Tag Archives: failure

Yes, Failure is an Option

15 May

Last night, I was sitting on my couch stuffing my face with strawberries and Nutella when I came across this Domino’s commercial…

And you know what?

I loved it.

Because it was probably the most refreshing thing I’ve seen in a really long time.

Now I know you’re probably thinking, “what the heck is so awesome about a pizza commercial??”

Thing is… it wasn’t about the pizza.

It was about the company, and its culture.

A company that’s okay with admitting that it’s not perfect.

A company that’s okay with accepting failure.

A company that’s willing to learn from that failure and then makes changes.

I don’t know…maybe I’m crazy, but I really liked their honesty.

Because that honesty is really hard to come by these days.

True. Story.

It seems that organizations spend way too much time trying to be the best…trying to be perfect.

AKA… no failure allowed.

So when failure does naturally happen at some point or another, corporate execs spend more time pointing fingers than on actually learning from that failure and continuing to make progress.

I guess that’s why I like this commercial so much.

Because if more companies embraced a culture that’s okay with failure…that sees the value in learning from things that don’t necessarily work out…maybe employees would go out on a limb more often.

Maybe there’d be more innovation.

Maybe we’d actually find solutions to most of our problems.

But we don’t, because we’re scared.

We don’t because, again… most organizations punish people who venture from the norm and then fail.

That’s not cool, and quite frankly, we’re not gunna get anywhere in life with an attitude like that.

So props to you, Domino’s, for being smart enough to say, “hey, we’re not perfect…and we’re fine with that.”

That’s the kind of company I’d like to work for one day…

One that’s not putting on a front.

One that’s honest and sincere.

One that’s accepted that not only is failure an option, but failure is necessary in order to experience growth.

Way to go, Domino’s. You’ve got my attention.

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Hey, Twenty-Somethings…You Really Don’t Have Much to Lose

18 Jul

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In the spirit of Paul Angone’s new book, 101 Secrets for Your Twenties, I decided to write my own secret, because, well…why not?

If I had to give just one piece of advice to young people everywhere, it would most likely be this…

In your twenties, you don’t have much to lose.

So, you’re a little lost. Don’t worry, you’re not the only one. Welcome to your twenties!

Are you freaking out yet? Of course you are!

You’ve got tons to do, lots of options, and you don’t know where to start.

You don’t know where to go. You don’t know what to do for a living. You don’t even know, really, who you are.

But it’s a beautiful thing, being lost in your twenties, because in case you haven’t realized…you don’t have much to lose!

Really, you don’t. You’re twenty!

NOW is the time to take risks. NOW is the time to make mistakes. NOW is the time to jump on every opportunity.

Because if you put yourself out there and it doesn’t work out, you can start all over again rather quickly.

Your twenties are a time in your life when you get to discover who you are. You get to decide who you want to be.

And that requires taking chances. That requires making moves that scare you.

But because you’re at the start of your adult life, you haven’t invested all that much. And that makes any risk that you take a little less risky.

So don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Don’t be afraid to open yourself up to new opportunities.

Because you have everything to gain. Yes, everything…

And not that much to lose.

Prepare For Career Success

4 Jun

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This weekend I went shooting.

Surprisingly, I wasn’t that bad.

I didn’t shoot myself by accident…so pretty much, I did much better than I expected.

It’s not something I do every day, but I’m glad I did it.

Because for a long time, I’ve been scared of guns. Terrified, really.

And for that reason, I never thought I’d actually pick one up and shoot it.

But I figured that if I ever (God forbid) find myself in a situation where I DO need to know how to shoot to defend myself, I’ll be a lot more successful if I’m comfortable with the basic concepts, having practiced a few times at the shooting range.

I figured that I’d feel a bit more PREPARED.

And that being prepared would ultimately give me a huge advantage.

Because that’s the thing about preparation. It DOES often give you a huge advantage.

And it can make a world of a difference.

Observing people, I’ve seen that there are way too many college graduates that enter the workforce completely unprepared.

However, every once in a while you’ll find a few who are prepared.

Not ENTIRELY prepared, because let’s face it…most of the time we have no idea what we’re doing.

But some graduates know better…some graduates enter new jobs with a basic understanding of work.

How to dress…

E-mail etiquette…

Professional behavior…

How to deal with people who are different

How to deal with people who are mean…

These are all concepts that I guess some people just tend to take for granted.

Because these days, most universities offer ONE HUNDRED MILLION THOUSAND courses and classes all aimed at helping college students prepare for the real world.

They’re all aimed at making sure that college graduates are successful in the workforce

And well…that’s kind of nice.

But unfortunately, a lot of people think that these sessions are stupid.

Confession: I used to be one of those people who thought the sessions were stupid.

I used to think…I’ll figure it out when I get there.

I used to think…Why waste my time in college preparing for my first real job when I have a million other things to deal with?

But the value of these courses shouldn’t be overlooked.

And if they’re offered to you for FREE, I’m going to punch you in the face if you don’t take advantage of them.

Because you’ll ALWAYS learn something that you didn’t know before.

ALWAYS…as long as you’re willing to listen.

And at the end of the day, that preparation will give you a huge advantage.

That preparation will set you apart from the rest.

