Embracing Failure and Disappointment

Failure and disappointment are two things that will happen consistently in life if you’re actually living it. Giving an effort in life may bring failure and disappointment, but so will not trying at all. You will never regret trying and failing, only never going above and beyond your capabilities. Learning to embrace the failure and disappointment that comes with trying hard is a sure way to be satisfied with your life.

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Failure and disappointment
Helen Keller on Failure and Disappointment

Adversity is the cayenne pepper spice of life. Most people can’t stomach it and consider Frank’s Hot Sauce to be super hot. If you’ve seen “Hot Ones” you know that there are levels to “heat.” It takes a willingness to explore heat levels to have a chance to get used to them. Failure and disappointment will only appear if you are trying to do something different than what you’ve always done. 

But there’s a kicker:

Life will send failure and disappointment to you REGARDLESS of how much you try to shy away from them. Failure and disappointment, both forms of adversity, are two ways life forces us to grow and understand ourselves.

When living contently, comfortably, and without struggle, these two forms of adversity will hit a little differently. They leave us wondering “Why me?” “Why now?” Embracing failure and disappointment will lead to success more than avoiding the pain of adversity.

FIFA 20 LESSONS

I was playing FIFA 20 on PS4 and played two whole seasons on Professional level. The game ranges from Beginner, Amateur, Semi-Pro, Professional, World Class, Legendary and Ultimate. It was fun mostly destroying and having an easy time beating the AI and scoring a lot of goals with my character in career mode.

I knew I’d get bored if I kept destroying the AI, so I decided to move up to World Class to start the season. In all my years of playing FIFA off and on, I’d never played this high on the skill level.

I haven’t been that angry and irritated in a long time. I promised myself to take the losses and not care, but I began to restart the console at the first sign of a bad game. Thing is, with FIFA, you have certain metrics you have to meet each game, like shot-to-goal conversion percentage, goals and assists made, and average match rating, like 9.0 out of 10. You need to make good passes, good decisions, be in good positions, help your team and more if you want to not fail miserably.

I dislike failing miserably. A lot. The yelling at the screen began. I couldn’t figure out why I cared so much about the game that I was becoming physically irritated. Video games are a way to tell where you’re is putting their energy, and I began to see that somewhere in life, I stopped putting my best foot forward. I had settled somewhere. Somewhere along the line I got complacent and lazy and stopped taking risks. I had stopped really trying to get better, do better. And that’s why I was angry at the game.

The game showed me that failure and disappointment need to be embraced. I needed to take the losses. To not win the league, not win any trophies. I needed to be forced to really try to get better at the skill games. Failure and disappointment are inevitable. 

GROWTH, FAILURE, DISAPPOINTMENT

Growth becomes inevitable when you embrace failure and disappointment. You can gain a new perspective or keep crying about failing. 

What I learned was that I had rejected failure. I didn’t want to be disappointed. So, I stayed safe. I had stopped playing somewhere along the line, and FIFA showed me that I wasn’t really interested in getting good, I was just interested in getting things handed to me. When they didn’t come easy, I cracked. 

I decided to do something about losing in FIFA. Take the losses and learn. Better my skills. And apply the analogy to life.

If I want to feel satisfied with my accomplishments, I need to continually do tougher things. Try more “cayenne pepper”(personally I like spicy foods, so spicy that I perspire) in life. I need to continually better myself to be better equipped to handle the new stress I’m taking on.

Failure and disappointment are just that. They are adversity. They don’t feel great. If you choose to see them for what they are, the spice of life, you can begin to appreciate the failures and disappointments for the growth they cause.

TRY AND TRY AGAIN, THAT’S REAL SUCCESS

Do you know what feels worse? Going years without trying anything, even more years without trying something new, and years after that without increasing your skillset or improving yourself. Do yourself a favor and go out of your way to do something difficult every day. Once you’re used to that difficulty level, do it better than you did before.

Embracing failure and disappointment leads us to the truth of who we are.

Do you quit when things get hard?

Do you easily give up?

