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Weekend Brunch: On Failure

by - Saturday, March 15, 2014

Have you noticed how blogs can depict lives that are impossibly perfect? From the outside, houses seem impeccably clean, children are beautiful and talented, and the bloggers themselves are always fashionable and put together. They find time to exercise regularly and cook nutritious and delicious meals. They don't worry about job security, aging, weight gain. They don't stress about paying the bills or have chronic health problems or family troubles. They never ever fail.

I'm in bit of a need of some soul-baring this weekend because I have some exciting things to mention in the coming days, but I want to ground that in reality. And the reality is in the past few weeks, I've failed more than I've succeeded. I've heard No more than I've heard Yes. We've read those posts where bloggers announce good things - new books, TV appearances, product launches - but rarely do we talk about the things that don't work out. Why do we share only half the story?

A long time ago, I mentioned that HandyMan and I had signed a deal for our fourth book together. We started working on the manuscript. I lined up some fabulous bloggers to be included in the book, photos were taken... and then the publisher sold off part of their business, including our contract and many others. For several reasons, the book didn't proceed with the new publisher. But rather than a quick painless extraction, getting to the point only recently of resolving the book situation was a long process. When this book started to fall apart, I wondered why it was happening. What could I have done differently?

I realized I couldn't have done anything differently. It was just something that needed to happen. And I also realized that instead of fearing failure, you should embrace it. Failure means you're trying new things and pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone. It means that you're striving to be better. Failure can also help you move off the wrong path and redirect you to where you should have been all along. Have you ever known you were going to fail at something because your heart really wasn't in it?

I believe to achieve great success you need to have great failures along the way. So I'm taking these last few difficult weeks as a sign better things are just on the horizon. Life is perfectly imperfect and sometimes you need to celebrate that.

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