Learn to Fail or Fail to Learn

In their work on self-esteem, Richard Bednar and Scott Peter- son point out that the very experience of coping—risking failure—increases our self-confidence. If we avoid hardships and challenges because we may fail, the message we are sending ourselves is that we are unable to deal with difficulty—in this case, unable to handle failure—and our self-esteem suffers as a result. But if we do challenge ourselves, the message we are sending ourselves, the message we internalize, is that we are resilient enough to handle potential failure. Taking on challenges instead of avoiding them has a greater long-term effect on our self-esteem than winning or losing, failing or succeeding.

Paradoxically, our overall self-confidence and our belief in our own ability to deal with setbacks may be reinforced when we fail, because we realize that the beast we had always feared—failure— is not as terrifying as we thought it was. Like the Wizard of Oz, who turns out to be much less frightening when he comes out from behind the curtain, failure turns out to be far less threatening when confronted directly. The pain associated with the fear of failure is usually more intense than the pain following an actual failure.

In her 2008 commencement speech at Harvard, J. K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, talked about the value of failure:


Failure meant a stripping away of the inessential…… I was set free, because my greatest fear had already been realized, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life. . . . Failure gave me an inner security that I had never attained by passing examinations. Failure taught me things about myself that I could have learned no other way. I discovered that I had a strong will, and more discipline than I had suspected; I also found out that I had friends whose value was truly above rubies. . . . The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive. You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity.

We can only learn to deal with failure by actually experiencing failure, by living through it. The earlier we face difficulties and drawbacks, the better prepared we are to deal with the inevitable obstacles along our path.

Even Happier – Tal Ben-Shahar, Ph.D
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The power of responsibility

Responsibility is not a burden. It is the key that enables you to exercise control over your own destiny.

Only by taking responsibility are you able to move life in the direction of your own dreams and visions. Responsibility fully engages the best of who you are.

Responsibility can be difficult, time-consuming, unfair, inconvenient and uncomfortable. Yet it also brings you to a level of empowerment that cannot be reached in any other way.


At the heart of true achievement is responsibility. An essential element of meaningful fulfillment is responsibility.

Every great opportunity is an opportunity to take responsibility. Whatever the situation, the most successful way forward is to act with responsibility.

No matter what has happened, or who is to blame, or how it all came to be, choose to take full responsibility for your life. For that is the first step in making it great.

— Ralph Marston
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When you take risks there is the very real possibility of failure. When you take no risks there is the absolute certainty of failure. Some risks are not worth taking, yet to avoid all risk is to avoid life itself. Getting up in the morning is risky. Going into the marketplace is risky. It is risky to develop relationships with other people. Yet these are all risks which are well worth taking, because they can bring such valuable rewards.


Sometimes you’ll take a risk and it will hurt you. That’s no reason to stop taking risks. Learn from the experience and move forward. Your time and resources will rot and waste away if they are hoarded in fear of losing them. The most destructive risk is that of taking no risk at all.

Use what you have. Don’t let your fear of failure be the cause of your greatest failure. Put yourself on the line. Take some reasonable risks and reap the many rewards they bring.

Ralph S. Marston, Jr. – The Daily Motivator website at http://www.GreatDay.com

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Self-pity is self Sabotage

The things you are capable of are amazing, but no one can get you to realize that potential but YOU. The growth you require,  in  order  to  reach  that  potential, means you have to be  uncomfortable.

This discomfort comes in the form of the challenges in life. When you encounter the challenge, you can either curl up into a ball, and feel miserably sorry for yourself OR you can stare at that challenge in the eye, and run towards it with everything you have.


You already know this. In  your  life  you’ve  encountered  and  overcome challenges, and the result was growth. The same circumstances aren’t going to present themselves. In this video game of life, the challenges will get tougher, and one of the biggest obstacles you have to overcome is  yourself.

No Pain, No Gain is cliché for a reason, and it’s been used so often it has lost meaning, but the truth it holds will remain relevant forever.

If you think these words don’t apply to you, and what you’re going through is worse than everyone else, realize you’re a spoiled brat  with  electricity  and running water who needs to spend a week in any slum in South Africa to realize what a PROBLEM really is.

Instead of worrying about what the world is or isn’t doing for you, worry about what you can do for the world, contribute in any way you can to make this rock  feel like a better place for others.

UnLearn – 101 Simple Truths for Better Life – Humble Poet
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Let Go Of Battles That Cannot be Won

One of the major contributing factors to self-created stress is the tendency that most of us have to hold on to battles that we have virtually no chance of winning. For whatever reason, we keep alive unnecessary arguments and conflicts, we insist on being right, or we  try to get someone to change when there is almost no possibility that we will succeed. We bump up against stone walls, but instead of backing off  and taking  the path  of  least resistance,  we  keep right  on  struggling.

