Plan for failure | Life Series

Kudos to you if you are one of those few who kept their resolution from last year, and created new goals and objectives for this year. Happy New Year!!!

While crafting your new goals, I gather you may have reflected on all the good times, and perhaps also on the not so good times. Good for you.

Speaking of goals and objective, we usually plan for the successes we aspire to achieve in the times ahead. Of course, why would anyone prepare for failure?

And I am saying that we should. Let me explain.

Cruise control in cars is a blessing if you are on a long cross-country road trip, especially when the roads are clear from traffic; just set your speed, and let the car’s brain take charge. Have you ever snoozed on the wheel, or come close to it when your mind is not alert navigating the road? I have. It was frightening. And it made me wonder that switching my brain alert system off behind the wheel is fatal to me and my passenger’s health.

I know it’s not making any sense so far, so allow me to connect the dots for you.

How would you describe good times? Here’s how I would do:

* Happiness
* Being in love or being loved
* Success
* Good Health
* Harmonious relationship
* Confidence

Let’s flip this over.

Using the cruising example, have you ever experienced doing 110 kmph and suddenly hitting the brakes to a complete halt? If you have been vigilant, then you have most likely avoided an accident. Right then your alertness peaks. All thoughts along with any sleep evaporate. Driving on a busy, speeding and crazy traffic forces you to remain at high alert. For me, it is also the time my wife feels like having a solo conversation.


Let’s try another analogy.

Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is more than it should be, and you have difficulty fitting in your recently bought clothes, and yet you are happy and satisfied with your health condition, Tell me what your motivation level is to move the weighing scale needle to the left? Forget about the gym membership, bingeing on the couch would seem more appetizing. You know what comes next continuing this path.

One more.

Remember the first few days or weeks in your new job? You are at your best. Trying to make waves, make an impact, and give your best. And then success comes along. You have everything under control. No need to prove to anyone anymore. No need to go the extra mile. No need to push yourself further. Then what happens? Your work begins to fade, your work quality suffers, and if you are fortunate (and wise), a jolt of failure will get you back to your forward moving practices and will make the necessary changes to get back in the game.

One last one.

Imagine your company is going through a re-org, and you are concerned that the axe may fall on you. What does your wise self get you to do? You are furiously updating your CV, connecting with old colleagues and friends, and preparing for interviews to jump ship before it’s late. Phew! We were just imagining. Your company is doing well and you as well. But, you could do all those things while you are in your happy job. Not to hop over, but to be able to create and add more value to your current role.


No more analogies.

Let’s go back to the good times one more time. Based on the above examples, are we then saying…

* Happiness – could make you lazy…
* Love – could make you pampered..
* Success – could lead to ego…
* Health – could make your undisciplined…
* Relationships – could make you take others for granted…
* Confidence – could make your arrogant?

And does it mean difficult times make you…

* Disciplined
* Humble
* Hardworking
* Caring
* Vigilant…?

Strange isn’t it? It looks like good times could bring the worst in us, and difficult times or uncertainty could bring the best in us. The difficulty makes people extra focused, extra cautious and drives us to give our best.

If we practice things we would do during difficult times, then you would never have any difficult time. And when times are tough, continuing these practices will help you quickly get over these setbacks.

I am going back to my professional and personal objectives and will make sure to practice the strength and discipline all the time and commit to leading my life with beginner’s mindset.

What about you?

Share your thoughts.

Success to you!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: