Thursday, June 21, 2007

Infallible Aspirations


Far away in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.- Louisa May Alcott, author





For some of my readers, this blog entry might look familiar as I presented the question in two groups. For those of you who are reading this as a web friend, this is the question I presented: If you could not fail, what would you do? In other words, if you could succeed at what ever you did, what would you strive to do? Would you get over a fear of heights and go flying? Would you go back to school and get your masters? Would you go into business for yourself? The point of the question being what is possible when you take away self doubt and fear of failure. If you sit and think about the options (and there are so many!), it's quite awesome.


I asked my 9 year old son the same question this morning. He said he wanted to tour Europe. I further asked him how this wasn't already possible when he grew up? He says, "It is possible, Mom. I am going to travel around Europe." I chuckled and presented the question another way: If you couldn't fail at whatever you tried to do, what would you do.


"Ooooh." The light bulb goes off. "I'd like to be the first kid astronaut," he says without pause. I ask him where he'll go. He says (LOL), "To NASA" (Duh, Mom) I laugh and ask him what he would like to do as the first kid astronaut. "I want to explore other galaxies. Maybe I'll find planets just like ours."





That's the kind of thinking I was trying to pull out of my friends! Dare to dream. The sky is the limit here (actually, there are no limits -- you are limitless in your dreams because failure is out of the realm of possibility). To say it's an awesome thought is a gross understatement!

All too often, I think life puts limits on us. (Probably more accurately is the fact that we put limits on ourselves). If we approached life like a child learning to walk, I believe we'd get so much more accomplished. If you think about it, a baby does not stop just because she falls down a few times. She keeps at it. Any mother out there can vividly see the look of determination on that child's face. She is going to get this! At no time does she ever think to herself, "Well, I can't do this. I might as well give up." No! Giving up never occurs to her because the idea that she can't never enters her mind! This is picture perfect determination! This is what we should all strive to do daily in our lives. I challenge everyone reading this entry to try to accomplish one things this coming week with child-like determination.

It is time to stop being and start living. All too often, I think we go through the motions and let life lead us instead of us leading life. Teenagers who graduate high school eagerly look forward to the future ahead of them. Some, go right into college. Some take time off and travel. Adults view these young adults as idealistic and maybe a little too optimistic. Well, why shouldn't they be idealistic and optimistic? The world is theirs for the taking. All they have to do, is reach out and grab it.

Okay, so realistically, we all know that to succeed, you have to fail. I don't think there is one person in this world who has ever succeeded right out of the starting gate. (I believe that the world would be a better place if those who had succeeded shared all of their failures with those who wanted to succeed. That's right. I believe that the secret to success lies not in knowing what worked, but what didn't.)

We can't let failure hold us back! Instead, we need to accept that failure is almost inevitable and get on with living! How many times did Edison fail with the light bulb before he finally figured out what worked? What if he would have quit after one try? Two tries? Ten tries? We'd be in the dark! (Okay, probably not...but we wouldn't be crediting the light bulb to Edison, that's for sure!) Babe Ruth struck out over a thousand times, but yet is credited as being one of the best in his field (no pun intended).

When he retired in 1935, Babe Ruth owned many of baseball's greatest records, and some of its worst. The Great Bambino hit 714 home runs, easily more than any other player in the history of the game at the time. He also had struck out 1,330 times. At the time no one ever thought either record would be bested. One player toppled his homer mark over the next 65 seasons. Over 60 players have since topped his strikeout record. It seems the more that players try to be like the Babe, the more they fail and, adversely, succeed.
Tommy Szarka -- Baseball Library
If we let failure control us, we won't ever recognize our full potential. As women, the cosmic nurturers, we are always putting other's needs ahead of our own. It's natural. It's how we were made. It's good. But at some point, we have to realize the potential that we have as ourselves, not just as wives, mothers, daughters, granddaughters, nieces, aunts and friends. Please, don't misunderstand me. I'm not suggesting that we shuck off our responsibilities. That's just foolish. What I am suggesting is that we all carve out a little bit of our lives for ourselves, embracing it wholeheartedly, without fear of failure, and lead life. Go out and fail! But don't stop until you succeed.