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2010 Resolution: Fail More

December 31st, 2009

While everyone else is telling you that now is the time to get ready to succeed in the new year I’m going to offer my bit of contrarian advice:

This new year, plan on failing more.

Many years ago, when I wanted to become a writer, I signed up for a correspondence course from an ad I saw in the back of Writer’s Digest Magazine. One of the first lessons covered was getting over the fear of rejection. “For every magazine article you publish, you should expect to receive one hundred rejections.”

To some this might seem discouraging, but in fact the opposite is true. When you realize that failure is an intergral part of success then it is no longer something to be feared. I began to see rejection letters as a measure of forward progress. If I got one and quit then I would NEVER reach my goal. I needed to stumble and fail at least ninety-nine more times before I had any right to expect a byline.

And so I kept fearlessly submitting articles and proudly collecting rejection letters like feathers in my cap. Where some would see failure, I saw markers of forward progress. Fast forward twelve years and  I have 20 books and mor ethan 100 published magazine articles. I no longer collect (nor save) rejection letters, but neither do they get me the least bit dejected.

“Failures are milestones, not tombstones.”  –Julian Franklin

I have many great plans in the works right now, some of which are sure to face hurdles and set backs, some already have. I welcome these challenges as a part of the game.

I don’t know what great ambitions you have for this year, but as you set goals, mentally prepare for the fact that you might not make them all on the first try. If, by some strange fluke you do make them all easily then you didn’t set high enough goals to begin with. Push yourself this year and then forgive yourself when success is not simple and easy.

If the stock market doesn’t cooperate with your investment goals, don’t give up. Have you been getting discouraged showing your business plan to prospective downline memebers because no one seems interested? Good! That’s a sign of forward progress. It’s much better than sitting at home not showing the plan because of a fear of rejection. Been going to the gym and not seeing the results you want? Keep going! Has the economy affected your business? Are sales down? Are you feeling forced to try new things in order keep up? Fantastic!

This year, instead of paring down your resolutions to one or two really important ones, I suggest you pile your plate high with all manner of goals, dreams, resolutions and promises. Dream as big as you can, gather lots of intermediate goals and then plow into them head first. If you want to succeed more in 2010 than you did in 2009 then you are going to have to accept more failure. The only way to fail more is to try more.

Thomas J. Watson, Sr., the president of IBM from 1914 – 1956 and the man who propelled the company to the incredible success that it became and still is was quoted as saying “If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate.”

“If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate.”  –Thomas J. Watson, Sr.

Don’t get too comfortable with failure, but for goodness sakes don’t avoid it! The sign of a great achiever is a long list of past failures. Get out there and start failing!

Embracing Fear, Failure, Goal Setting, Success