Making it work

Hit the reset button to turn failure into success

By Gerald McGroarty,

Comments (7)

With the year well underway, some of us are suffering from “resolution remorse.” That’s the awful feeling you get when you break a New Year’s resolution.

A woman is determined to meet her fitness goals.I felt it just five days into January, when I broke down and devoured an apple fritter. I had promised myself not to be lured into that sad state of caloric excess, but I caved. Did it feel good when the icing-coated, crunchy-soft dough touched my lips? Absolutely. But that fresh feeling became stale pretty quickly. And that, my friend, is resolution remorse.

But rather than throw in the towel as I might have once done, I made another promise to myself. I vowed that this would be the year I hit the reset button as often as I had to.

We all slip from time to time. We fall off the wagon, break down and make mistakes; it’s part of life. Whether it’s coming up short on a resolution or crumbling in the face of a serious life challenge, failure always seems to walk hand-in-hand with success. But it’s not how many times we get knocked down that matters, it’s how many times we get back up. That’s what counts.

So today, I’m inviting you to join me in hitting the reset button as often as needed this year. Just decide that whatever the issue, you’ll get back up and tackle it head-on with the same tenacity and passion you used in round one.

Hitting the reset button has worked pretty well for some legendary figures:

  • Steve Jobs was a college drop-out who was fired from Apple (the company he founded) at age 30. He later returned and the rest is history.
  • Steven Spielberg was rejected from the University of Southern California School of Theater, Movies and Television three times. So he attended a different school and received his degree 35 years later.
  • Oprah Winfrey was told she was unfit for TV and fired from a Baltimore TV station. Seven years later she found her groove in Chicago and never looked back.
  • Thomas Edison found 1,000 ways to not illuminate a room before the light bulb finally went on.
  • Michael Jordan was cut from his high-school basketball team. So he decided to become a multi-season NBA champion with the Chicago Bulls and a Hall of Famer instead.
  • Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” After a number of failed businesses and bankruptcies, it looks like he got things right.

Although we’ve all experienced the joys of success, we can also be pretty hard on ourselves when we fail. Often those feelings of guilt, remorse and stress can become overwhelming.

To avoid being overwhelmed and giving up when you stray from the path, here are three quick strategies that will help you get back on track:

1. What’s happened has happened

Once an event has happened it’s done. It’s over. There’s not much you can do about it, so don’t waste time and energy on what might have been. Learn from the past, but always focus your energy on moving forward.

2. Keep your eyes on the prize

Stay focused on your goal, not your setbacks. Why does it matter if you failed five times, if you eventually hit your target? The satisfaction of reaching your goal will outweigh any setbacks and missteps you may have had along the way. Remind yourself of your goal, write it down, look at it often and visualize success.

3. Never give up

Success is grounded in the ability to persevere. The woulda-coulda-shoulda people of this world fall by the wayside far too early. The good news is they leave an open path for those who choose to continue down the road. There’s a price to pay for success and for failure. Decide which one you want and be prepared to pay the price. Stick-to-itiveness reaps big dividends, so hang in there.

Join me in hitting the reset button as often as necessary this year. Try doing things a bit differently and see how it works for you. By getting right back up after you get knocked down, and kicking setbacks and adversity to the curb with authority, you’ll see results quicker than ever.

More strategies for success:

Image of thw Sun Life whimsical sun - Money for Life Are you on track to meet your financial and retirement planning goals?
Having a plan to protect your family and build your savings now can help ensure you will have enough money to last through retirement, so you can live your retirement your way. Learn about Money for Life.™

Get monthly tips and tools to help you plan a brighter financial future.
To receive recommended reads about money, health and family, sign up for the FREE monthly Brighter Life newsletter.

Stay connected

Get more tips and tools to help you live brighter.

Enter your email address below:

Take action

Are you on track to meet your financial and retirement planning goals?

It's never too early or too late to start!

For a FREE review of your financial plan: Talk to an Advisor.

randytudy2013 on

I agree especially on the last point. Quitters are losers, never give up.

Mar 18: Best from the blogosphere | Save with SPP on

[…] Brighter Life blogger Kevin Press regales us with a humorous story about a seven hour interview for a job he did not get writing for a Manhattan magazine published for global investors. No regrets though, because soon after in Toronto he met his wife “the lovely Lisa.” […]

Moe on

Heard in a movie recently, “You haven’t failed until you’ve stopped trying!”

joemanhas on

Wayne Gretzky said “You’ll miss 100% of the shoots you didn’t take”
Its not how far you fall its how high you spring

David N on

Great words of advice! It is so important to keep focused on the end goal and not dwell on the past. The only comment I would make regarding the past is analyze and determine where you went wrong and correct it for the future. All the success stories above did that and look where they are. I would add another to your list…Richard Branson. He failed at his University newspaper and used that advice to succeed with The Virgin Group.

    Gerald McGroarty on

    Point well taken David. Thanks.

Add a new comment:

Note: Please be sure to read our commenting policy and terms and conditions for this site. We reserve the right to delete any comments that we view to be in violation of our policy. The name you provide will appear next to your comment. Thank you!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Free financial review - Start now!
Get the Money for Life newsletter

Connect to your Brighter Life