That preparation will ensure that you’re successful.

Because just like me and my ability to shoot a gun…you’ll be more comfortable with certain concepts if:

a. you’re familiar with them

b. you’ve practiced, and

c. you’re not caught off-guard.

So if you can, give them a shot. What do you have to lose?

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Oprah’s Advice For New Grads

31 May

I’m such a sucker for commencement speeches.

I could really just sit and watch them all day.

But I don’t.

Because I have a job and have to work.

And be productive.

Regardless, here’s the latest one I’ve watched.

Oprah addresses the Harvard graduating class of 2013.

And anything that has to do with Oprah can’t be bad.

So if you have some time this weekend, watch it (You can start around minute 8).

Let me know what you think! 🙂

A Failure’s Guide to Surviving A Crisis

26 Oct

I wanted to murder my cat.

I usually love him.

But not yesterday.

Yesterday, the demonic creature that I share my room with decided it would be nice to knock over the glass of water I left on my windowsill…

Onto my BRAND. NEW. MacBook Air.

I was livid, to say the least.

My computer’s now being soaked in rice.

It’ll stay like that for a week.

And still, I’m pretty sure it’s fried.

So after a morning of pretty much cursing my cat’s existence, I later realized that it’s not worth being SO upset over.

Yes, it’s terrible. That thing cost me a fortune. But still, I’m pretty sure that monthly Botox injections to fix my frown lines are far more expensive than the replacement of said computer.

What I learned from this whole situation is the following:

It’s so easy to get upset about things!

God knows, if I got upset about every freaking failure I’ve ever had…from tripping over myself while standing in place to walking into a glass door…well, I’d be pissed off every day of my life because, well, I do stuff like that ALOT.

And you know what?

At work, you’re going to make mistakes too.

But you have a choice…

Either go crazy and flip out and cry

OR

Be a normal human being and process the situation.

You know that saying… “It’s not worth crying over spilt milk”…

Well, in my case, it’s not worth crying over spilt water all over my beautiful brand new computer.

It happened already.

It’s in the past.

I can’t change it (although I totally wish I could).

But what CAN I do?

Learn from it.

Note to Kayla:

DON’T EVER LEAVE WATER IN YOUR ROOM OR ANYTHING ELSE THAT YOUR CAT CAN USE TO DESTROY STUFF THAT YOU REALLY LIKE.

But really, no matter how much of a perfectionist you are, sh*t’s going to happen.

I promise.

So do your best to fix it. Do everything you can to make it better.

But after that, it’s done. It’s over.

Learn, move on, and in my case, don’t eat lunch for three months to save up money for a new computer.

Somehow, I’ll try to be nice to my cat again.

Why Success Freaks Us Out Sometimes

18 Oct

I’m in a ridiculously good mood today which is odd given that I’ve only slept perhaps a total of 7.48 hours this past week.

My hair’s up in a bun today which tells you that I had MAYBE a whole 10 minutes to get dressed today, if that.

But it’s fine because I still look somewhat decent having put in zero effort which is the goal of any sleep deprived grad school student I know.

Not bad for a Thursday.

But anyway, I’ve had some of the busiest few weeks of my life and I feel like a failure because I haven’t had the chance to sit down and write about any of it.

I get home, see my bed, and it practically calls out to me… for me to just lay in it forever. I listen.

But that’s no excuse.

To everyone who reads this blog and to everyone who congratulated me on being freshly pressed, THANK YOU! It means more to me than you’ll ever know.

Ever since I started writing, I thought it would be so cool to have my work freshly pressed on this site.

I never thought it would happen, but still, it’d be kind of awesome.

It WAS awesome.

Then, I kind of freaked out.

I thought to myself…what if I never write anything as good as that again? What if that’s the best I’ve got?

I thought about a Ted Talk by Elizabeth Gilbert that I watched a while back. She talks about how after she wrote Eat Pray Love, people feared that she’d never achieve success again.

Watch it. It’s great.

She says that after her huge success with her book, people would ask her:

Aren’t you afraid that you’re never going to be able to top that? Aren’t you afraid that you’re going to keep writing for your whole life and you’re never again going to create a book that anybody in the world cares about…at all…ever…again?

So why does success freak us out?

Because with every success, we climb THAT MUCH HIGHER up some kind of metaphorical ladder or hill or mountain or whatever.

The higher we get, the harder we fall if we fail.

Think about it for a second.

We spend most of our lives figuring out how to reach our goals, figuring out how to get there.

But what happens when we do? What happens when we achieve what we’ve set out to accomplish?

Is that it? Do we stop there?

Heck no.

When we reach one goal, how about we just keep shooting for another?

Don’t let the fear of failure paralyze you.

Keep moving. Keep doing.

Until you have nothing left to give.

Pretend you’re making lemonade with the last five lemons left on this planet.

Squeeze out every. single. last. drop that exists.

If your lemonade tastes freaking terrible, well, at least you used everything you had.

Same goes for your life.

When you have something wonderful, put everything you have into it.

A job…

A relationship…

A talent that you want to explore…

GIVE IT EVERYTHING.

And if you DO fail?

Well, at least you’ll know you did everything you possibly could.

And if you fail REALLY badly?

Well, just call me up and we’ll go have a drink.

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