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The fine line between failure and success

Reading time ~5 min

So…because I don’t have a report to write this weekend I’ve had some
time to ponder and reflect on stuff (and read my mail)- I thought I’d
share some stuff that came to the fore of my mind again now when reading
a newsletter.

Since the early days of playing competitive sport (in those days it was
paintball) I’ve always been astounded as to the intensity of the
emotions involved when you win and when you lose. Particularly how when
you are on a losing streak (or your personal game just sucks) it’s
really tough to drag yourself out of that and come back kicking ass. I
hate to lose…I really hate it…

That stuff started to make a lot more sense to me when I was older and
started fighting – when people tell you fighting is 95% mental and 5%
physical don’t think they are being cute – it’s spot on. My coach at the
time worked a lot of mental game stuff and the improvements were very
tangible. Taking a solid punch and not even blinking as you give a
harder one back, even when you can barely see anything but stars, takes
an almost iron will, and equally can destroy an opponent’s resolve.

MH, Bradley, the Panda and I had a similar talk around this just on
Thursday in the chill room, where the talk was about penalty taking in
soccer, and to protect the innocent we won’t go into anymore specific
detail on this. Suffice to say that it’s tough…very… :>

The same principles are of course applicable to life in general (in fact
I’ve tried to apply that thinking to other areas of my life too and
wouldn’t have it any other way) and to business. MH blogged before his
trip about a book he read called The Dip, by Seth Godin. I also read
this book about a week or two ago, and it really does say a lot without
saying a lot…things we think we should know…hmmm

Without going into too much detail, the book basically talks about how
most people quit something at the most inopportune moment – when they
are in a dip and success is just on the other side. Also, people tend to
stick with stuff that is going nowhere out of fear to quit…and end up
wasting their lives / effort / potential etc

I read this from Napolean Hill this morning:


Most failures could have been converted into successes if someone had
held on another minute or made more effort.

When you have the potential for success within you, adversity and
temporary defeat only help you prepare to reach great heights of
success. Without adversity, you would never develop the qualities of
reliability, loyalty, humility, and perseverance that are so essential
to enduring success.

Many people have escaped the jaws of defeat and achieved great victories
because they would not allow themselves to fail. When your escape routes
are all closed, you will be surprised how quickly you will find the path
to success.

-Napoleon Hill


I’m also reading a book at the moment on some of the greatest traders
and how they had success. The one thing that sticks out the most in my
mind is that those who were good were able to detach themselves
emotionally from their wins, and particularly their losses.

Some of these guys were able to recover from being far in the red to
becoming centi-millionaires. How? By taking the losses, understanding
they will come by nature of the business, and pushing on through the
worst of times, keeping their composure and not giving up.

What’s interesting is if you look at our work, particularly some
assessments, this same situation becomes true. I believe that what
separates those who are good from those who are ok is how hard you push
and where you give up when you are down. I saw it on a number of
projects I had over the last year or so…when I was about ready to
quit, way outside of my comfort zone, tired and sick, I pushed on and
ultimately got some solid rapage at the end.

What makes us great at what we do in my opinion is the attitude, not the
technical skill – skills are easy to pick up – the competiveness and
will to fight for it is what makes a potentially good hax0r a great one.
Most of us take our work personally (I know I do) and I’d rather be
great and tired then average and comfortable.

To sum up my arb ramblings, I had some stuff in my life recently that I
really don’t want to go into, but that made me question a lot of things,
and really messed with my attitude. Taking a step back, looking at the
big picture, riding the wins and cutting the losses early, knowing where
to push and where to quit, and pushing it where I was sick, tired or
hurt got me through on the good side.

Maybe it works for someone….maybe it doesn’t…but just putting it out
there :>


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