“Success is moving from failure to failure enthusiastically.”
Some may feel sorry for, or even derisive of, the Sarah Palins, Martha Stewarts and Carly Fiorinas of the world. My own response is often tinged with a bit of envy, “Wow, I bet she’s learning a lot.”
Success may be the kindest teacher, but failure is a very efficient one.
Never do I learn more than when I am in the midst of a colossal failure.
It’s this kind of learning which delivers a confidence, a confidence forged best in the furnace of failure.
So here’s to having not only the confidence to risk failure but the enthusiasm to embrace it. Let’s start now: sharing and celebrating our failures and the learning that came with them.
Can’t get enough? Read about Title Nine’s Annual “Big Mistake” Contest. There is a method to the Madness.
I have always watched politics from afar-only taking an active role when I had my first visceral reaction to the Facist that is now in office.
When I saw the sneering, arrogant, elitist hatred from the Left directed at Sarah Palin and her family-all because she doesn’t think like you-talk like you-etc-it became apparent to me that I had FAILED as an
American citizen because I had not been more involved in politics-that I had been gullible and naive to think that a Socialist- a Communist -that in his words and deeds shows his hatred for this country-would be elected President of my country.
Your snarky comment on page 2 re:Palin makes me that much more determined in keeping your like-minded representatives out of office.
I have always been a believer that “out of all bad comes good”. Whether the bad is something out of your control, such as an accident or illness, there are always lessons of life in it, you have pull from deep inside to make better or change. On the same sense to admit wrong, or a mistake, not blame it on someone else or some other circumstance, not only makes you a stronger person, but a better person.
I too am of the mid-forty age, and have had plenty of “failures”, some are totally unbelievebale even in my own mind, after I have lived through them. The hardest thing to ever learn was to quit blaming “everyone and everything” else for my “failure” , to throw the words “I’m stressed” out of the vocabulary and pretend they are an evil curse word. To stand in the mirror every morning and say I made these choices, right, wrong or indifferent, now how do I either make them better and correct them. I do strongly believe my failures have made me a success, at least my own mind, and it is the one that counts!
On my continueing list of corrections is to day by day become more active and try more activities, although I do not live where I can surf, kayak, canoe and even biking is hard with the wind. But there are still many activities that can be done. Title Nine catalog enspires me, and yes I do wear the clothes, each year I buy more, I don’t have a model body, I feel these clothes are for the 30 to 90 year old!
I almost feel a bit inadequate adding my remarks after the terrific musings of the predecessors of this piece, but here goes:
failure is frequently hard to accept but it is true there is no greater teacher. I truly feel I have been enrolled in Failure 101 recently, especially during the latest 2 years out of my 43 yr residency on PlanetEarth. Of course I launched my business right at the start of the recession (what perfect timing!) and have spent a ton of time & money getting my new little product off the ground. I’m facing a giant tide of Buyers staring down Bankruptcy, and others who don’t return phone calls or give you the time of day (you have what?!)… I’ve learned alot about the uspto, QC, LCL, EDI, 3PL, and a whole bunch of other subjects I never thought I’d have to know a whit about before…but now with which so much of my world is tied up intricately.
Adding to it all, most of my family thinks I’m crazy for doing this and on top of that, my husband has been out of work for 2 months (so far). Sometimes I feel I’m not giving adequate attention to our 4-year old daughter with all the business dealings that need to be done, so I feel like I’ve failed her to a degree as well. I know there are only so many hours in a day and just try to do the best I can. Times will change and things will get better I’m optimistic. Last week’s high after my PortaPocket line was featured on NBC’s Today Show was a great start. Gotta keep the faith and keep learning from the failures…wasn’t it Edison who failed 700+ or so times before he found that filament that worked!?
Wow! So many interesting thoughts and experiences from so many different walks of life. I am happy to say: Yes Sarah, some people get up at 4:30 am to run, skate, surf, bike or whatever, because it’s a better fix than Prozac. And Yes accomplishments come in the everyday details of finally getting our kids to try/do/understand something new or even (us) being able to use the bathroom without someone knocking on the door, or to completing our first race. Everyone one of the those accomplishments are ours and should be celebrated.
I love getting the new catalog, reading the captions and looking at the new products (it’s what I would consider my last book read or at least finished). Seeing these women enjoying the world around them inspires me to do the same. And Yes Kim and Nancy women (of not model statue) and over 40 years, wear Title Nine clothes and love them!
Failure? Without failures, how could one celebrate accomplishments?
I thought I was a failure when I got “downsized”, but after the shock wore off, I could look back at my accomplishments and actually realize that I had gone quite far. Even tho’ things could not have been worse at the time (family death, cancer, job loss, boyfriend loss), I kept believing that life is a series of ups and downs and, since I was basically at the lowest pits, just how high will my life go when I get out of the valley and up to the pinnacle? I am on my way to the pinnacle right now and am looking forward to seeing just how high it will be.
