Failure

The Key to Failure: Secret Enemies

Frenemies

Watch your back sucka!

Make sure everyone you choose to be on your team is really committed to you.  Don’t let someone who appears to take sides with you and/or who seems to be friendly with you be on your team.  You must go beyond mere appearances—you must know whether someone truly deserves to be on your team in this game of life.  Too many people lose in the game of life because they have decided to put people on their team who are not true comrades.  You’re going to face situations in your life where you’re going to need only those who are truly your friends.

You can lose battles you confront in your life when you allow those who are secretly your enemies to be on your team.  The people you allow on your team can be the very people who are secretly defeating you.  While it’s okay to be friendly to people, this does not mean you should include all of these people on your team.  You have a choice about the individuals you select to be on your team.  Therefore, you have to take responsibility for the decisions you make in the formation of your team.

Your enemies will send people to join your team and disguise them as people who support you and who want to be your friend.  When you’re facing great battles, you need to think about the people who have always been there for you—the ones you’ve always been able to count on delivering for you.  Those are the people who you need to have on your team.  For those “friends” who have been lukewarm towards you throughout your “friendship,” then you need to discard them immediately.  Unfortunately, many people are unwilling to muster the courage to rid themselves of those who are truly undeserving of being on their team.  A failure to remove these folks from your team guarantees your failure.

If we’re to build winning teams, we have to make sure we have the right people on our teams.

People who are constantly a burden for you are not the right members to have on your team.  Individuals who take your focus off of what’s important are not the right members to have on your team.  If you have individuals on your team who are always begging for something, those individuals should be removed from your team immediately.  You need to have people on your team who can genuinely contribute something to the team.

Individuals who lack a true understanding of the team concept need to be eliminated from your team.  On a team, you don’t need someone who is only going to be thinking about himself or herself.  If you have people on your team who use “I” all of the time or most of the time, then you need to remove those people from your team.  If you have people who never want the conversation to focus on you much, then you need to eliminate those individuals immediately.  Additionally, if you have people on your team who think your problems and concerns are not as important as their problems and concerns, then eliminate them from your team as soon as possible.

If you think a conversation is boring unless it’s about you, then you’re not worthy of being on anyone’s team.

Try to identify those individuals on your team who are only interested in the perks of being on and associated with your team.  Don’t be afraid to let former team members know why you severed ties with them—your explanation can be just what they need to become better people.

Don’t let anyone keep you from winning the battles and wars you are facing and will confront! You must remember that your greatest enemies may be the individuals you call your “friends.”  Your “friends” may be the ingredients in your life and on your team causing you to experience failure.  Without question, you must discover those secret enemies who need to be removed from your team.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Take Some Risks

At some point in your life, you have to take some risks.  It is important to understand that we are all going to experience failure—it’s an inevitable and valuable dimension of life.  Your focus should not be on failure but on the lessons learned from failure.  One cannot allow his or her mind to become so consumed with a fear of failure that he or she never is unwilling to muster the courage to take a risk.  In no way am I advocating for you to take risks each day.  I am, however, encouraging you to be willing to step out of your comfort zone from time to time and have an openness to try something new, try something that you cannot be certain is going to turn out to be successful.

If you want to move to the next level of success in your life, then you cannot simply sit around and allow doubt to dominate your psyche.  You will not be able to experience the fullness of life by simply playing it safe.  Life has much more to offer you when experience some things you would not normally do.  Many people miss out on life-changing opportunities because they approach most things from “I cannot do it” and “it won’t work” mindsets.  You will never be able to be as successful as you can be when you approach most things with little faith.  When you give yourself more opportunities to experience success, even if you fail in the process, you increase your confidence in your ability to execute tasks successfully; that is, you increase your self-efficacy.

We can all learn from the examples that entrepreneurs provide us each day.  Entrepreneurs take risks every day—they have to take them.  All of our great national and international corporations started from a strong belief in the power of the entrepreneurial spirit.  Prominent national and international corporations were founded by individuals who had enough courage to not allow a fear of failure to stop them from walking into what is possible.  Many lesser known small business owners have just as much or more faith in themselves to take risks than the more well-known entrepreneurs that founded major corporations.  These people understand that having a successful business in a capitalist system requires you to take some risks.  If you are to be truly successful in a capitalist system, you are going to have to realize that from time to time you must take risks.

Even if you characterize yourself as “not a risk-taker,” don’t allow labels to prevent you from making moves that can significantly benefit you and your family.  We often use labels as vehicles for hiding our fear of failure.  As we strive to grow into more successful and wiser people, we have to confront our fear of failure more directly.  Having a strong fear of failure can cause you to coast through life instead of truly experiencing it.

