On failing

When something goes wrong, a lot of people blame themselves. They feel they have failed, they are to blame.

Does that sound familiar? In that case I would like to share an analogy I really like.

If you undertake something, at work or in a relationship, or, well, just about anything in life, the only thing you have control over is the EFFORT that you put in it. The RESULT of that effort almost always depends on outside factors that you do not control.

It’s like shooting with a bow and arrow. You hold the bow and arrow tight, you concentrate, you aim the best you can and then you shoot. As soon as you let go of the arrow, the question if it will hit the bull’s eye is out of your control.

There may be a sudden gust of wind that changes the course of the arrow, there may be a bird flying at it’s course (which of course would be very unfortunate for the bird…), someone might move the target.

So you miss the bull’s eye. Did you fail? Of course not. You tried, you did your best, your effort was genuine and that’s all you can do. The result was depending on other factors. It almost always does.

Try to remember this if something doesn’t work out the way you intended. Distinguish between your EFFORT and the RESULT. You tried. You did your best. It didn’t work. You didn’t fail. You’re not to blame.