I had a conversation with my husband this week about our life and journey so far. We realised that a lot of the time when we may have stepped back from something or even become discouraged and given up, is that we didn’t actually need to. As we have grown in our capacity and as leaders we’ve learnt something that is so important to how we run our race. It’s that when you hit an obstacle, become discouraged, have people leave who’ve supported you or you struggle financially, physically or emotionally there is something we can do. It’s adjust! Adjust our tack, strategy and the way we move.
The actual definition of adjust is to: alter or move (something) slightly in order to achieve the desired fit, appearance, or result. Yet unfortunately far too often we don’t adjust when we are faced with a crisis or difficulty. We usually either throw up our hands and give up or we dig in our heels and hope that with some extra effort in our existing strategy, that it will work. Sometimes digging in and perseverance is the right thing to do, but if we have tried our very best at something and we still aren’t getting the desired results or seeing God’s breakthrough then wisdom would say, adjust strategy and make a different move.
Any adjusting means assessing our life, being really honest about where we are positioned, how we are feeling and what we are thinking, and then choosing to seek God. It also means being humble enough to admit to ourselves and others that our plan isn’t working. However a plan not working does not mean that we have failed completely. We simply need to be prepared to go back to the “drawing board” to get another plan to move forward with. Many call this mind set failing forward because failing forward is about leveraging mistakes; making a realistic assessment of risks and the ability to live with the downside and experiment with new approaches.
Before their breakthrough many of the world’s most successful people experienced what many would define as “failure”. However, they learnt to adjust and to fail forward. Edward Hubbard said, “there is no failure except in no longer trying“.
James Dyson failed forward 5,126 times in his prototype before creating the best-selling bag less vacuum cleaner that led to a net worth of $4.5 billion.
Thomas Edison learnt to adjust and fail forward even though his teachers told him he was too stupid to learn anything. He went on to hold more than 1,000 patents, including the phonograph and electric lamp.
Walt Disney was told he lacked imagination and had no good ideas by his former newspaper editor. He went on to create a cultural icon bearing his name.
Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first job as a TV anchor. She is now a billionaire and owner of her own TV channel. She says, “There is no such thing as failure. Failure is just life trying to move us in another direction.”
Albert Einstein didn’t speak until he was four years old, couldn’t read until he was seven and was thought to be mentally handicapped. He went on to win the Nobel Prize and altered the world’s understanding of physics.
Today if you realise that your initial plan is not working in a particular area of your life; you feel like giving up and your dream and idea looks like a failure I encourage you to seek God again for a perhaps, adjusted plan and strategy to move forward. Determine that you are going to “Fail Forward”.
That may mean you have to swallow your pride, alter some of your circumstances, deal with any issues and change some things up, but that’s okay. Don’t let having to be right or being afraid to adjust a plan, stop you from achieving your dream and destiny. Set your focus clearly ahead, pray, listen to wise counsel, be informed about what you are determining to do, study up on other’s success and determine to adjust if need be so you too can move forward.
“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)
“Be strong and bold; have no fear or dread of them, because it is the Lord your God who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” (Deuteronomy 31:6,8)
Prayer: Lord I thank you that you give me strength to keep on running into all that you have for me. Please give me wisdom to know when and where I may have to adjust and change my strategy and the courage to move forward.