Every year as we begin the new year we start with great aspirations for the future. New resolutions and a fresh determination to make the new year better than the last. Eventually, though the newness wears off and its another year. A year for successes and disappointments, a year for steps forward and often times twice as many steps back. For many of us by June and July, we are thinking the year is almost half over and I'm not any closer to my goals, dreams, or aspirations than I was last year. We start looking back over the year and years past and think, I've made too many mistakes.
But have you? Have you really made too many mistakes or have you maybe not made enough? See people who have achieved success and reached their goals understand something that others do not. Every step forward and every step back is all part of the journey. They understand that failures are not really failures unless you quit and mistakes are in reality opportunities to learn. You have probably heard of the story of Thomas Edison who when asked if he had actually failed a thousand times to invent the light bulb replied, "No, I found a thousand ways that do not work."
Years ago I used to draw every day. I loved drawing. As time went on I convinced myself I couldn't make a living as an artist and let my life move on to other things. Then around September of 2018, I bought an antique drafting table and started drawing again. I remembered a lot of things but had forgotten more. I also no longer had the muscle memory for making shapes and forms with a pencil or pen. I am in the process of relearning a skill I used to do naturally but as I was reading and studying about how to improve I came across a comment from one author. He said a portrait artist loves finding mistakes because each mistake brings him closer to his goal of a likeness in the portrait. I think you can apply that philosophy to any aspect of your life. Every mistake you make and are willing to learn from brings you that much closer to your final goal. You've only found one more way it will not work for you. The right way is still out there but you are going to have to be determined enough to work your way through the mistakes, the setbacks, and the disappointments to find it. I will not lie to you it is not going to be easy if was then everyone would succeed.
People who have success many times make it look easy. Trust me it wasn't. They failed too. They made mistakes too. You are just looking at the end of the story, not the entire book. When we get discouraged we often quit because we are not accomplishing our goals like someone else. We think I've messed up too much because they didn't make the mistakes I did. Do not get distracted by how well you are doing compared to anyone but yourself. I had a teacher once tell me, "A doctor who passes his final test with a C and a doctor who passes his final test with an A are both still doctors." The goal is to finish YOUR race. I promise you if you really try to accomplish something this year, you are going to have some failures, setbacks, and hardships. It is not a question of will there be hard times, but what you will do when they arrive.
I believe 2019 is going to be a year with some great struggles and challenges. I think it is going to be a year that we see the worst in some people and the best in others. I think it will be a great year of accomplishments for those willing to overcome the obstacles and challenges. I believe this will be a year of proving to others and yourself that you can and will accomplish great things. Don't allow the distractions of mistakes and noise take you off your course. This year be determined to remain focused on reaching goals, accomplishing dreams, and most importantly enjoying the journey along the way. Be willing to make some big mistakes this year, because it takes some great risk to achieve great rewards.
Go into this year determined to fail a lot and fail often. Make huge mistakes. Fall flat on your face. Then get up, dust off, smile and say, "Ok, what's next?"