Tuesday, December 7, 2010

... and start all over again!

“Failure is a word I don't accept” – John Johnson

Johnson was a “self made man” in the USA who became one of the first Afro Americans to establish a major international business. He attributed his success to the fact that he never allowed external circumstances to dictate how he should feel, think, or act. He saw issues and problems as something to be overcome rather than as things that would destroy him.

The many things I remember from my childhood include a ditty from a movie called, I think, “I love Melville”. It went “Life has its funny little ups and downs, downs and ups, ups and downs” and gave me the impression that its always important to get up and try again after any fall. Those childhood memories also include the words, from I think, another movie “pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and start all over again.”

The end of any year is a time for reflection.

All of us have experienced many things during 2010. Some of these have been the ‘highs’ that we wanted – happy moments and times we consider the successes of the year. For many people these ‘highs’ vastly outnumber the ‘lows’ and, for some, may even mean that the ‘lows’ are forgotten. That’s a nice position to be in.

But for others, right now the ‘lows’ dominate. Just yesterday I was talking to a woman in her 40’s who, very early in the conversation made the comment that she had recently buried a teenage son. I can hardly imagine what this woman and her family must be feeling. Last Friday I heard that a friend from earlier years had lost his business and his home because of international economic factors. I know he will be devastated but making contact with him in order to provide support is proving difficult. Aged in his early 60’s, he’s going to find it hard to start again.

These are extremes. Fortunately most of us won’t have experienced things as devastating as this. But no matter what we have experienced - whether it is the ‘highs’ or the ‘lows’ – the critical thing is how we respond to it.

From my own experience, sometimes it seems as though it is easier to pick yourself up after a really significant “low” than it is after a whole series of smaller “lows”. It’s a bit like the “boiled frog syndrome” – when the temperature rises slowly the cumulative effect isn’t noticed in time to do something about it, but when the temperature rises suddenly the frog escapes and survives.

I wonder what 2010 held for you. More importantly, I wonder how you dealt with whatever happened.

I'd love to know what you think of this. Please make your comments below.

More information about me at http://www.dglong.com and my video blog is at http://www.youtube.com/user/GreatLeadership3G

1 comment:

  1. Nice post to end the year and thinking of a new beginning in 2011. There are so many new beginnings throughout our lives aren't there? Some people manage them better than others and my experience tells me that a factor that helps is resilience (I wager it will become one of the major personality factors along with the other five (and maybe hope as well). What works against it, I think, is rigidity and obsessiveness.