Perhaps you’re frustrated by the complaining of a coworker. You may spend countless hours and a great deal of energy attempting to share with her why she shouldn’t be so upset.  But try as you might, she just  keeps on complaining. For every valuable insight you share with her, she comes back with yet another, “Yeah, but . . .” and never, ever takes your advice. If you’re frustrated by this type of typical interaction, it’s because you’re fighting a battle that can’t be won. She’s probably going to be complaining for the rest of her life. Your involvement, caring, ideas, and insights have zero effect. Does this mean you should stop caring? Of course not. It simply means you can dismiss the idea that you are ever going to convince her to stop complaining. Case closed. You can wish her well and be there for her as a friend, but if you want less stress in your life you’re going to have to let go of the  battle.


We fight these silly battles (and so many others) sometimes out of stubbornness or out of our own need to prove ourselves, other times  out of pure habit, and sometimes simply because we haven’t thought through exactly what it is we are hoping to accomplish or where our efforts are likely to lead. Whatever the reason, however, this tendency is a serious mistake if your goal is to stop sweating the small stuff. The great football coach Vince Lombardi was known to have said, “When you’re doing something wrong, doing it more intensely isn’t going to help.” I couldn’t say it any better.

I’m certain that one of the major reasons I’m a happy person is that I’m usually able to differentiate between a battle worth fighting and one that is better left alone. I’ve always felt that my personal sense of well­ being is far more important than any need I might have to prove  myself or participate in an irrelevant argument. That way I can save my love and energy for truly important things. I hope you’ll take this strategy to heart because I know it can help you stop sweating the small stuff at  work.

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Things are the way they are. You are the person you are. You life is the way it is. You can either accept these things, or make yourself miserable about them.

There are no doubt many things you think you should have done, and many other things you wish you had not done. Accept these things. You cannot change them by pretending they did or didn’t happen.

Take a deep breath. Relax. Accept the person you are. Accept the people and the world around you.


Acceptance doesn’t mean being passive. If there’s something you want to change, then take action to change it. Acceptance doesn’t mean that you approve of or support something. It just means that you see it for what it is. That you don’t deceive yourself about it.

Acceptance will help you to see clearly, to learn and to grow. Think of a baby learning to walk. When he stumbles and falls, he doesn’t get depressed, or paranoid, or embarrassed, or angry. He doesn’t develop a guilt complex, or ulcers, or high blood pressure. He doesn’t try to pretend like the fall didn’t happen. He simply pulls himself up on the nearest supporting object. He enthusiastically tries again, accepting the fact that he’ll have to fall many times before learning to walk. In an environment of acceptance, true learning and growth takes place.

Bring peace, patience, learning and accomplishment to your life by practicing acceptance.

Copyright ©1996 Ralph S. Marston, Jr. All Rights Reserved. This copy is for your personal, non­commercial use only. For more motivational messages like this please visit The Daily Motivator website at http://www.GreatDay.com
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No One Else Really Knows or Understands

Your happiness is up to you. No one can know you completely, nor should they. Knowing and understanding yourself is key to trusting yourself. It’s your right, responsibility and privilege to make your own decisions. You own what you say yes to, and what you say no to.

Trust your inner voice; your intuition is always with you. The only times I seem to make mistakes are when I’m not confident enough in myself to listen and hear my own truth.

Make the right choices for you, weighing all the circumstances. Try not to put pressure on those closest to you to understand your feelings. Most people seek friends and lovers who “understand” them. This puts a huge burden on loved ones. It isn’t fair to them. Your emotional life is complex and ever-changing. It is better to let others love you as you are, but don’t have unrealistic expectations of their ability to comprehend you. No one else is you. No one else knows how it feels to be you. Don’t expect it of others. If you do, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. In your times of despair, no one completely understands.


They can’t. Don’t ask more of someone than they’re capable of giving. Unrealistic expectations of others to know how you feel can cause you to feel alone, isolated, and disconnected from others.

Continue to deepen your understanding of yourself. You know your path. Have conviction that you know what is right from what is wrong for you at the time. Even in victory, in the best of times, those closest to you will not fully know what it took for you to surmount the obstacles. Know that you know, that you understand, and feel blessed.

Listen to your own good advice. Pat yourself on the back. Living is a courageous act. This is not the work or job of others’, but of yours alone, and it goes both ways: You can’t know or understand loved ones fully, either. Listen to their stories when they open up to you. Value your intimacy with them. You are being entrusted with their deepest self.

Seek information from others, but limit seeking advice. Use your inner compass. Everyone is on his or her own path, at a different pace and at a different place on his or her journey. Our lover’s life is separate from ours; we are like two vertical pillars side by side. If one of us leans too heavily on the other, we both may fall down. Once we’re adults, we’re on our own. Whatever you need to do, do it. You are the architect and owner of every choice you make. With the privilege of autonomy, there is responsibility.

Saint Francis of Assisi taught us, not to try to be understood, but to understand. Be understanding of others as you evolve into higher states of consciousness, aware of more and more depth of awareness within you. You are on your own, but you are never alone, because you are an intricate part of everything else in the universe. There is no way you can separate yourself from all that is. The universe is not out there somewhere; its guidance is inside you all the time.

You have everything you will ever need for your potential to be fulfilled, for your self-knowledge and personal transformation. Your inner resources increase every day. You have the seeds that can take strong root in life. Cultivate yourself. It’s not the job of someone else to know or understand you. Accept this truth and be at peace with it.

A Small Book About the Big Issues in Life – Alexandra Stoddard



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