Finding Failure or Success

Success is a unisex commodity. Don’t we all like the feeling of being considered successful? It’s satisfying to feel in control and be functioning with efficiency, accomplishing what we set out to do.

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The fact is, we don’t always accomplish what we intend. I’ve read that less than 10% of people manage to keep their New Year’s Resolutions, and that by the end of January at least 50% have already failed. With odds like that why would anyone make resolutions at all? Why is failure more common than success?

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I suspect it’s because we make “ought to” resolutions, not “want to” ones, believing that we need to be something we’re not or that we need to accomplish something we previously couldn’t. Discontent is at the heart of many goals. That’s not to say we should never dream or aspire to great achievements in life. I just wonder if maybe we start by trying to fix the wrong things first. It’s so much easier to succeed with a positive attitude than with a negative one.

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But how do we change from seeing a glass half empty to seeing it half full? By not focusing on the container and choosing to examine its contents instead.

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My opinion has always been that a positive attitude has its origin in self-acceptance. If we can accept that as a clay vessel we may not seem worth much by our own standards but we are made practical when we allow God to fill and use us, then our perspective will change.  Only then are we likely to have the necessary motivation to commit to achievable goals.

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Applied to writing, our attitude affects our ability to both create magical words and set practical goals.

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Here’s a challenge for you. Write a list, not of resolutions but of desirable possibilities – things that you could do if you wanted to. Things that are within your control. Now pick just one thing on that list that ignites your enthusiasm. One thing that has the potential to make a difference to you. You need that positive spark to set yourself up for success. Telling someone about it will help cement the commitment so share your idea in the comment section. Saying a prayer for the will to act wouldn’t hurt either. Then make a start. If you believe you can do it, you will.

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Remember, the only person who is sure to fail is the one who doesn’t try.

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10 thoughts on “Finding Failure or Success

  1. Carla Gade says:

    I like your take on this. I think I’ll try it!

    Blessings,
    Carla
    http://writingtodistraction.blogspot.com

  2. Laura Best says:

    I’ve already set my desires on paper and I’m sure I’ll mentally add to the list later on. But you’re totally right. It’s not enough to have desires or goals without actively doing something to work toward them.
    A positive attitude is the very first step..I agree with you on that one.

    I’ve also heard it said that the only people who fail are the ones who quit.

  3. Jody Hedlund says:

    Great thoughts, Carol! I usually make goals for myself as needed, not just on New Year’s Day. When I see a need in my life for improvement (i.e. taking my multi-vitamin more regularly), then I set in place a plan for doing it. Or drinking more water, etc. Same with my writing. I set shorter, more attainable goals, and then I feel like I’m accomplishing so much!!

  4. One of my goals is to submit more of my work. That’s harder for me than actually writing.

  5. Tricia says:

    An easy one for me would be reading more classics, like one would be nice. I neglect those in favor of my contemporary favorites, but I also resolute to be more well-rounded.

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