Time to face the fear. Whether you fear or merely have a healthy respect for death or failure, facing the music is the only way to overcome them and live better.
It is a tough place to live. Rose-colored glasses make lots of situations look better than they truly are, but in the end, reality tends to crash the party. Pretending to be an ostrich is another popular technique to (not) face reality. This posture leaves the posterior vulnerable. So, what is the better way?
Knowledge is power.
When it comes to both death and failure, one thing should be blatantly obvious: It will happen. Regardless of wishes to the contrary and millions of sanitized profiles with magnificent pictures, no one is perfect. Every one of us has faults and has failed at something…more than once. Only in embracing the failure to we become better.
Death is no different. Fearing the inevitable is a fruitless waste of vitamin C. While suggesting embracing death may well give readers the wrong impression, let’s say we should recognize death.
Embracing failure is not seeking failure. Instead, it is owning the failure, recognizing the mechanics of it and learning how to avoid it in the future. In the simple example of fire, anyone can learn not to put their fingers into the flame.
In the complex world of relationships, anyone can learn not to get involved with someone who is poisonous. (If readers need advice on how to determine which partners are poisonous, comment. They have special markings like snakes.)
The concept should not be lost on you: Death is inevitable.
Despite cryogenic research and the advanced state of medical sciences, death is prescribed for the average human between the ages of 67 and 82. Notable differences in age at time of death are attributed to diseases and consequences to both healthy and imprudent behaviors, but the average person enjoys around 75 years on the Earth.
In recognizing the concept, the goal becomes: Make every day count.
The marriage of the engaging and recognizing produces a powerful outlook. First, you are able to see the advantage in what appears to be adversity. Second, you are able to positively affect change.
It does not take an eternal optimist to see the silver lining in the cloud. Failure is nothing but a cloud. If you do not dissect it and remove the silver, it will settle on the ground to be a fog which encases you. Instead of letting it fuzz your vision of the future (or completely obscure it), take one step back. Focus on the light.
From this vantage point, you will better be able to see the events which landed you in the fog bank. You will also see the edges of the cloud. Grab the silver, head for the lighted path and skirt the failure. Now you have choices: Use the silver to buy better navigation equipment or craft better defenses.
Before you reach the end of the road, you will have accomplished many things. Some of those things make you giggle and wonder what you were thinking. Some will make you hang your head. Still others will bring a triumphant exhilaration. Rather than fear the inevitable, make more victorious moments.
Victory comes in many forms. Choose as many as you like:
- Celebrate your own and your grand/children’s successes.
- Plant a tree.
- Appreciate from where the love in your life comes.
- Engage others.
- Help those who need it.
- Make a monument.
- Help yourself.
- Be kind.
- Forgive, especially yourself.
- Love someone.
- Care for an animal.
- Learn something.
- Teach someone.
- Leave a legacy of charity.
The Fortune Cookie
The following poem sums up this message. Whether you attribute this poem to Robert H. Smith, Ette Johnson or Wilfred Grindle Conary, the message is still the same.
The clock of life is wound but once,
And no man has the power
To tell just when the hands will stop
At late or early hour.
To lose one’s wealth is sad indeed,
To lose one’s health is more,
To lose one’s soul is such a loss
That no man can restore.
The present only is our own,
So Live, Love, toil with a will —
Place no faith in ‘Tomorrow’ —
For the clock may then be still.
What do you do to build your memories and legacy? Do you have something specific you want to do in your life? What do you want to do you have not done? When are you going to start?
© Red Dwyer 2012
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