I agree with Kim… I don’t worry about my failures anymore – they are just a mirror side of accomplishments. I too have not ordered from Title Nine yet. I need to lose 10 lbs and 10 years first!
Do not slather your hands with Vaseline before a job interview. Seriously, I arrived early to a Police Dispatcher job interview, and had to wait. While fidgeting in the waiting room I noticed my hands were extremely dry. Horror! I’d been painting a room in our home the day before. I was all dressed-up and professional looking for the interview and my hands looked like a car mechanics hands, or worse. So, I dug to the bottom of my purse and bingo, found a small container of the greasy stuff. Ah, immediate relief, and what an improvement! I was admiring my beautiful hands when the receptionist entered and led me to a panel of administrators for introductions and questioning. (Bet they really appreciated the greasy hand shakes, NOT!) Nobody told me there’d be a written and timed test afterwards. I couldn’t hold the pencil to save my life! It took both hands to make those marks in the little multiple choice boxes, and I looked like a 1st grader, biting my tongue through the entire ordeal. I tried to explain afterwards, but they didn’t show or display any apathy or compassion toward me. Waaah! Oh well. It wouldn’t have been the best environment for a Lucille Ball type person anyway.
That quote from Winston Churchill gives me a chuckle. By his definition, I’ve been “successful” for my entire thirty-year career, all the while feeling like I was just hanging on by my fingernails. In a business world dominated by men, I’ve “failed” my way to owning a home near the ocean, raising two children to adulthood, learning to surf, hiking Mt. Whitney as a day hike, hiking to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, seeking endangered palm trees in Madagascar and Costa Rica, and learning to play the violin. While still not quite “making the grade” at work, I’ll be taking some personal time next week to SCUBA dive in Belize with my best friend from childhood (we took ballet together at age five — I loved it, she hated it! — and were part of a crackerjack relay team for our swim team way back when).
I used to worry about my “failures”, but now that I understand the game, I’ve begun to appreciate my accomplishments, and focus on finding personal satisfaction in my work, growing my business, while still finding time to maintain my fitness and play in my big backyard, the Earth. These days I like to make big plans: Brazil, Nepal.
So why haven’t I ordered from your catalog, which I drool over? I look at your models and I don’t fit the profile. My daughter, 23, thought the clothes were a little too old for her, and I think maybe they are a little too youthful for me, though I see you (finally!) added some tank suits to your lineup… (My abs are not for public consumption.)
Hey Sarah, keep your chin up. Life is most complicated and demanding when the kids are very young, but before you know it they’ll be eager to canoe and backpack with you. Take time to make some memories now, “Remember back in the great recession when we….” LIfe will get better, believe it.
The introduction in the most recent title nine catalog struck a chord with me. Wow, something in title nine I could actually relate to–failing! I don’t feel like a failure in a big picture sort of way. I have a great, loving husband, and two beautiful daughters–and that, right there is enough material for rich, fulfilling life. But do I skateboard before dropping my kids off at school? Or surf after work? Really? Do people really do that? Please tell me those bios are embellished for advertising purposes. I am intriguied and appalled at the same time.
I have been really lucky. I have canoed in the arctic, backpacked in Wyoming, skiied in Colorado, and traveled in Europe. I got my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from CU-Boulder. I understand, and loved that life style. But if I were to write my own bio now, it would read something like this:
Occupation: High School Art Teacher. Recently laid off for the 3rd time in 6 years.
Hidden Talent: Can obsess about my own shortcomings for hours.
Last Read: Quickly and shamelessly read part of an US magazine in the check-out line at the grocery store.
Accomplishment: Got my girls to eat some broccoli during dinner tonight.
Anyway, I could go on, but you get the point. I live 100 miles north of Green Bay Wisconsin. School is closed on the opening day of deer hunting season. It is
cold here. Really cold. When people up here say they are going shopping, they mean they are going to Wal-mart. People are moving out of the area because of a lack of jobs. Schools are closing because of a lack of kids. It is beautiful here but in a very raw and unromantic sort of way. My life currently is kind of like a Pam Houston short story, minus the rafting trip. When I look at the title nine catalog, I sort of feel like I am having a outer-body experience–it seems appealing, but other-worldly to me.
If you’d like someone to head up a version of your title nine catalog for us mid-west girls, I know a soon to be unemployed artsy outdoorsy type ready to fail at something new.
The story of me and Title Nine is the story of many mistakes strung together into a whole list of lessons. From binding the order form of our first catalog in upside down, I learned a LOT about the mechanics of printing. Knowing nothing about warehouse racks, I built and installed our first ones. I learned that I am not very good at building warehouse racks but I also learned a lot about how to set up a warehouse. I learned that never to invest in a business that I don’t understand by investing, poorly, in a business I didn’t understand. I learned that just because I like a neighborhood doesn’t mean it’s a good place to site a retail store.
But mostly, what I’ve learned is that if I am not failing then I am not learning.