Do you avoid taking chances and risks?

You can choose to do anything. Failure and disappointment will be a part of it. Embrace them both and you will feel more satisfied than you would in trying to avoid them.

You Should Do What You Want Regardless

You really should do what you want, regardless. Right now you should make a list of three wonderful things you want to do by year’s end, and do them. You should actually try getting them done as soon as possible. You deserve to be able to do what you want. To live as you see fit.

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What I mean by the statement “do what you want” is for you to truly consider doing whatever it is in your heart to do. There is no outside resistance, only flawed perspectives about why we can or cannot do what we want.

We really seem to believe our lives are a string of days moving backwards and forwards in time. We carry yesterday’s hurts into today, and carry what happens today into “tomorrow.” We think that we have unlimited time to do this or do that and we never really get around to doing what we want to do.

what time actually is time is not linear so do what you want
What Time Actually Is

Carrying bitterness and feeling that life is out to get us, we slink more and more inwards, focusing on the hurt and pain we’ve experienced and living to avoid it. Then, instead of moving towards what we want out of life, we figure it’s best just to avoid all pain, misery, and disappointment only enjoying a few moments of pleasure on the weekends looking to party or be entertained.

You should obviously handle all of your duties, but know that the fewer “duties” you take on, the more you allow yourself the freedom to at least enjoy the experience of life. 

Life is meant to be lived as an experience, not as a duty. It’s not meant for us to walk around hurting and traumatized, jaded at the world for experiences we had no control over and weren’t educated to handle.

OUR EDUCATION, HEALTHCARE, AND GOVERNMENT

In 2018 the U.S. ranked 36th out of 79 countries in math scores, scores that haven’t changed since the year 2000. For two decades the populace has not gotten any smarter when it comes to math.

PISA worldwide education rankings 2018
PISA WORLDWIDE EDUCATION RANKINGS

In reading, we did a little better, ranking 13th out of 79 countries and regions while our ranking in science apparently went up not because we did better, but because OTHER countries slipped.

Our overall ranking is 26th in total scholastic achievement, from reading, science, and math scores combined. We aren’t as smart as we like to think we are.

Quitting school is how Bill Gates(Microsoft and apparent science guru), Ralph Lauren(Fashion), Steve Madden(Fashion), Steve Jobs(Apple), Sean Combs(Music and Entertainment), Mark Zuckerberg(Facebook), Rachel Ray(Chef), Coco Chanel(Fashion), Simon Cowell, James Cameron(Movie Director), Steve Wozniak(Apple), Richard Branson(Virgin), Larry Ellison(Oracle), Wolfgang Puck(Chef), Ted Turner(CNN) can all make millions and billions. Life is about solving problems, not avoiding them.

School is NOT a prerequisite for living a good life. It isn’t a prerequisite for making good money. It’s not a prerequisite for anything except being exceptionally underpaid, less than average, and more often than not being in debt. We aren’t taught how to be financially savvy, how to lead in the workplace, how to set goals and achieve them, how to think outside of the box, or how to solve any legitimate problems people are facing today. We go to work for those people I mentioned earlier and make them even MORE money.

In healthcare we rank 27th in the world, around the same as our education system.

Financially, this country runs on the people. $1.6 trillion was made by the federal government last year from individual income taxes alone. Corporate income taxes were only around $212 billion. 

You could say our country is made up of bumpkins, being run by bumpkins, and paid for by the bumpkins, while the smartest people among us opted out of the system and use us bumpkins to make them money.

YOU HAVE A CHOICE TO MAKE

You deserve to be happy. To smile. To not live by the rules. In terms of rules; Fundamental Rights, Constraints on Government Powers, and Absence of Corruption from the World Justice Project Rule of Law Index, the United States fell out of the top 20. We have a declining system and it doesn’t benefit us bumpkins.

