Failure, Rejection, and the Art of Being Average
Sep 16 2015

Tibetan monks creating a intricate mandala that they will soon wipe away and throw into a nearby river.

Tibetan monks creating an intricate mandala they will soon wipe away to illustrate impermanence. Later they will throw the colored sand into a nearby river and start the process over again.

Life seems to have a lot of rejection, failure, and unmet expectations in between occasions of blissful acceptance, success, peace, and happiness.

But it’s all part of the human experience and according to Pema Chodrin we need to Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better: Wise Advice for Leaning into the Unknown (Amazon link).  I heard about the book from Seth Godin’s blog post Failing, again. It’s a quick, easy read with a nice analogy of how we build resilience, understanding, and acceptance over time as we get better at dealing with the big waves that life sends us that sometimes knock us down. We struggle to get back up only to experience the next big wave trying to knock us down again!  I also recently read her book Practicing Peace in Times of War (Amazon link) and found it insightful.

The Top 5 Stressful Situations (1. Death of a loved one, 2. Divorce, 3. Moving, 4. Major Illness, and 5. Job Loss) can leave us feeling like a failure and/or rejected.   I’ve experienced 4 of those 5 events personally and two of them at the same time. [major stress emoji]  Based on my experience, it takes a great support network, a positive attitude, and not being afraid to ask for help (even if you ask for it in an imperfect way) to navigate these life changes and come out the other end with most of your mental faculties still in tact. 😀 You learn pretty quickly who your friends really are during those tough times. And if you take the time to learn from those experiences, you build resiliency to weather the next big wave and are able to help others get back up too!

Here are some great articles I’ve read recently that can help all of us put feelings of rejection, failure, and lack of confidence into perspective.

On feeling like a failure – Seth Godin

In Defense of Being Average – Mark Manson.  He is such a funny and talented writer!  It is okay to be average, because most of us are.

The Confidence Gap – The Atlantic.  This article discusses the unique challenges even the most talented and accomplished women face on the topic of confidence.

On Marrying the Wrong Person – The Book of Life.  Will the way we pick our spouses evolve yet again? I hope so.  This article discusses how we should pick our mate.  The method they suggest makes more sense than how we humans have typically done so in the last thousands of years.

Mixed Signals: Why People Misunderstand Each Other – The Atlantic.  What did she say? He couldn’t have really meant that, right? OMG, I can’t believe she didn’t understand me!

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Interesting Links And Random Thoughts – August 2012
Aug 12 2012

Until I figure out a strategy for this blog, which may continue to be known for it’s non sequitur personality like it’s owner, here are a few interesting reads and observations:

The 11 Ways That Consumers Are Hopeless at Math – The Atlantic

It’s Alright To Cry – gapingvoid cube grenade

Where does trust come from?  – Seth Godin.  “Hint: it never comes from the good times and from the easy projects. We trust people because they showed up when it wasn’t convenient…

“I don’t even know what I’m afraid of” – Seth Godin.

I wonder if there is such a thing as brown/tan-gray/silver color blindness.  If so, I think I have it.

I’m so proud of my son for asking people to donate to mycharity:water, bringing clean drinking water to those without, instead of giving him birthday gifts.  He exceeded his original goal by $160 so far for a total of $360!  He never once complained or mentioned that he didn’t get any presents and was happy he could serve so many people & families.

Close friends and even co-workers can often know you and accept you better than your own family, who may only be able to see you in the box that you desperately and continuously tried to break out of most of your life but you let them keep putting you back in there until you couldn’t anymore.


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