Saturday, November 14, 2009

If at First You Don’t Succeed… Well, You Know the Drill

“It doesn’t matter if you try and try and try again, and fail. It does matter if you try and fail, and fail to try again.”

—Charles Kettering.

I have the intrinsic tendency to always be seeking some mode of self-improvement. I had the first inkling of this way back when I was sixteen; perhaps it’s always been with me. It’s little wonder then that I’m Christian, for confessing Christians are forever trying to epitomise their Saviour—this necessitates the moulding of character; self-improvement in a word.

But, the problem for me—and I suspect, for you too—is the roadblock. This is the will to power, commonly willpower. Many people I know see me as having tremendous willpower, but I know better.

For the amount of things I try to improve, I’ve probably got only a 5 or 10 percent success rate over the short term, but because I persist past my failures (which happen frequently, viz., 90 to 95 percent of the time) I achieve my goals for the most part over the longer term.

For instance, smoking and weight loss. I’ve started quitting smoking and diets more times than I care to remember. The point is I eventually succeeded in those goals, and although the latter one is an ongoing challenge which I’m for the greater part successful at, I’ve mastered these to the effect of my essential health. Many of you have too.

I suppose my point is even if we break our resolve, we shouldn’t quit altogether; it’s simply a matter of building momentum and confidence again for the next roll of the dice. We lose our battles but are we winning the war?

The purpose of affirmations and quotes is not to stonewall us into some sort of catatonic submission and bore us into tempering our passions for improvement—the purpose is training.

It’s a gradual process of training via the conscious mind, trickling to the subconscious, then later back to the conscious mind, at the moment of truth. Parts of the mind reinforce each other.

It’s a process of learning, engagement and preparation—an evolutionary process—for whatever we constantly immerse ourselves in, we become.

Whatever becomes of us is in God’s hands. And let that be so, that our will and his are joined, and that his plans for us are never to be stalled due to our obstinacy in failing to fulfil our day to day and lifelong potential.

The most important thing in life is to be resilient in failure.

Learning to bounce back quickly is the making of us. It’s the secret to life itself.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained!

© S. J. Wickham, 2009.

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