Failure is Not an Option!
"Attitude" and the Keys to Martial Arts
Mastery, Key #7
One of the most important traits of any successful person
is one of total commitment and passion for what it is that
they are doing. They see their goal; they devise a plan for
reaching it; and, the set about doing what is necessary to
attain that goal.
This is something that has been repeated in uncountable books
on success and personal achievement as-well-as here in this
newsletter. I have written and re-written about it - I have
spoken and reiterated my points again and again in class.
But still I see my students and others that I care about settling
for average results and the unfortunate habit of excuse-making.
Why is this so?
I believe that it is due to our need to have a 'back-up' plan
should we not succeed.
If we have set a realistic goal (growing gills and moving
in with our goldfish is not a good example!), we have worked
out a plan of action, and, we are prepared to do what's necessary,
why then would we need a plan of action should we not succeed?!
Now, I'm not being funny, or mean, or unrealistic. What I
am doing is pointing out what I, and from what I have been
able to find out about the psychology of success, every other
successful person sees as a 'flaw in logic.'
The flaw is in the understanding of 'having a back-up plan
if we don't succeed.' If we don't succeed at what? If we're
following the plan and we're on track, aren't we getting at
least closer all the time? And if not, what IS happening that
is preventing us from reaching our goal - not enough time,
an unforeseen circumstance, lack of experience, knowledge
The point here is that, very often, we set ourselves up for
failure by designing something into the equation that will
make it OK to fail. I don't mean that we necessarily set out
to fail, just that we provide an excuse before we need one.
Here's an example. My son has a goal to enlist in the Navy.
He is doing this to gain both knowledge and experience for
a future job with a major airline as an aircraft engine mechanic.
He has set up the necessary interviews, obtained the requirements
for enlistment as-well as those for getting the job that he
is after. Unfortunately he is overweight and as a result,
will have to lose weight or, at the very least, get to a point
where his measurements meet the minimum standards. He has
set one date after another for the enlistment, but has not
lost enough by each date to qualify for enlistment.
A friend of his, someone who is very concerned for his welfare
has suggested heavily that he start looking for an apartment,
as-well-as gathering information about car insurance, etc.,
just in case he doesn't meet his latest goal. The idea being
that he will have a back-up plan should he not make it.
A look at this story should bring one very important question
"What is the goal here?"
Is the goal to begin a career in the Navy or to move out on
his own? While both would accomplish the later, this is not
the goal. And the so-called back-up plan does not contribute
to the attainment of that goal. In this scenario, failure
- not attaining the desired goal - has been wired into the
The point is not whether or not to have a back-up plan but
to make sure that any such plans contribute to the accomplishment
of the goal. This is more aptly called a 'contingency plan.'
Why was he not able to enlist by those other dates? Setting
an unrealistic time to accomplish the task? Not carrying through
on what needed to be done? These are questions that a contingency
plan will handle.
In these cases, his so-called back-up plans would include:
moving the date, recommitting to the goal, giving himself
a worse-case alternative as an incentive to achieving the
The idea here is that we need to clearly understand the goal
and what we want to get. Then, any back-up or contingency
plan would work to go over, under, around, or through any
obstacles that popped up. It would not cause us to drop our
goal and drastically change what we are doing as 'just another
Remember, to successful people...
...failure is never an option!
Jeffrey Miller is the founder and master instructor
of Warrior Concepts International. He is a consultant for
businesses, groups, and organizations on the topic of self-protection.
For more info, subscribe to his ezine at http://www.warrior-concepts-online.com/newsletter.html
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