We don ’ t want to hear that some things just take time . They just take time . It ’ s not about the number of hits but rather the number of times you step up to the plate .
How do you know if you ’ re going the right way ?
Just ask three questions :
1 . Am I gaining experience ?
2 . Will these experiences help ?
3 . Can I afford to stay on this path for a while ?
Sometimes the answer will be no . Sometimes the answer will be yes . But the answers will help point out the fact that you are learning , you are doing , you may be failing , but you ’ re moving …
Seth Godin is the best-selling author of 19 books including Purple Cow , Linchpin , and Tribes . He writes one of the most popular blogs in the world and routinely speaks at places like TED .
Seth offers similar advice in an interview he did on The Tim Ferriss Show : “ The number of failures I ’ ve had dramatically exceeds most people ’ s , and I ’ m super proud of that . I ’ m more proud of the failures than the successes because it ’ s about this mantra of ‘ Is this generous ? Is this going to connect ? Is this going to change people for the better ? Is it worth trying ?’ If it meets those criteria and I can cajole myself into doing it , then I ought to .”
Seth did another interview with Jonathan Fields on the popular self-help podcast Good Life Project . He said , “ I ’ m a big fan of poof .” What ’ s poof ? The idea that you try and if it ’ s not working — poof . You try something else .
I ’ m sharing this article as an excerpt of some of the research , lessons , and ideas on resilience in my new book You Are Awesome : How to Navigate Change , Wrestle With Failure , and Live an Intentional Life .
And what will I do if this book fails ? Well … poof . On to the next thing .
Don ’ t get me wrong . I want it to succeed ! I ’ d like to talk about You Are Awesome and the ideas it contains in interviews and meet people whose lives were helped or who shifted or evolved in a meaningful way through this conversation . I want that . I wish for that !
But I can ’ t determine that . All I get to do is take more pictures .
All I get to do is whatever I do right now and whatever I do next .
And that ’ s the point .
I have to keep going with my next book , my next talk , my next project , my next whatever , whether this one is a hit or a poof .
You need to keep going , too .
What do I know about thickening our skin and working our way up to awesome ?
Well , one thing I know is that we need to stop looking at successful people as if we ’ re looking at products of success . At success after success . Because you know what we ’ re really looking at ? People who are just really good at moving through failures .
MOVING THROUGH FAILURES IS THE REAL SUCCESS .
BUILDING RESILIENCE IS THE REAL SUCCESS .
The failures and the losses are part of the process for anyone who is willing to try . All successful people swim in ponds of failure . They swallow and choke on failure . They ’ re covered in gobs of failure . They have failure in their hair and under their fingernails .
So what ’ s the real goal ? Be like the T-1000 .
Do you remember the liquid metal bad guy from Terminator 2 ? Take a bullet to your shoulder . Take a bullet to your thigh . Let it heal over quickly as you tighten your menacing smile and keep walking forward and forward . Watch out for vats of molten steel in the middle of the abandoned warehouse ! Those really could kill you .
But fortunately , there aren ’ t too many of those around .
Cy Young also has the most losses . Nolan Ryan also has the most walks .
Todd Hanson says “ Do it for free for 10 years .”
And wedding photographers just take more pictures .
The most counterintuitive way to building more resilience and long-term success is to remember it ’ s not how many home runs you hit that counts . It ’ s how many at-bats you take .
The wins pile up when you increase the number of times you step up to the plate . +
Neil Pasricha is the New York Times-bestselling author of The Happiness Equation and The Book of Awesome series , which has been published in 10 countries , spent over five years on best-seller lists , and sold over a million copies . Pasricha is a Harvard MBA , one of the most popular TED speakers of all time , and after 10 years heading Leadership Development at Walmart he now serves as Director of The Institute for Global Happiness . He has dedicated the past 15 years of his life to developing leaders , creating global programs inside the world ’ s largest companies and speaking to hundreds of thousands of people around the globe .
GlobalHappiness . org