There is enormous power in failure, especially if we truly learn from it. Several years ago when living on the West coast I was very impressed by a graduation speech that Steve Jobs gave at Stanford University. He emphasized the importance of failure to success, particularly after he was fired at age 30, from Apple, the company he co-founded. "It turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.," he said. "The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods in my life."
Well we all know the rest of the story, as I write this on my iMac and no doubt each of you have either and iPod, iPhone, iPad or some device made by Apple. In the past several years you may have either been directly affected by the loss of a job, reduced pay or you know someone who has gone through this experience. Having gone through a setback myself in 2006 and having worked directly with hundreds of individuals since that time, I would like to share some suggestions.
First take a deep breath and BE HERE NOW. Face reality as it is, not as it was or as you wish it were. This is one of the biggest obstacles to moving ahead, the desire to return to the previous "status quo" or the inability to accept the reality of where you are. Accept the brutal facts.
If you are in a situation that is unpleasant or feels shaky realize this: Whatever got you to where you are today will not be sufficient to keep you there. The "World is Flat", competition is greater than ever and productivity is accelerating each moment. The skills, knowledge and experience you possess may not be enough for the future. Start training and expanding your skills and knowledge today.
Connect to your purpose. Often we hear the term "reinvent" yourself; people come to me with decades of experience and want to go in a completely different field or direction. Well sometimes that may work, however, my experience has been it is best if you can "repurpose" yourself. Meaning that you identify from the things you have been doing in your life what do you enjoy and love the most. This is no doubt close to your purpose, when doing that which you love you will do it well.
Have no fear. Sam Wells, the dean of Duke University Chapel, said to a recent graduating class: "The most powerful person in the world is the one who isn't paralyzed by the fear of their own failure."
In this challenging time look at the changes we confront and find the opportunity for your future. The future of America is counting on YOU!
When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.
Developing Potential, Producing Results