The Recipe For Failure

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

— Winston Churchill

I recently had a very thought provoking conversation with a wise and intuitive friend of mine about success, the fear of success, and failure.  We get the most benefit from thought provoking conversations when we actually take time to think about what was discussed and open ourselves up to the guidance of our Inner Teacher.

Knowing as much, I have spent the better part of two days looking back on the cycles of my life and asking myself what I have learned, thus far, about success and failure.  The bullet point summary of what I now realize about myself, in this regard, is as follows:

  • I know what it takes to succeed.  I’ve cooked that dish more than once.
  • I am not afraid of success, and I never have been afraid of success;
  • I was afraid of failure for many years;
  • And it was a fear that previously contaminated my view of success.  
  • As such, the true value of any given success was lost, which caused me to push myself past the point of my limitations.
  • That is a scenario I have no desire to repeat.

Given the lofty goals I’ve set for the coming year, it is now time for that all of that fear to be fully dissolved.  In the past, my modus operandi was to just lean my head into my goals and charge forward, telling myself all along that failure was not an option.  The successes usually out-numbered the failures, which kept me going in the direction I believed I was “supposed to go.”  When I did fail, I fell down, cried, picked myself back up, cried, dusted off the residue of shame and kept on going (usually in the same direction).  But, eventually, the price I paid for that particular M.O. was more than my mind, body, and spirit could afford.

Thankfully, I have been given a second chance at Life; and a new approach is in order, this time around.

It has been my experience that the best way to set about solving any problem is to dissect its key components and then address each component separately and directly (i.e., eat that elephant one bite at a time).  This is what I plan to do to dissolve any fear of failure, as I go about the business of striving for success in the future.

Success means something different to me today than it did 3 years ago; but I am still a firm believer that goals are important.  Without goals, we become stagnant.  And I have no intention of living a life of stagnation.  As such, the plan is to reach my goals for 2013 without sacrificing one bit of my hard earned happiness, or doing any further damage to my body, in the process.  And I will do it, one next right step after another.

For now, I have decided to share with you a condensed version of what arose out of my self-inventory, as it relates to failure and the fear of failure.  I wanted to give you something you might find useful in your own journey of healing, happiness, and self-realization.  And this is what I came up with.

I hope you find the use of satire a little entertaining and a lot thought provoking.

THE RECIPE FOR FAILURE

Photo by Gerben van Erkelens

Photo by Gerben van Erkelens

Ingredients:

1 pound of Pride;

4 cups of Expectations (it’s best to use Expectations of Others);

2 cups of Good Intentions;

2 cups of Emotion Devoid of Reason (Unbridled Passion works best; but Blind Obsession is a good substitute);

1 cup of Unnecessary Distractions (any brand will do);

1 tbsp. of Fear of Embarrassment (this ingredient is optional; but, if you have it on hand, it does give the Pride more flavor); and

Repressed Pain & Anger (as Needed).

Instructions:

Place the Pride and Expectations in a large, Important Goals pot and turn the stove on.

Using your thoughts and feelings, repeatedly stir the Expectations and Pride, until the two ingredients are melted and combined completely.

Add 1 cup of Good Intentions and stir.  (It is important to only add the first cup of Good Intentions initially.  You’ll be adding the rest of the Good Intentions later, as the Failure cooks.)

Add Emotion Devoid of Reason and stir vigorously.

Heat mixture thoroughly until stress levels reach 300 degrees F. (If you do not have a stress thermometer, just keep heating the mixture until anxiety levels begin to disrupt sleep on a regular basis and all efforts to relax become futile.)

If you have any trouble keeping the temperature high enough, add the Repressed Pain & Anger, as needed.  That will turn the heat up, quite nicely.

Taste the mixture to determine whether Pride is still holding its flavor.  If available, add in Fear of Embarrassment for extra seasoning.

When mixture reaches its boiling point, add Unnecessary Distractions and more Good Intentions. (You may start to notice Red Flags floating around the surface.  Just ignore these.  They are either signs that one or more of your Goals needs to be re-evaluated (which is highly unlikely) or that you are pushing Your Limitations a bit too far.  You’ll want to overlook the Red Flags and just keep cooking.)

Continue boiling mixture for an amount of time sufficient for any other goals, your relationships, your leisure activities, and other important aspects of your life (possibly including your health) to begin suffering severely.

Continue cooking mixture until Failure is complete.

Cooking times may vary but results are guaranteed.

© 01/07/13

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26 Comments

  1. Lmao! “Red Flags floating around the surface. Just ignore these.”

    smiles
    e

    Reply
  2. I love this and the analogies are so witty!

    Reply
  3. Cute recipe. So many think that failure is too tragic to handle. I don’t understand this mentality. It seems like today’s society tries to cushion people from failure, which doesn’t teach us a thing.

    I love the quote my Churchill. I found this quote in searching for quotes for my blog one day. It goes: “Even if someone fails when they try to do something great, they are not a failure. Why? Because he can always rest assured that he succeeded in life’s most important battle … he defeated the fear of trying.” ~ Robert H. Schuller

    I’m not even a follower of Schuller, but my mother-in-law likes him. I also like this quote by him.
    “If there exists no possibility of failure, then victory is meaningless.”

