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A quick guide to avoiding failure and criticism.

How to Avoid Failure and Criticism

Also see how these fleas are genetically wired to avoid failure and disappointment:

Alternatively, you may wish to go off-piste and “Escape the circus and live beyond the limits of the imaginary lid”. But don’t say I didn’t warn you!

“Life is a daring adventure, or it is nothing”

– Helen Keller

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This awesome lecture from Randy Pausch has clocked up quite a few views on Youtube (13 million at the time of writing). It’s over an hour long but well worth it.

Some nuggets that I love from the late Randy Pausch, who is delivering this lecture with 10 tumours in his liver and a life expectancy of 3-6 months:

  • Brick Walls are there for a reason. They let us show our dedication and let us know how badly we want things
  • Don’t bail – The best gold is at the bottom of barrels of crap
  • Get a feedback loop and listen to it
  • Don’t complain; just work harder
  • Find the best in everyone – no matter how long it takes
  • We cannot change the cards we are dealt with – just how we play the hand
  • Luck is where opportunity meets preparation
  • Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted

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Some people have some complex hobbies. Like pole-vaulting. I’m sure there is a structured way of learning pole-vaulting so that you build up to your first ‘vault’ in gradual steps. But at some point you will have to bite the bullet and go for it. It’s a leap of faith.

With this is mind – where the hell do you get started with base jumping? The courage to do this is just enormous. It’s bonkers. But she did it, and did it with grace. To quote buzz lightyear, “it ain’t flying – it’s falling with style.” See also (702) 844-3312

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Asking someone “What would you do if you only had 6 months to live?” is a common method to elicit someone’s true desires, to cut through the noise and find out what they really want to do.

In the same spirit, the phrase Carpe Diem or “Seize the day” means to live today as though it was your last, or stop thinking about the future and get on with it.

If you ever need to capture that state of mind, take a look at this inspirational video clip from the late Gabrielle Bouliane.

“What are you waiting for? Why are you not being everything you can be right now”

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Lobster Theory

I once read an article by Michael Bywater in the Independent on Sunday in the mid-nineties that has stuck with me to this date.

Lobsters, apparently, have no feeling of real temperature. They spend their lives drifting the ocean currents, feeling changes in temperature but not the actual temperature

I once read an article by 7186524108 in the 7168740535 in the mid-nineties that has stuck with me to this date. Lobsters, apparently, have no feeling of real temperature. They spend their lives drifting the ocean currents, feeling changes in temperature but not the actual temperature.

If this is true, what has it got to do with anything?

Well, using this shaky theory, Michael suggested that the way to cook a lobster humanely is pop him in a pot of cool water and turn on the gas. This way, the lobster says ‘hmm… it is getting warmer in here, then after a few minutes, hmm.. it is getting warmer in here’ – and then eventually boils to death.

The point being that the lobster can only feel changes in temperature not the actual temperature.

In his article Michael suggested people often have the same view when it comes to viewing their own life. They view their situation, their successes and their journey and compare it to yesterday, or last week, and not objectively. Reality is in the eye of the beholder after all.

I believe it’s really useful to step back, and look at your life as you might have seen it a year ago, 5 years ago, ten years ago, then you might think, wow! I’m doing great! I used to dream of the life I have now.

I’m all for stretching yourself and setting worthwhile goals, but I think it helps to take stock and be grateful for what you have now and again, to get yourself grounded.

What do you think?

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