I am going to be honest with you and tell you that confronting your fear of failure can be quite unsettling.  When you begin to wrestle critically with your fear of failure, you begin to understand some ugly truths about yourself that you would rather bury than bring them to the surface to work to improve them.  Don’t be afraid of your ugly truths—work to ameliorate the ugly truths that emerge from your critical self-examination of your fear of failure.  As long as you continue to live, you are going to fail.  Therefore, you should not allow a fear of failure to hinder you from experiencing the success you can enjoy in life.  Muster the courage to be the best you can be.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Being Disappointed with Yourself

You’re not always going to meet your own expectations for yourself and the expectations of others. No human being is perfect. A part of being human is understanding that you are incapable of perfection. When you have not met your responsibilities, don’t sit there and wallow in your self-pity—dust yourself off and try again. If you have made some poor choices, it’s okay. Learn from those poor choices and strive to not make them again. If you make them again, keep working not to repeat them. Too many people put too much pressure on themselves to be perfect. For many, it’s almost like a surprise when they don’t do things perfectly. Why would you be surprised? You have not been perfect from the day you were conceived.

You cannot let what you feel others may think about your poor choices worry you that much. You will drive yourself insane trying to please people all the time. It’s impossible to please people all the time because many people don’t even know what “being pleased” is.

Being disappointed is not a good feeling. We have to make sure that we are doing our best to prevent disappointments from occurring. However, no matter how much you are doing to attempt to prevent disappointments from happening they are still going to happen. The effort that you devote to foiling disappointments from occurring can help to reduce the number of disappointments you experience.

If you are never disappointed with yourself, you will never know how proud of yourself you should be when you do something really good or great. Disappointments come to improve us. If everything goes just great for you all the time, you would not feel human. It would also feel like you cannot feel. Do you really want to go through life not being able to feel? I don’t think you really want to go through life not being able to feel.

People think that everything always goes great for me. They look at my level of success, accomplishments, titles, positions, degrees, talents, and etc. and think that every day and everything is wonderful for me. Yes, I’m very successful and highly accomplished but my success and accomplishments did not come without my share of disappointments.  In fact, the more success and accomplishments I earn the greater the pressure I place on myself to be even better. With the tremendous pressure I place on myself to become greater and greater, I experience many disappointments.

Don’t make me be less than human by thinking that everything is always going great for me and that every day is a successful day for me. I am not a robot. I feel. Although my external wrapper and internal coating is much stronger than most, I still feel. I have cloudy days and cloudy moments just as you do. I encourage you not to perceive people who are successful and accomplished to be something larger than human. Yes, we are successful and accomplished but still human.

I take comfort in my disappointments because I did all that I could reasonably do to avoid being disappointed. At the end of the day, all I can ask myself to do is the best I can do. When I’ve done all I can reasonably do to do my best, it’s then that I recognize I don’t have a need to feel disappointed with myself.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Why I Never Desire to be a Failure

Of course, I have and will fail at things in life, as we all have and will. I will not, however, be a failure. I have resolved to never allow anything and anybody to cause me to be a failure. Although I have a number of enemies, I have many more allies, loved ones, and friends. Many of these friends, allies, and loved ones count on me to be successful and will not accept me being a failure. My decision to not be a failure begins and ends with my resolve from within to not settle for what is easy—failure. Without a doubt, if you want to choose the easy path in life, choose to be a failure. Just because you have and/or are experiencing some hardships does not make you a failure. I have found that many of us are simply too hard on ourselves. We don’t recognize just how great we are.

When you make this decision to be a failure, you are making a very selfish decision. There are people out there who need you to be a winner for them. There are people out there counting on you to be the success that they are looking for. Therefore, just before you get ready to throw in the towel and give up on life, I want you to think about the people out there you can be a help to. Think about the people out there who consider you to be a success and not a failure.

If people are looking for you to fail, prove them wrong! Don’t prove them right by simply surrendering to their negativity. When you are on your path to success, or when you are successful, people are going to attack you and long for you to be a failure. Never allow them to take away your greatness and your greatness can be found within yourself.

I want you to write down 3 things that you do well and think about how those things can help you to become successful or continue your success. Think about how those 3 things can be improved. I want you to think about these 3 things from now until the last day of this year, and I know that a focus on these 3 things are going to give you the strength, knowledge, and hope necessary to continue your success or place you on a path destined for success.

I encourage you to never allow yourself to have failure as your goal and to never accept failure as your destiny. God created us for success and for greatness. You cannot let what is going on right now in your life to discourage you from striving to achieve your goals. I know I’m never going to allow negativity, hate, and people to prevent me from continuing to experience success. Go out today and experience your success and greatness!

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison