A Pleasant Trip?

Everyone fails. But that doesn't mean you must identify yourself as a failure. Failure applies to a situation, a particular time and place. If you don't let it devastate you, failure can be an opportunity: for learning, for recovery, for the creation and demonstration of character. No one wins all the time. Learn to take your losses, learn from them if possible, and move on.

  Gary Ryan Blair (Mind Munchies : A Delicious Assortment of Brain Snacks!)

Know Your Horizon

How often in one breath we can know exactly what we want in life and then, in the next, we're second-guessing ourselves?

There was a time, during those tough high school years, that I remember being cornered by one of my counselors. She said, "Sonny, it looks like your in a hurry going no where."

Well as a typical teenager, I thought I had it all set; That is, of course, with a little spunk and a lot of luck I'd go places (wherever that was). It was about that time, standing right there in the school hallway, that I found out that there was an easier way to do this because, you see, the next thing she said to me made a lot of sense.

She said "How do you know where your going unless you know what your horizon looks like? If you go through life with your head down, it'll only be a matter of time before you find yourself travelling in circles."

Know what your horizon looks like, and keep an eye on it at all times.

~Sonny, Self-Focus.com

About the Author

The above is reprinted with the kind permission of Sonny & Andy of Self-Focus. The SelfFocus website provides a daily message of introspection, inspiration, and motivation every weekday. To subscribe to their free newsletter, visit SelfFocus.com today.

Sonny is your standard blonde, blue eyed gal with an attitude that is appropriate to her name. She is a successful graduate of the Dale Carnegie Personal Development Course and is now happy to volunteer her time as a graduate assistant to this very same program - helping new students spread their wings and maximize their experience. Prior to that, Sonny studied and practiced as a para-legal for 8 years and, although she would have been a damn good lawyer, chalked the experience up for good grammar. Her personal interests include Andy, auto racing, Mario Andretti, bringing out the best in people, and, her recent interest, Feng Shui. It should be noted that Sonny's favorite thing to make for dinner is Reservations.

The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it's the same problem you had last year.

  John Foster Dulles

It's been a pleasant trip... hasn't it?

Nothing's impossible, I have found.
For when my chin is on the ground,
I pick myself up, dust myself off,
Start all over again.

Don't lose your confidence if you slip.
Be grateful for a pleasant trip,
And pick yourself up, dust yourself off,
Start all over again.

Work like a soul inspired
'Til the battle of the day is won.
You may be sick and tired,
But you'll be a man, my son.

Will you remember the famous men
Who had to fall to rise again?
So take a deep breath
Pick yourself up
Dust yourself off
Start all over again.

~Lyrics by Dorothy Fields

Not every misstep is a failure! When baby giraffes are born, the first thing a mother giraffe does is to swing a leg out and knock the baby giraffe head-over-heels. Momma giraffe keeps this process going until the baby stands up for the first time.

What next? Mom hauls off and knocks the baby off its feet again! Why? Because she wants the baby to remember how to get up on its feet! Baby giraffes must learn to get to their feet quickly, lest they become dinner for a hungry lion, or hyenas.

I am sure that the newborn giraffe is not immediately grateful for this rough lesson it is given. In time, however, what is learned is given a chance to be put into practice. Likewise, it is sometimes difficult to be thankful for the lessons life gives to me, but I must necessarily be thankful. What I learn through failure and disappointment can only increase my chances of success in the future.

I begin to understand, in this learning process, that one step back can be equal to two steps forward. I begin to comprehend that true failure would lie not in the setbacks, but in living my life with bitter regrets about them. Was that misstep a pleasant 'trip' ? No. Was it instructive? It had better be, because the quality of my life, my personal happiness, could greatly depend upon just such a lesson and what I have taken away from the experience as a result.

Franz Kafka once spoke of life's splendor forever lying in wait about each one of us. At the same time, he suggests, it is not right out in plain sight, but that it is cleverly concealed, camoflaged somehow. It sees us, it hears us, it waits. He goes on to say that in order to fully experience the splendor of life, we must call it to us, to call it by its "right name." This, then, must be Kafka's allusion to the power of prayer, and to the breadth and depth of experience which life has for me. Learning opportunities, occasions for personal growth.

There are a few seeming failures, some missteps, that exist in the history of the natural world. I have yet to figure out where the platypus fits in the animal kingdom, but it does seem to be a rather creative, yet successful experiment. I don't believe the platypus is a creative mistake. Whole species of creatures fade to extinction, yet mankind, crown of creation, continues and thrives. Why? Because mankind is willing to try and fail, but is also most capable of learning from setbacks and disappointment. And, as in nature, willing to try again.

So, here is what I am doing with - and for - myself during difficult days: I am aware, but not weary. I am open, but not nave. I am wanting, but I am not needy. And I am learning, growing, becoming. I am approaching life consciously, but I am not too self-consciousness. Each day is a renewal, requiring me to come to it anew - with both self-assurance and reverence.

Here I stand, educated by my oportunities for growth, dusted off and ready to go on like a soul inspired. Calling to life's splendor by its right name, wanting to begin again. Ready for what's next.

The Author
Peace and Light, Michael

email: Michael@N-Spire.com - or, send your Let me know what you think of this article to me right now!

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