LOOK MOM I FAILED! A NEW WAY OF LOOKING AT GOALS
As a child, if you ever called for your Moms attention to watch something you were doing, it was most likely for her to view an act you were proud of or had finally mastered.
“Look Mom, I failed” is not the common phrase heard around the neighborhood because far too many mistakenly define success in terms of personal achievement. Success should not be found in the final outcome as it is possible to: get lucky, perform a task that is easy to do, or compete against inferior talent. Success isn't riding a bike with one hand unless you a few scrapped knees to show for your efforts.
“Look Mom, I failed” is also not commonly heard around the neighborhood because far too many are embarrassed by failure or are too impatient to realize it can provide the necessary information needed to help us achieve our more important long term goals. “Failing” also means you properly set your short-term goals high enough that provoked your very best efforts. As the old saying goes, “shoot for the moon and even if you miss you're bound to catch a few stars.”
I am not afraid to share that this week, despite my best efforts I failed. I had set a lofty goal of publishing three blog posts and was only able to produce two. While it would have been nice to accomplish my short term goal, I rest easy knowing I made valuable progress toward my long term goal of publishing my first book by July 6 2022. After a “failure” it is critical to do two things:
1-Keep things in perspective. My goal is to one day publish a book, not write three blog posts. Never in a million years would I call my mom to say, “Look I published three blogs.” I doubt she's ever read one. I do look forward to one day calling her and saying “I published my first book.” She'll read that for sure.
2- Evaluate why you failed and create a plan on how to succeed in the future. Why did I fail? In order to publish three blogs posts throughout the week, I established a daily process oriented goal of writing for 45 mins per day. I did that and still came up short. That means moving forward I could:
A- Lock myself in a room on a particular day and not come out until I have written three blog posts. Being honest with myself I know this is not possible with our toddler at home and my new role as Mr.Mom.
B- Write for more than 45 minutes per day. This is not possible either, please see my excuse above.
C- Sacrifice my faith walk, personal health, relationships or career. Looking at how I spend my time, I can honestly say the only way I could further commit to achieving my goal would be to sacrifice time spent in more important areas of my life and not something I'm willing to do.
D- Stick to the process. I know that I did absolutely everything in my control to achieve what I wanted and that's enough for me. I wrote for 5.25 hours this week and moved closer to my long term goal. The longer I live the more I understand that success is not achieved in the microwave but rather in a slow cooker (perhaps another lesson I am learning as Mr.Mom).
I now know that as a child, riding a bike with one hand is not what actually made Mom smile but rather her knowledge that we learned from “failure” and had the courage to get back up on the bike in order to achieve something we wanted.