It’s graduation month, and all around us, commencement speakers are sending our youth off with heady advice on how to lead a successful life. J.K. Rowling, as she addressed the graduating class at Harvard one year, chose a different slant. She talked about the benefits of failure.
“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all-in which case you fail by default,” she said.
Does fear of failure ever prevent you from reaching for your goals? To Rowling, the real benefit of failing is that it strips away “the inessential.” You learn what you’re really made of. And often, you discover hidden resources-qualities like tenacity and courage you never knew you possessed.
What are your goals?
Maybe you’ve always wanted to go back to school, and you’re afraid you can’t get in or succeed if you do. Or, you’d like to switch jobs but the prospect of a job search seems too formidable. Your first step is to define and write down a clear goal, then post it somewhere you’ll see it every day, like your bathroom mirror or your dashboard.
Make a plan.
You’ve heard my mantra: Plan the work, then work the plan. Write down all the steps needed to reach your goal. Include big (complete registration forms) and small (mail payment). Next, get a calendar and fill in your tasks by day, week and month.
Celebrate along the way!
The most gratifying accomplishments usually take the longest to achieve. In that case, break down your goal into milestones and reward yourself each time you reach one.
For most of my clients, the hardest part is just getting started. If you need a hand at making your plan (and sticking to it), call me! I’ve spent the last 25 years assisting others as an adult educator, a university professor and a certified coach. It’s my passion to help clients overcome fears and failures, strive for and achieve their goals.
“It is our choices that show what we really are, not our abilities.”
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Photo credit: Renjith Krishnan at freedigitalphotos.net