Failure

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”~ Winston Churchill

Nothing makes me feel more inadequate than failure. A prime example of this is the work I am doing to drywall my basement. What could be simpler than measure, cut, screw, repeat? Plenty. For one thing, there is a giant difference between 1/2 and 1/8. Once you cut you either got it right or you gotta do it again. I have magled 3 boards in a row trying to get the electrical outlets lined up. I can only deal with so much failure. I only work an hour or two at a time in the basement until my ability to be punished by defeat is exhausted and I throw in the towel.

The problem with making healthy habits is we expect to be perfect right out of the gate. On day one we expect we will work out for 60 minutes, eat only salads, and take the stairs. When we fail we focus on the failure and not the gains we made. Maybe we did not eat salad morning, noon, and night but replacing one high calorie meal with a salad is progress. Failure is part of progress.

Games reward failure. Remember playing Mario? My Mario was Super Mario 1,2 and 3 on the NES. Mario runs from one end of the board to the next avoiding enemies and finding coins. I remember feeling excitement getting further and further every time I played. Playing ment finding what might kill you and where the power-ups were. Sure you died, but every time you played you learned a secret or got a little better. Eventually all the “work” of learning the game pays off. Below is a Super Mario Speed run from someone who failed a lot before his record was made.

When trying to make a healthy life change learn from the failures and celebrate the success. Think of it as a game and focus on getting better, not the sting of failure. You might be surprised by the progress you made.

 

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