"We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. " Joseph Campbell
Ah, yes. Failure. The word that evokes fear in the hearts of countless men and women. Sometimes the fear manifest itself so intensely that the victim freezes. The fear of failure whispers in the ear of it's mark "If you don't try, you won't fail."
Listen to Michael Gary Scott. He is a wise man folks.
We have to lighten the mood before broaching such a sensitive topic.
Here's the discussion for today: What is the difference between 'cut and run' and 'cutting your losses?'
I'll start with this: failure is good. Failure is an experience, when appropriately applied, that allows the experiencer (that's a real word by-the-way) to reflect on their strengths and weaknesses. It allows for one to polish the areas that need polishing and also to understand their own limitations.
This is not negative or positive. It simply is. It's up to the person going through the experience to decide how to apply the lessons learned. It's only through that application or lack-there-of that it becomes negative or positive.
Think about it in a simple physical way if you would. You don't start to get better until you reach your level of failure and continue to push. You have to push yourself to go One More Mile. Then, you'll be able to run ANOTHER mile the next time. If you're lifting weights, you lift until you fail. That is where the gains are made. The next time you lift, you'll be able to lift more.
So we have embraced failure!
The physical failures that create growth are paralleled with psychological and spiritual growth.
When you are in a toxic relationship and you choose to leave, you will recognize the signs of a toxic relationship early on in your future relationships.
When you are in a job that drains you, you will recognize your spiritual and mental needs and apply those needs in choosing your next endeavor.
It always seems to take a while to get to the intended topic in my post. I always feel that you must first preface it with background information so that the reader understands my perspective in writing.
Challenges are the bread and butter of life. We encounter the smallest challenges every-single-day upon waking.
Should I get out of bed today? Do I even care enough about my job to go? Should I call in sick? What should I wear? Is it appropriate for the situation? Will people like what I am wearing? Is my outfit/demeanor going to project what I am attempting to accomplish? What am I attempting to accomplish?
You might see these as mere choices, but I assure you, they are challenges.
Getting out of bed may be the wrong thing to do that day. Hell, some of you would say that EVERYDAY! You may have not slept well. You could crash your car because of delayed reaction time due to lack of sleep.
You may decide your job is draining you and you cannot bear the emotional strain placed upon you any longer. But now you are left jobless with bills to pay.
You may choose clothes that make you feel empowered and comfortable, but are viewed by others as loud and unnecessary which creates tension between you and them.
So on, and so forth. The point is, most people don't realize that nearly every decision made is a challenge. It may not be a life changing one. It may be small. But small challenges, when repeated and compounded over time, create major life events.
Let me just give you a small example of such.
Hanwi (our female character for this example) is a single woman who lives alone. Maybe she has a cat. That's up to you. She arises with just enough time to rush and get ready. Not much time to ponder on simple things. She works in a semi-casual office. Let's call it "California Casual." She goes to get dressed right away. She chooses a beautiful brightly colored yellow dress and a few accessories that she likes. Maybe a necklace, dangling earrings, a bright turquoise belt that she thinks looks nice and BOOM! She's out the door.
Upon arrival to work she is greeted by many co-workers and complimented on how she looks.
She goes to her work space to find her best friend Rhiannon. Rhiannon woke up early. She has kids she had to prepare for school, lunches to make and ensuring they get on their school bus. So she doesn't see a need for thinking about what she's wearing. So she's in a basic black dress. Very plain attire. Modest you might say.
*Note: I find women beautiful. Whether they are dressed to the nines, or plain. Feminine power draws me in and entrances me.*
Little do either know that the manager is looking for a new supervisor. As he walks the halls he sees Hanwi, and she looks very put together. She draws the eye in with her clothing. He sees Rhiannon and noticed that it seems she doesn't put much stock into her appearance.
They both have a similar work record, but the manager decides to promote Hanwi to supervisor. It just seems like she has a more focus on details just from her appearance.
Now, there are so many things wrong with this story. The fact that Hanwi woke with just enough time to dress herself and her focus simply needed to be on herself. The fact that, knowing the background information, it seems Rhiannon is much more detail oriented.
This story could have gone the complete opposite way. Same set of circumstances, except the manager is looking for someone who is less consumed with image and more consumed with output. In that case, Rhiannon may have gotten the promotion. But knowing that Hanwi and Rhiannon have a similar work record, it could go either way.
The point is, what is failure in this circumstance? We would have to know our characters motives. If Rhiannon's motive was taking care of her children and providing for them with her job, then no matter the out come, she is successful. If her motives were to be promoted so she could provide a better (Oh materialistic society) lifestyle for her children. In that case, in a certain sense, she failed.
She can take that failure and apply it helping her progress in the future. She could carve out a little more time for making her appearance more along the lines of what her company views as good.
ORRRRRRRR... she could find a new job that values the hard work she does outside of work while still being able to come in and successfully perform.
Ahhhhh yes. There are two paths you can go down, but in the long run...
The point of this incredibly long rant is to point out that challenges, challenges that can be achieved or failed, inhabit literally every single second of your life.
But it's the large challenges that most dwell on. The challenges that will effect you in a very long term, major part of life.
Should I stay at my job? Should I stay with my spouse? Should I move outside of my area?
I want to take a second to explain a very core belief that I have before we go on to the 'Cut and Run' vs 'Cut Your Loses.'
I believe that life is much like a winding road. Challenges like the simples ones discussed above are like tiny little trails cut out. They may take you out of your way, or they may lead you to a much larger road (promotion because of a pretty dress!). But the major life choices are life's huge forks in the road.
However, I believe that no matter what fork you choose, the end of the road is the same for us all.
It may seem morbid, but it is a great reminder to be bold, stay humble and journey on.
So, back to our major life choices. I believe you can solve all these major life choices by a simple set of questions:
Does it make you happy?
If it doesn't, can it be fixed?
Are you still continuing to gain something from it (spiritual, mental, knowledge, growth)?
Is it hard?
Will it make you stronger to struggle through the challenge?
What are the benefits of changing your path?
If you choose to change your path, do you possess the resolve to meet new struggles head on, without fear, and attempt to conquer them, knowing that, even though you may have left a path of failure, this new path may be ripe with new failures?
What does your intuition tell you?
If a family member or someone you loved very much was going through what you are, what advice would you give them?
Does your decision come from a place of love?
Cutting and running is for frauds. It's for people who would rather walk in circles on their path. They will never see the wonder that comes with failure and success.
The road of life is filled with wondrous things. Just as a true physical road is. On a physical road, you come upon raw beauty. Great rivers, beautiful mountains, glorious natural miracles.
On the spiritual road you come upon love. You come upon friendship. You come upon knowledge. You come upon wisdom. These things tower into our mental heavens, much like the wonders of nature themselves.
But that doesn't mean that there isn't a time to change your path. Sometimes, it is necessary. Old roads are sometimes too worn. You must truly know that you are at the end of that path. And then, be fearless my friends. Go forth and fail. It is the only way to learn to succeed.
It is up to you, the Jedi knight, to choose. Cut and Run. Or Cutting up a group of younglings at the Jedi temple. You sadistic son of a bitch.