FAILURES HELP US GROW
DON’T BE AFRAID TO TAKE A CHALLENGE HEAD-ON
When I was in high school, one of my life goals was to become a country singer. It was something I wanted to do for a long time, and I dove headfirst into it. I had voice lessons regularly, and I joined every choir group I could possibly find — I even went into college as a music major. But in college, I realized that even though I had some talent, I didn’t have real superstar talent. Looking back on it now, I find it a little funny. But at the time, it was very disheartening. I realized that singing was an enjoyable hobby but not something that I could make a living out of. It made me take a hard look at my life and where I wanted to go, leaving me with two options to choose from: music and martial arts. I picked martial arts because I knew this is where my gifts and talents are, and I never looked back. With the new year starting up this month, I’ve found myself thinking about this moment, and many others in my life, where something I was working toward didn’t quite materialize. Being an entrepreneur, this is almost a common occurrence. In this past decade alone, there were many different business opportunities my husband and I looked into and jumped on. Some were very successful, and others weren’t. There were all sorts of reasons for this. Some plans didn’t take off the way we wanted, and others took a lot more time and effort than we could afford. A few times, we realized our goals didn’t quite line up the way we wanted. Throughout the 2010s, we may have formulated many plans that failed, but with each one of these efforts, Glenn and I learned so much about business and about ourselves. Through these experiences, we recognized which goals were the most important to us and started making plans to achieve them. Because of the “failures” we experienced, we knew which direction we wanted to move toward, and for that, I don’t regret any of our choices these past 10 years.
I believe you must take into account the lessons you learned from that experience and let it help you do better next time. While I’ve had many goals and plans fall through, including my pursuit of becoming a country singer, each one has helped me grow as a person. Pursuing a life as a singer helped me build the work ethic I have today. I know now how crucial it is to work hard, practice,
and be prepared in all aspects of life. It was also through my performances that I became
so comfortable being up in front of people. As a teacher, public speaking is something I need to do well and often, and
through the skills I learned as a singer, I can do just that.
As this month starts not only a brand-new year for us but also a brand-new decade, I want to encourage people to take a chance and try something new. At the same time, I would also suggest having a good backup plan. It’s always good to try something new, but don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Make sure that when you do start something, you think about the possibility of it not working out and create an exit strategy for yourself.
No matter what your goals for 2020 or the next decade might be, push past the “what-ifs” and give it a try.
Our “failures” are hard to think about — no one likes to fail — but it’s through our defeats that we learn. Even when it’s difficult,
– Amanda Olson
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