the more challenging goals for 2014. Maybe your life isn’t where you’d like it to be or someone in your family is facing a difficult trial.

It is especially during such times that your positive outlook will be appreciated.

Being positive and always searching for the good parts in life are a part of being grateful, which often leads to humility.

If you’ve created some BHAGs, believe me, you’ll need to keep your chin up.

Didn’t get the client? Look at what you learned during the process. Didn’t win the race? Focus on the fact that you did finish the race. Didn’t lose all the weight you wanted? Your healthier diet made you more energetic, didn’t it?

There is always something to celebrate.

Whenever you take the time to try to achieve anything, you will occasionally fail to reach your own expectations. It isn’t the time to kick yourself when you’re down and mutter, “What’s the use in even trying?”

If that was the attitude of many inventors, scientists, athletes and a host of other people whose accomplishments have brought greatness to the world, then we would lack things such as the automobile, penicillin, or Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron.

Being positive will help you gear up for another round of effort. The world is a rough place. It will continue to kick you up one side and down the other. But it’s up to you to get up, shake off the punch, and say, “Not done yet.”

Every time you get up again, you’ve won. Think about that. There are many others who were beaten down by life and decided to stay down. But you got back up.

The moment your feet hit the floor this morning was proof that you’re not ready to call it quits. You’ve got a lot more juice to give it another go.

Those close to me know [themecolor]I’m a huge “Rocky” fan[/themecolor]. Although I don’t like boxing, I couldn’t help but fall in love with Rocky Balboa. Here was a guy who was from the wrong side of town and the wrong side of life. He was a screw-up at pretty much everything he tried to do.

His manager didn’t want his mediocre fighting skills. A neighborhood girl didn’t want his wise advice. And even a shy pet shop employee didn’t seem to want his romantic interest.

If anyone had a reason to not be positive, it would be Rocky Balboa.

But he didn’t give up. He kept trying. He stayed positive.

And when a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity came, he absolutely consumed it (including guzzling a few raw eggs in the process).

You know the rest of the story. Rocky went the distance with a world-class boxer and came out on top.

That’s what I hope you will remember this year.

To not give up.

Not give in.

To remain positive even in the midst of difficulties and challenges.

If you’re still standing by the end of 2014, congratulate yourself. Because you’ll know there were many who didn’t last.

Knowing that you did your best and although you may not have made all the shots, you did make some of them, should be enough to get you ready for more in 2015.

Make this year the year you’re determined to fail more often and spectacularly than you ever have in your life.

Because while doing so, you’ll find that you’ll also have some of the most amazing wins you’ve ever had your entire life. Play big and play on.

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Photo by Thowra_UK at Flickr

 

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