    Thanks for this post. I’ve been working on something similar for weeks now. Haven’t been sure I’ve wanted to post it, as it’s a bit opinionated. However, yours is the second blog I’ve come across with a similar theme to mine, so perhaps someone is trying to tell me something. 😉

    Reply
  4. Lori, thanks for the great quotes and thoughtful comments! I always appreciate your insightful input. Looking forward to reading your next post. Blessings, love, & light, Sloan

    Reply
  5. Wonderful Sloan! ‘Cooking’ will take on a whole new meaning now! 🙂

    Reply
  6. Thanks, Cathie! 🙂

    Reply
  7. Love it !! I love your take on it and puts such a fun creative look at the reality of success. I know by walking the walk it takes failure to provide success and recognizing mistakes is needed and to correct those mistakes going forward is what pays in the end. A good question is what is really success? I guess that can be answered in many different ways, I’ve totally changed what I feel success is these past few years,, I dreamed of earning that corporate job, company car and working more than I was home, I’ve been there done that and it didn’t make me feel any better. I finally found something that brings me success inside of me!!

    Reply
    • Fantastically said, Ed!

      I have adopted, and now strive to achieve, success as Ralph Waldo Emerson defined it, to wit:

      “To laugh often and love much:
      To win respect of intelligent people
      And the affection of children;
      To earn the approbation of honest critics
      And endure the betrayal of false friends;
      To appreciate beauty;
      To find the best in others;
      To give one’s self;
      To leave the world a little better,
      Whether by a healthy child,
      A garden patch,
      Or redeemed social condition;
      To have played and laughed with enthusiasm
      And sung with exultation;
      To know even one life has breathed easier
      Because you have lived . . .
      This is to have succeeded.”

      Glad to see you back and commenting, my friend! Have a beautifully blessed Wednesday! Sloan

      Reply
  8. Love your recipe … but my store cupboard is a little bare while I am out of work so I will clip it and wait until I need to cook it up.

    I like the Thomas Edison quote about failure: “I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”. look what he went on to achieve!

    Reply
    • Thank you for reading and commenting! I like that Edison quote too. Regardless of what our success/failure ratio is, at any given time, the most important aspect of it ALL is to keep trying, in constructive and positive ways, to lead fulfilling and happy lives — whatever that might entail. Many blessings to you! S

      Reply
  9. I absolutely love your take on failure. I have cooked up huge pots in the past but thankfully today I am following a new recipe!

    Reply
    • Thank you, Carolyn, for stopping by and commenting! Indeed, I feel there are many of us today who have learned much about success and failure through harsh experiences. But we live, we learn; and, when we so choose, we employ the wisdom we gained through it all to create our better tomorrows. Blessings, love, & light to you as you cook up those sweet dreams of yours successfully! S

      Reply
  10. The fear of failure can drive us, push us and yes, it can create success, but the cost is painful. There is no joy in the process, no celebration in the victory. It is heavy and drains us. You are fortunate to have learned your lessons early in life. It took me years. Bless you for sharing your knowledge.

    Reply
    • Sherry, thank you for your insightful comment! As I said previously, I love what you do with your success coaching practice and site http://www.ucancreatesuccess.com/. I believe it’s important for those who have learned much about Life & living the hard way to pass on those lessons in a positive way — that the path of others might be made a little less arduous.

      I smiled at your statement “early in life,” as I am 43 years old. I suppose that is still “early in life.” Thanks for reminding me. Namaste, Sloan

      Reply
  11. Professions for PEACE

     /  January 12, 2013

    This is outstanding!! And so very true. Your recipe is clever and wise. In acknowledging what we do NOT want can help us stay on track and focus on what we DO want. Blessings to you 🙂 Gina

    Reply
    • Thank you Gina for your kind and supportive comments! It is always a delight for me to have your input on a new post. Seeing your gravatar often brings a smile to my face before I even click on the comment. I suppose that speaks volumes about you, my friend! May your Light continue to shine brightly and your coming week be ever so peacefully productive. Namaste, Sloan

      Reply
  12. rimassolosailingaroundtheworldm

     /  January 13, 2013

    Thank you so much for sharing and thank you so much for visiting my blog.

    Reply
    • Thank YOU for stopping by and reading! I enjoyed my visit at your blog. The beautiful photos of Alaska were my favorite. Enjoy the rest of your weekend! Many Blessings, Sloan

      Reply
  13. Nadine

     /  January 20, 2013

    Such a great post, Sloan. The analogies are on point. I’ll make sure not to make that recipe, lol.

    Reply
  14. Thanks for sharing! Great post of the day!

    Reply
  15. Glad you enjoyed the post! Have an incredibly Fabulous week! Love & Light, Sloan

    Reply
  16. Thank you Sloan for stopping by my blog and liking my post Affirmation, Gratitude and Oil of Oregano. You have a great sense of humour that comes through in your writing. Thank you. :~)

    Reply
  17. Thank YOU! Keep letting your Glow Flow!
    Blessings, S

    Reply

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