Failure the Catalyst



“We don’t take credit cards, only cash.”

It was November 2009, and I was locked into a project to improve our house in several ways to prepare for our third child.

As with most home projects, reality quickly surpassed our budget. That was OK. I was going to use my credit card. Nevermind that I promised myself I would never use it in this manner…this totally frivolous remodeling project was an emergency! I would pay it off, I promised. I just needed to get through this.

My plumber dug a hole in our foundation, extended the toilet drain to what would be the shower, and charged me a hefty sum to do it.

And he only took cash.

As did the tile people and the painter. Crap.

The inevitable occurred. I overdrafted our checking account and and this led to several other bad events that took us a few weeks to get out of.

My wife and I awoke to how totally out of control and useless our current financial system had been. Some major changes were on the horizon. But these changes had a beginning in failure. At the time failure seems so terrible, so awful, that nothing good can come out of it. But in reality failure is often a catalyst for change.

When you fail byit is the catalyst for
losing your jobputting yourself on the right path to meet your goals, with the options wide open
a marital separation or affairfinding or abandoning your true commitment to that person, which means there will no longer be a lukewarm relationship
a project failure at workunderstanding what will not work, so you can pursue what will work either for you or your organization
a bad health checkup visitreanalyzing your relationship with food and an active lifestyle and making changes

Failure feels terrible at the moment, but it really is a wonderful blessing because it is the only catalyst I know of for real success. I haven’t yet been able to believe this enough to make failure suck any less, but it sure is nice to know while I’m going through it.

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