I've had to learn in life to be a good listener. And how did I achieve that? By failing, time and time again.
Failiure is something that all of us dread at some level. Furthermore, this level of dread can vary according to the country and cultural background you've come from.
In the UK for example, failiure can be considered a nadir so harsh, that most people (including myself on occasion), would rather stay in a bad situation for weeks, months and even years on end, than take the risk of ending up out on a limb, by breaking away from it.
It could be anything from a bad unyielding/unrewarding job, an unhealthy situation with a partner, a place they're living in and even a business they've run successfully for years on end, but has slowly but surely slid exponentially into the quicksand of zero profits and then losses, for a lengthy period of time. The concept of sunk costs can apply here to a degree, but ultimately it's all akin to putting a rusty brake shoe on the wheels of your life. Eventually it starts to grind on you and slows things down considerably.
However, in some countries failiure is considered par for the course for everyone who has stepped out to do things their own way. It's even celebrated in some quarters as a 'you've had a go, so well done for trying!' scenario.
For instance, I've noticed on countless trips to the USA, that people have a better ability to shrug mistakes off, take stock and even laugh at the situation retrospectively with greater ease. This allows more progress and keeps your inner motor moving, in order to soldier on with the next thing.
I'm generalising to a degree, but most failiures aren't so bad that you can't pick yourself off the ground and start again. I've known people to lose their husbands/wives, jobs, and even lose their houses and cars and still soldier on.
And not all these people have had the support of family and friends, either. The aforementioned can help, but ultimately what makes or breaks you is how you deal with it. Because ultimately it's you who has to deal with it and move on from it.
Of course, failiure hurts. And the reason it hurts, is due to our egos. It's that inner voice which starts to nag at us and tell us we're complete rubbish and can't believe we've ended up here. And sadly, sometimes people struggle to quash that negative inner voice enough to move on from it and start afresh, until after a longer period of time.
But being someone who does believe in a higher power or force that is always there for us ( i.e. god, or the universal light/divine source, or whatever you want to call it), I feel that failiure is a lunchbox of lessons that we've got to learn from, ameliorate, and move onwards to greatness.
But this requires courage. It requires the courage to listen.
I'm not refering to all the advice your friends and family can give you, if you are blessed enough to have that many people around you to be there in your hour(s) of need. I'm refering to the silence within. That requires you to be still, quiet and accept what went wrong. If there's something you need to put right, then do so. If there's nothing you can do, then you have to accept that too.
And sometimes there are no quick fixes. In fact, quick fixes are rare in my humble experience.
So it becomes more about taking your time, in order to allow yourself room to acknowledge, accept, and then move on from the situation. As cliche'd as that sounds, it really is the nub of what it boils down to.
The best part of this is something I learned from listening to an elder, wiser man. That man was, and still is, my father. He once said to me :-
' failiures are the pillars of our sucesss'.
The one thing I can add to that, is something I've learned along the way as well. In effect, someone who hasn't failied in life, hasn't learned anywhere near as much as someone who has.
Here's to allowing yourself to fail, learning from it, and moving on to brighter and better things ahead.
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