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It is the word that many people hate to hear, yet everyone experiences it at some point in life. Failure is just a part of living, breathing, and learning. A good friend of mine says, “Sometimes you win, and sometimes you learn.”

Those times that we fail should be a learning experience that propels us forward with greater knowledge and experience. However, too many people fail and give up. They decide that wallowing in their self-made mud is better than finding success through achievement. To those people, I am sorry for your decision, but wallowing is now helping anyone.

A simple fact is, if you are living, you will fail at something. There are ways to avoid failure, as I list below, but the fact is – you will fail. When you fail, learn from it. Pick yourself up, evaluate the situation and develop another plan to keep moving forward.

Failure is not the end; it is just the beginning.

Four Ways to Avoid Failure

1. Always Keep Growing

Never let your learning stop! The moment your learning stops is the moment you stop growing. Your growth will continue with your education and your experience. Just because school stopped does not mean you should.  I hate to break it to you, but there is more to life than school; much more. Just because school stops, your education should not stop. Keep growing. Develop a plan to grow.

Here are a few things to try as you always keep growing:

  • Read a book outside of your comfort zone.  – Do not violate personal principles, but read outside of your typical genre.
  • Develop a new skill. – Take up a musical instrument, learn to write, learn public speaking, let to coke, etc.
  • Pick a project and get to it. – Not a hobby, but a project. Build something, develop a new product, etc.

2. Remember what is important!

Many things will come and go in your life, but the essential things usually stay with you. When you reflect on life years now, the important thing will matter most. There are things in life that matter, and there are things that do not. Pick those that do and focus your time there. Some things are always important, and some things are also urgent; do not confuse the two. The invariably important aspects of life (family, children, marriage, etc.) should be on your radar every day.

It is amazing how many people have sat in my office, in coffee shops with me or at a restaurant and share their difficulties because they let the non-important take the place of the important. In fact, here are a couple of questions below to help you out:

  • Which is more important – family or Facebook? If you answered Facebook, you are wrong.
  • What are the three most important things in your life? – Typically, if they are material, you need to reevaluate your life.
  • When you take your last breath, what will be the critical things you remember?

3. Build Knowledgeable Relationships

Throughout your life relationships will come and go, but each one can provide strength through knowledge. If you are surrounding yourself with people to make you better, then you will grow. If you surround yourself with whining people or people who are always negative, then you will find yourself in the trap of the whiny, negative crowd. Decide to surround yourself with people looking for the same goals you are seeking to achieve. Do not do it for a selfish reason, but reasons of worth. You are a valuable person, and you can bring your skills to others and together you can achieve great success.

Knowledgeable relationships can be found anywhere. A face-to-face relationship is one of the best, but sometimes, you might need to reach out across the world to find others of the same mindset. You can use resources like social media, forums, email and other internet tools to build those relationships.

Here are a few suggestions to evaluate your relationships:

  • Who are the people that bring me down? – These could be really good people, but remember, if they bring you down, then you are undoubtedly influenced by them; note those people.
  • Who are the people that lift me up? – There are people who lift you up every time you are around them; note those people.
  • Who are the people that I lift up? – There are people who are around you because you lift them up; note those people.
  • Who are the people that we mutually lift each other up? – There are people in your life that you lift up and you lift them up. Together, each of you are building one another up; be around these people.

4. Remember to Relax

Life is about more than work; life is a journey. Along the journey, you must rest. Imagine running a marathon at full-speed every step. If you did run at full-speed for 26.2 miles, your body would not last very long. The same is true in life. Life is a marathon, and you need to take time to rest. As you rest, truly rest. I know many people take vacations or time to relax, and then they keep working. It is easy to do, and I have done it for years. It was not until I found the value of rest to be fuel to greater thoughts that I genuinely find the time to rest. Resting allows your mind to stop working and you can think clearly and de-stress. When your brain works continuously, it can get clouded. Your thoughts start to run together, and your mind is boggled with too many situations.

Here are a few thoughts to help you relax:

  • Have you ever taken 10 minutes a day and just relaxed? – It is a simple step that yields significant results. It might be you need to step away from your desk and take a quick walk around the office or even outside. Maybe you need to come home and spend 10 minutes unwinding before dinner. Give yourself 10 minutes a day and see what happens.
  • Do you have to do everything? – Some people feel they must do everything and they pressure themselves into allowing too many things to cloud their minds. Make a list of what you (1) have to do, (2) must do, and (3) need to do. If you want another, then make another list of (4) what someone else can do. Evaluate your lists and see if the things on your list are things you HAVE to do. It might be an eye-opening experience.

Ok, are you ready to go and grow?

Just some thoughts,