Posts tagged failure
Stress Reduction Fail
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Have you ever had a bright idea that you thought would change everything for you? Maybe you even got off to a good start and saw some initial results. However, in the end, it was not sustainable or rather, you were not able to keep it up and it ended up on the trash heap of bright ideas that didn’t stick.

A little while ago I had such a bright idea for managing my stress levels. I think it’s important to write about our successes as well as our failures so wanted to share this with you. I had noticed that on days when I was stressed out, I could seemingly go hours without taking a deep breath or appreciating the good things I had in life. So I tried setting calendar reminders every 2 hours to prompt me to walk around for a few minutes or if that was not practical, at a bare minimum to take some deep breaths.

This lasted a little less than a week before I scrapped the idea. So what happened and why do I think this failed?

  1. It felt like another commitment. Sure, it was a good commitment to myself, but it felt like it added to my burden instead of relieving it.

  2. It felt like another task. There was no joy or sense of reward in it, before during or after.

  3. It felt clumsy. It just didn’t work well with the flow of my life.

Don’t get me wrong, I think there may be something in here that works, but this particular incarnation didn’t.

If you have a process or technique that seems to work for you, I would love to hear about it. Just let me know in the comments.

What I Learned from Rocket Scientists

It's funny how our minds work sometimes. We can create these dramatic, five-act plays of how something we are trying to accomplish could all go horribly wrong. And how tragic and final the result will be. Loss of respect, loss of income, loss of momentum - pick your poison.

I'm not trying to belittle the importance of any of our life's projects or goals. And certain failures can indeed have a tremendously negative impact, both for ourselves and others. Still, we often exaggerate the true impact. Not me of course. I've NEVER felt that if I failed at x, it will be the end of the world. And I've NEVER let this this lead to analysis-paralysis or poor decision-making.

I was recently watching a documentary that showed during the early days of the Space race and I was shocked to learn that there were a lot, I mean a LOT of failed rocket launches.

For example...

Imagine you are a NASA engineer or project manager of one of those rocket launches. You've worked nights and weekends, made numerous personal sacrifices and given it your all and then some. Now it is all about to payoff in this one, glorious moment.

EXCEPT...it's an abject failure. 10, 9, 8...3, 2, 1, liftoff, we have liftoff. Flames, horror, rubble. And there is no question this has been an expensive failure. For example, according to a NASA official, taxpayers lost $110 million when a SpaceX rocket disintegrated shortly after liftoff.

So if a rocket scientist can go on after losing $110 million, it puts things in perspective. Do your best, learn from your mistakes, and don't make the boogeyman any scarier than he deserves to be.

Be kind to yourself!

Next post next Saturday, 6:30 a.m.