Successful Failure

Why are successful people waking up feeling like failures?

More and more successful people are waking up feeling like failures.

What many people are just becoming aware of is that success has two parts:

  • Accomplishing or achieving things for others
  • Accomplishing or achieving things for ourselves

Assumptions Were Made

Okay, maybe we sort of knew there were two parts, but we made assumptions.

Assumption #1: If/Then Magic

One assumption may be that success in one part would just magically take care of the other.

o   If I provide for the family then I’ll have a close relationship with them.

o   If I choose family over career then I’ll have satisfied my life purpose.  

Assumption #2: Tomorrow Will Come

Another assumption is that once we’ve ‘made it’ in one part we’ll have plenty of time to be successful in the other.

o   Once I retire I’ll make it up to my spouse or kids.

o   Once the kids are gone I’ll pick up where I left off in my career.

There are flaws in both assumptions and this is why successful people are waking up to find themselves feeling like failures.

New Framework

Strategically planning so that you’re considering both parts of success in every decision is a new framework for many people, so do yourself a favor and start small.

  1. Pick one small activity you do on a regular basis: a hobby, attending a group meeting, fitness training, etc., something small and regular.
  2. Check to see how this one small activity connects to winning each part of success.
  3. Find ways to tweak the activity for better contribution to both parts of your success.

Being aware like this now will help to prevent feeling like a successful failure later.

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Listen to the Morning Motivational Moment about just this idea.

We broadcast live on Jolana’s Morning Radio Show, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning at 7:30 on WFAS 103.9 FM, New York.


Mother’s Day Appreciation

We all need to know that we’re needed, not just that we give needed things.

With Mother’s Day approaching, it may be useful to revisit the distinction between gratitude and appreciation.

Gratitude acknowledges the ‘thing’ given.

Thanks for dinner. Thanks for the ride.

Gratitude is objective and it’s all about the recipient — you.

Appreciation acknowledges the ‘effort’ given.

I appreciate the time it took to make such a wonderful dinner.

Thanks for going out of your way to drive me home.

Appreciation is empathetic and it’s all about the giver – the person.

It’s great to give gratitude for the things we receive, but giving appreciation is even more meaningful. Why? Because we need to know that WE are needed – not just that we give needed things.

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Listen to the Morning Motivational Moment about just this idea.

We broadcast live on Jolana’s Morning Radio Show, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning at 7:30 on WFAS 103.9 FM, New York.


Thinking Requires Practice

Allow your children to practice thoughtful thinking. Welcome and praise mistakes now to proactively prepare them for successful futures.

To be a successful adult requires the ability to think and plan strategically. The quality of your thoughtfulness, i.e., the careful concern for the resulting consequences of each decision and action, may be the single most important skill of an effective leader. This skill does not materialize all by itself and you’re not able to learn it from a book or even a college course. This is one of those life skills that must be learned by doing.

How to practice thoughtful thinking?
What does it look like when someone is practicing to become a thoughtful thinker? It looks exactly like making a mistake in judgment. When you’ve made a decision and something goes awry you’ve learned to think a bit farther ahead of the immediate outcome next time. With each subsequent mistake in judgment, you learn to think even farther until one day you’ve mastered the skill of thoughtful strategic thinking.

Practice is required
All big life lessons are learned through practice and it’s best to start practicing as early in life as possible while mistake consequences are low. It’s especially true for thoughtful thinking. The mistakes in judgment for a child can be as simple as putting off math homework until the last minute only to find that you need materials from the library which is now closed. A ten-year old will learn to think a bit farther out next time to ensure he or she will have access to the resources needed. For a teenager, the mistakes in judgment can count much more so it’s best not to wait the lesson. Earlier practice in thoughtful strategic thinking will help immensely when your child is faced with tough decisions, such as deciding whether to ride in a car with a person who has been drinking. This life skill transfers to all the decisions your child will make in life, so by having practiced and mastered thoughtful thinking early, maybe he or she won’t have to actually make the mistake of riding in that car.

Praise for Mistakes
Allow your children to practice thoughtful thinking. Welcome and praise their mistakes now as a way to proactively prepare them for successful futures. Don’t wait until the price for learning is too high.

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