Happiness and No Failures

“There are no failures. Just experiences and your reactions to them.” – Tom Krause

It’s easy to zip by this gem. Especially if your mind is on something else, or you’re not reading with your whole heart. But take a moment to go back and read it for real.

Now let’s take it one step further and consider this: not only are there no failures but there is no good and bad, no right and wrong (this can be a tough sell, I know. Just go with me for a moment). Everything is just an experience with pros and cons, and we can decide how to react to it all. Think about how much stress you feel when you worry that you might make the wrong decision. Which college should I go to? Which house should I buy? We tell ourselves – it would be terrible if I chose the wrong one! Think about how much regret, disappointment, even anger you feel when you decide you’ve made the wrong choice. I shouldn’t have chosen this puppy. I shouldn’t have taken this job. We tell ourselves – my life would be so much better if only I’d chosen differently! But actually, we don’t know that at all. It’s a story we tell ourselves, not a fact. And that story blinds us to all the positives that can come of the decision we did make.

I like to suggest this visual to clients who are crippled with indecision: you’re in a room, and there’s a door for each option. There’s no “right door” while the all the rest are “wrong doors.” There are just different doors that lead to different journeys, each with its own positives and negatives. And it’s our choice what to do on each journey.

Try it. Next time there’s a decision to make, take away all the fear by dropping the delusion that there is a “right” choice that will lead to success and happiness and all the other choices are “wrong” choices that will lead to failure and misery. And then notice how much easier it is to make the decision and live with it.