Sometimes your bracket just stinks: a life lesson

Basketball BracketYou read the so-called experts’ opinions. You read the stats and you checked your gut. Then you made your selections and held your breath. You did your due diligence and things still wound up in the toilet.

Are we talking about basketball brackets? Marketing? Career? Well yes, we are. All of that.

If you’re a college hoops fan you know your tournament bracket could be about as worthless as a comb for a bald guy like me.

You may have heard it said that successful people fail often. (Seth Godin’s take on it here is worth the read.) In fact, they may fail more often than unsuccessful people. The thing is, successful people learn from their failures, get back up, and keep going. The unsuccessful ones let themselves be stopped in their tracks by their failures, mired in defeat.

There are lots of spectacular ways to fail.

Maybe you accepted a new job only to realize it was the worst mistake ever in your career. Or maybe you were the hiring manager who discovered you just brought in the employee from hell.

Perhaps you thoroughly researched and carefully placed all the right keywords for your website but your traffic is still in the cellar. Or your very creative email campaign had a dismal open rate and the response was pathetic. Just like the tournament bracket that’s covered with red ink, things just don’t always turn out like you’d hoped.

Embarrassing? Sure. End of the world? Well, that’s up to you.

Sometimes your “bracket” just stinks but it isn’t the end of the world unless you let it be.

First thing to remember is you can fail and still go on to be a smashing success. Then remember that you, and only you, are in control of how you react to any circumstance, be it failure or success.

When you’ve suffered a setback, don’t try to pretend it didn’t happen. Take it for the opportunity that it is, find the lessons to be learned, and move forward.

Thomas Edison supposedly tried unsuccessfully 3,000 times to create the light bulb. But he said, “I didn’t fail 3,000 times – I just found 3,000 ways not to create a light bulb.” He learned from each of his attempts, fine tuned his approach, and ultimately saw the light. (Sorry for that pun.)

If your “bracket” stinks, you’ve learned one way not to do it. Try another way and keep on keeping on.

Have you failed only to succeed later?

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One thought on “Sometimes your bracket just stinks: a life lesson

  1. Pingback: And sometimes your bracket comes out smelling like a rose | Chip Away

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