Failure is an event. It is not a person.
This important truth has been effectively and slowly tearing down my preconceived and antiquated ideas about success for quite some time now. These simple words of wisdom come from the motivational series of talks by Mr. Zig Ziglar, who has been kidnapped and spends his time with me in my car, in two hour segments, on a daily basis.
I have much to learn from him. I much to unlearn as well.
One of the biggest stumbling blocks is my perception of failure.
On the outside, I enjoyed a glorious weekend. On Saturday, I had the privilege to be in great company, at the closing of the Invictus Games. On Sunday, I had the honour of having lunch with my dear friend Gassan, and we caught up on the many goings on in our lives.
On the outside, I couldn’t have asked for anything more. On the inside, I couldn’t have been a more broken man.
I’m not sure what it was, but a dark cloud engulfed me early Saturday morning and mutated into various forms of hatred throughout the whole weekend.
I was rough on myself.
Every negative thought and lie I had somehow buried deep inside my sub consciousness, suddenly came out to take their turn at a beat down. They reminded me of my many failures and seemingly distant, unrealized dreams.
It was a relentless barrage.
It is very difficult to stay positive at any time. It was hard to keep going, when deep inside you feel like an absolute fraud, a pretender, a liar, and an ugly impostor.
Sunday evening is shower night at our house. A good habit to have, I believe and it is usually uneventful. It is typically a quiet evening. Quiet because most nights it is easy to get our children ready for a new week of school.
For some reason, my son decided he didn’t want to follow our plans, and I really had no strength or imagination to resist him, so I simply gave up.
In a short period of time, I didn’t just give up on the shower, I quickly gave up on everything.
It is funny, looking back, but the trigger of getting my son into a shower, suddenly became self-hatred. I kept telling myself what a terrible father I am. How I really can’t do anything right. How my kids and my wife don’t really love me. How all the things I have been doing and learning lately, are about as useful as a Coleman tent in a reckless hurricane.
You don’t really need external enemies, if you allow your thoughts to have unsolicited reign and control of your life.
Last night was a failure. It surely was.
I went to bed as quickly as I could. I read, until my eyes and will grew tired.
I closed my eyes.
The awoke three minutes before the opportunity clock could sound its cry at 4:02 am.
Yesterday is now behind me.
The failure of yesterday is done.
The ugliness of my thoughts is over.
It is no longer present.
There is nothing I need to do about yesterday. Nothing I need to remember. Nothing I need to take away or carry forward.
Today is a time to refocus on the person I wish to be. The person. Not the event.
It is time to dig some more ditches.
Time to plan and get back to work.
I’ll let the past bury the past.