“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan
I’ll never forget the time I landed my dream job. I was thrilled, until one year later when, for reasons beyond my control, I was laid off.
Losing the job that I had always wanted, and facing career and financial uncertainty wasn’t easy, but it turned out to be one of the most valuable experiences of my life. Our greatest lessons are often found in our hardest challenges.
Following your dreams is like learning to walk. You are sure to fall from time to time. This is okay. The only mistake you can make is to give up. Has any parent said, “My child keeps falling down. I guess she will never learn to walk.”? Of course not. Falling is part of the process. There is no need to worry. No matter how many times a child falls, she will eventually learn to walk. The same is true with living our truth. As long as we don’t give up, we all end up where we need to be.
It is our journey that defines us. If you stick with your dreams and make a tiny bit of progress every day, you will one day look back and see the value of your commitment. Below are five important lessons to keep you inspired when you experience setbacks.
1) Be here now (whether you like it or not)
Living in the present moment is the foundation for all success and happiness. When working, work fully. When relaxing, relax fully. Only a centered mind is capable of creative thinking and peace of mind. Whatever the moment brings, embrace it like a lesson just for you.
“If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.” –Lao Tzu
2) Reality is the story we tell ourselves
If you believe you can do something, you probably can. If you believe you can’t, you probably can’t. All possibilities and limitations are self-created. Fear is a narrative you tell yourself. So is confidence. If you want to change your life, shift your thoughts and beliefs to the story you prefer. And stick with the story.
3) Victory fades. So does failure.
When people succeed, they bask in glory. When they fail, they mope in defeat. But both success and failure are temporary waves in an ever-changing ocean. From a bird’s-eye view, you can see that victory is not permanent and failure is not final. Don’t worry about the ups and downs of the waves. Be the ocean.
“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
4) Your journey is your guide
People always complain, “If only life came with instructions.” Guess what? It does. Every event, job and relationship is a lesson. Life is a classroom. Everything you experience (everything) is essential to your growth, or else it would not be happening to you. When you listen closely, the entire world is your map. Trust wherever you are.
5) Creativity is your best weapon
Failure is an opportunity to expand your creativity. There is a solution to every challenge, but we won’t see it unless we look at the challenge from a different angle. Creativity is the method of problem solving that expands your perspective and turns your imagination into reality.