Day 9: 3 ways to deal with apparent failure.

Day 3, No Writing, bump.
Day 4, No Writing, bump.
Day 5, 6, 7, No writing: bump, bump, bump in the road.
Day 8, I wrote on paper. Sometimes, cleaning away technology makes it easy to pump out the words.
Day 9, I took my paper work and adapted to the computer, and things started to flow again.

Oh Me, Oh My, Bumps in the road. What do I do?

My recent endeavors, blogging, exercise, writing, and eating habits, have all hit bumps in the road. The key is what do I do when I fall off the horse? What are my options? What can I do? Should I sit here and cry the sky is falling?

My first thought is, as long as I learn something from an experience, then the bump in the road is not a failure. So, What are my options with a bump?

Option 1> Give up! Such an easy path to take.

Sometimes, giving up is the correct way to handle a bump in the road. Yes, when we reach for a far off goal or challenge, there is a time to give up. For example, during High School, I wanted to play basketball in college. However, I was slow, moderately athletic, average height, and very short vertical leap. I shot baskets, did drills on my own, and even took up running to try to improve my basketball chances. This goal is one I should have given up sooner given my personal circumstances. The opportunity cost of time could have been put to better use. Yet, there was value in my the time spent working towards a career in basketball. I realized it wasn’t really a true passion for me. I learned something.

Option 2> Postpone! The procrastinator’s path.

Priorities mean we must make choices of what we do. It is the choices and the resultant actions that make our life. So, if you postpone a task that is a challenge or bump in the road, it is because you are doing so by a choice. You may have decided that some other task takes higher priority and ultimately has your attention. Again, you’ve learned the priority through your actions. It also means you can get back on the path to achieving your lofty goal when the priorities change.

Option 3> Persevere! Where there’s a will there’s a way path.

Try, try, try again. When there is a wall thrown in our way, We can find a way onto our path again no matter what. I think of this similar to the scene in Apollo 13 when “Failure is not an option”.

So, you make it a priority and above else, fall off the horse, get back on it.

The key I think is to learn and adapt. Ultimately, doing the same things, or steps, over and over again will not lead to new and better results. We must experiment with our actions in order to find the path over the bump in the road.

My recent personal practical examples:

My goal when I started the month of November was to write everyday. It became a huge challenge when my wife was out of town for business. I was okay with that, but when my toddler daughter came down with a fever inducing miserable virus.

At first, I was giving myself negative self-talk about missing my own short-term goals and deadlines. Yet, I made in my opinion the choise I wanted. I wanted to spend time with my daughter. I wanted to comfort her, wake-up with her in the middle of the night. It was my choice to postpone my goal. After a few days, she’s better, my wife is home, and I have recovered my sleep. I have allowed my priorities to change back, and I am back on the path to achieving my short-term goals.

Could I have written those days while my daughter was sick? Yes, I probably could have. Ultimately, though, I am happy with my choices. Sometimes, we just need to avoid the negative self-talk and learn.

So, I am back to writing. Will I write everyday? I will not say yes until I have changed my actions. I will experiment with new actions to identify what the best route for me to take.

In the meantime, How do you overcome a challenge?