World Justice Project Rule of Law Index graph
Overall Increase and Decrease in Rule of Law Index

You should do what you want because no one really cares what you are doing anyway. You have no impact on any other world but your own, and if you aren’t living your best life(contrary to popular belief this has nothing to do with vacation, drinking mimosas, and doing nothing because to do that every day consistently over time would be boring and kill you fast.

cyclical time illustration do what you want you dont have time to waste
David Perell Cyclical Time

WHAT YOU MUST DO

  1. Choose something productive to do daily or weekly that you enjoy. You want to have something to look back on as you “cycle” through life. For me, it’s this blog and writing books. I want to look back on all the content I produced and leave that as my legacy, as I’d more regret not doing this over anything else.
  2. Choose something you really enjoy doing that only matters to you. If it’s being your home team’s biggest fan, then do that. If it’s painting, making music, building model cars, or taking selfies, you must do it. Do it the best you can and enjoy it.
  3. Handle your duties, and have as little of them as possible. The only stress you need is the stress of getting better in one way or another. You don’t need doom scrolling stress, the stress of keeping up with society, or any other stress than the stress that YOU choose.

Do what you want to do. And do it for you, because nobody is going to care more about your life than you. 

Have a great rest of the week.

Being Alone is a Sign of Growth

Over the past week I was able to experience silence and aloneness for the first time in a long time. It’s been building up to this point for about two months now, like I could see it coming. Being alone and in silence can teach you a lot about yourself. It can break you down and build you up at the same time.

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I’ve always felt alone, or at least somewhat different or misunderstood than my peers. I never genuinely felt like I was a part of any group I was ever with, whether a team in sports or a team at work or various organizations I’ve been a part of.

I’m a team player, I love to see people smiling and winning. I’d never consciously hurt anyone. Nonetheless, I’ve never been one to have gobs of people wanting to have fireside chats with me, probably the one thing I love doing the most.

I love talking to people and finding out about them. I love listening to what makes people tick. I love watching people get animated when they are allowed to express themselves freely without any sense of judgement being cast on them.

My talent? Getting people to talk and open up. 

But I’m starting to think that’s not the world we live in anymore. Sometimes I feel like a relic of the past, an individual who wants to know their neighbors, have block parties and engage with those around themselves.

So I haven’t felt lonely, just alone. 

being alone is okay and a sign of growth
Feeling Lonely? That’s okay.

David Vs. Goliath Was Only The Beginning

There’s a story I was reading today, about a guy who came from nothing and somehow handled a big job that no one else could handle, almost like he was born for it. He never really got along with his family, as his brothers were constantly terrorizing him, but he did all of his duties consistently and honorably until the opportunity for him to shine presented himself.

Even after being promoted to a position where he couldn’t even get to see his family because he was so busy, there were consistent times when he was working and his life was put on the line. Somehow he made it out every single time. There wasn’t a task he couldn’t handle. 

Eventually he had to leave the job because his boss had it out for him, and he ended up alone and by himself. The guy just couldn’t catch a break. His original boss actually was so angry with him that he really tried to have him killed, mainly because of jealousy that people were singing his praises instead of the boss.

Picture of Cave
Cave Time

In that period of being alone, others like him were gathered to him. They sought him out as someone who could lead them, someone they respected after all he had been through. Through the threats, constant disrespect, trials and tribulations, this man eventually was made king. That man was King David.

The importance of the cave that David was hiding out in was significant to me this week. 

A Time To Grow

A lot of times in life we somehow lose people close to us, friends, family, jobs, and significant others only to end up where we were before all of those things: alone and afraid that no one likes us or cares.

The best things in life happen when we are alone. We get to find out who we are, what’s in our minds, and what we want to do with our lives.

A lot of times there is so much static and interference that we confuse what we want for what others want. We think the job we have is satisfying. We think the people we hang with are the greatest ever, when really our life is actually being siphoned off.

Being alone is a chance to recharge and think for yourself. It’s a time to pick yourself up and dust yourself off. 

It’s a time of growth. It’s the seed before sprouting, the winter time of death right before spring, the rain before the sunshine.

Every cycle has its purpose, and if you’re alone now, that’s okay, in time people will surround you again. And when they do, you’ll be the one providing them with hope and inspiration.

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