The title probably seems a little misleading. Failure is a skill? You are probably wondering what the heck I am talking about… How to master the skill of failure? No, I am not smoking anything and no I have not had too much to drink. Yes, I did post about where to find cheap wine, but I did not go overboard on the sauce before writing this.
Let me start this post by telling you we have had one of the craziest weeks. Well, I guess it has been the past 2 weeks, but I digress. It started last Saturday when Greg hit a deer at 3:30 in the morning on the way to work. Yeah that sucks, but one thing, no problem we can handle that. We have car insurance so we can turn that in and luckily we do not have a deductible for comprehensive claims.
Well, if that isn’t enough, our washing machine broke, our dryer was on the fritz, my car died at an intersection and Greg bought an “extra” $850 of gift cards for Home Depot. Oh, and our contractor we were using for renovating the duplex, well we decided to part ways. It was a mutual decision, but man it was tough to swallow that pill in the middle of a project.
Needless to say, I feel like the past 2 weeks have been one failure after another….after another… after another.
So what did we do? We are still in the process of picking up the pieces from that giant mess. We are really just taking one thing at a time.
We got an estimate for how much it will be to pay for the car and it will cost about $3,000. We did turn it into our insurance and we DO NOT have a comprehensive deductible (Thank you Jesus).
We went 4 days without a washing machine and ordered a new washer and dryer on Wednesday of last week and we have them already. As I mentioned, Greg spent and “extra” $850. He was going to buy Best Buy gift cards for gas perks when he showed up at Best Buy with Home Depot gift cards instead. Guess what? You can’t exchange those. Giant Eagle wont’ allow that. Such is life. I didn’t even get mad. Whatev at this point.
Oh and my car? Yep, I was on my way back home after running errands and the damn thing just stopped at an intersection. Just shut off. For no reason. After I turned off the car a couple times and turned it back on, it started up an I took off like a bat outta hell and just tried to get home ASAP.
We got the car into the shop and had it checked out and everything appeared to be fine. The coolant was a bit low, but other than that everything was fine. Oh, and of course Greg was out of town during the whole car fiasco.
You might remember from our Real Estate Update that we are in the midst of renovating a property. Well, our contractor had so much going on that we decided to part ways. So now, we are looking for other help in this department as well. Luckily, we know some other handy people who have volunteered to help us in their free time until we can find a new contractor.
Needless to say, I wanted to crawl into a hole and bury myself there. It would have been so much easier.
I felt like this was such a mess and we would never get out of it. I felt like it was “all just a little too much” like Sean Mendez sings about. Yes I realize I am probably a little old to be quoting him, but the Hanson brothers are no longer cool. That was my era.
Anyways, back to mastering the skill of failure.
I personally feel that failure is something that is looked at in a very negative way. By definition, failure means “the lack of success.”
In reality, I think we need to look at failure as nothing more than just a way to turn things around. I think that failure is a skill because it takes a mindset shift to realize that when things do not work out the way we thought they would, we need to turn the situation into a learning experience and realize what we need to get out of the circumstance and move on.
We tend to internalize failure as something we did that was terrible or wrong and often times that prevents us from taking another step in the right direction.
I do not think that needs to be the case.
Failure is a chance to pivot in the right direction. For example, yes my husband spent $850 dollars on gift cards that we didn’t need, but we are in the middle of a renovation and the gift cards can be used. Does it suck that he spent that money, yes, but we know that it will be used. We just didn’t think we would need the gift cards this quickly…. Let me rephrase. We didn’t need them this quickly, but there is nothing we can do about it other than move on and use them for the duplex renovation.
The other example I can use is this one. We no longer have a contractor. It is a scary thing that right in the middle of renovation we now have to go and find another one. Someone we have never used. Someone we do not know. In this case, we could look at it like this is a terrible failure and wallow in our sorrows.
But we choose to go forward. This will not be the last crazy thing we face. We look at it like it is a failure because it is a lack of success. A lack of a successful renovation. At the end of the day, we still know that we have to push forward because stopping is not an option. We love this duplex and love the process of making a distressed home a beautiful place for someone else to live.
If something doesn’t turn out the way you think it should, do not get discouraged and do not hold onto the negative failure connotation. Quickly realize what you have to learn from it and pivot in another direction.
If something doesn’t go the way you think it should have, ask yourself these questions:
- What can I learn from this experience?
- What options do I have now?
- Why does this situation seem like a failure?
- What have I failed to achieve and why?
- How can I turn this situation into something positive?
- How do I move forward from here?
In regards to our finances, we were lucky that we had enough money up front to pay for the Home Depot gift cards… and the Best Buy gift cards without having to worry about the money. We would not have been so lucky before October 2014. If you have not read our story, go back and read about how we changed our financial future.
Failure is a skill. It is skillful to turn a bad situation into something positive. It is skillful to turn your mindset around and believe that when bad things happen, there are reasons for it and sometimes these reasons will make your life a whole lot better. Trust me, I know it is easy to get discouraged and down when things don’t go as planned. Get good at failing… or at least picking yourself up after you fail. It is a skill you will never regret learning. Take one step at a time and just move forward.
If you want to see some progress, or lack of progress on the duplex, I created 2 short videos of the upstairs and downstairs. Yes I look terrible, but it is a construction site so cut me a little slack.
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