Every sports fan saw it—who doesn’t watch Monday Night Football?—that last second Hail Mary into the end zone by the Seahawks’ quarterback, Russell Wilson, to win the game. Damn, that sure stung the opponent—Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. But I was glad the Pack’s head coach, Mike McCarthy, reminded his team that although the loss was hard to swallow, it also presents an opportunity. It presents a chance to rebound next Sunday stronger, grittier and meaner. It presents a chance to turn that negative energy into fire.
Be ready for it, it’s coming—the Packers will be out for blood this Sunday. They’re gonna show the world how real teams handle adversity. That’s what I want to discuss in today’s blog post—rebounding tougher after failure.
I’m a recent writing graduate. Writing is what I want to do. Writing is what I love to do. And recently I had the opportunity to take a giant step towards making that dream, of making a living as a writer, come true. I was being auditioned and interviewed for a book project, one that, if hired, I’d conceive, write and edit. It’d be the first piece I’d be paid (decently) for. I was confident I’d get the job.
You probably know what happened next—I didn’t. It really sucked. I was kind of angry. But I had to keep my self-sabotaging thoughts in check, thoughts that told me I didn’t land the job because I was a bad writer. So every time my inner critic had whispered something discouraging in my ear, I did my best to turn that negativity into a composed anger, a tamed fire.
I had woken up the next morning at 6 am and wrote for three hours—before breakfast, before checking my email, before letting the dog out his cage. It felt empowering, as if I had finally grown the cajones to shape my own destiny regardless of whatever life heaves at me.
With failure comes greater opportunity. That may sound cliché, but understand that concept and nothing will hold you back. For example, if I had landed the contract, I wouldn’t have had the time to work on my other writing projects. Now, I do. So I’m going to take advantage. I’m only moving forward—even if life is demanding that I take a step back.
Think about a recent negative event in your life. How can you be like a martial artist and use that negative force, that resistance to turn it on itself and move on the attack? What negative can you turn into a blazing positive? Let us know in the comments!