I watched a video this morning of economics professor Larry Smith At TEDxUW 2011. He was giving a talk on “Why You Need to Fail to Have a Great Career”. This made me start to think about my own situation and how this could be applied in my life. As some of you may know I have COPD and it has now progressed to the point that it interferes with my daily life. Boy, did I feel like a failure. I failed my family. I failed myself. Sitting in the hospital hooked up to an IV and tethered to an oxygen line for the first couple of days all I could think was “WTF”. That was one of my low points in life. In the middle of the night after the nurse had come and woke me out of a somewhat sound sleep to take my vitals, I realized I was being an idiot. The problem was not how was I going to deal with this situation it was how am I going to take this situation and pull something positive out of it. As the sun came up I called my daughter and asked her to bring me a notebook and a pencil. I started to make lists.
The lists to someone else may seem a bit odd. They started with what was going on with my health. Once I had that down on paper I had a clear black and white picture of where I stood with my current health situation. Then I made another list. This one was about what my immediate concerns were at that time. First on the list was how will I keep money coming into the house. That led me to the next list. What was I going to do about it? I am in school for graphic design and I had previously sold freelance work before I moved to this area. I decided to re-energize my freelance business. I made lists that stated what steps I needed to take to get the business ready to go, such as redesigning my website, putting together a marketing plan and more. I made lists about where I would find clients. I made lists of lists. Within 24 hours I had redirected my thinking and knew that this FAILURE was actually exactly what I needed to get my ass in gear and do what I love. I have gained several new clients and I expanded into the content writing field and that is going very well.
Now I am making another list.
8 Examples of Why Failure is an Amazing Thing