The inspiration for this post comes from this video.
There are some good nuggets in there about life and success.
One that stands out to me is this:
I don’t know anybody in life and business that hasn’t been destroyed multiple times.
That got me thinking about successful people. Those I see from afar and those I’m close with in my own life.
And it really seems to be true.
Successful people have gone through difficult things. But I don’t think it’s the experience of being devastated that’s unique. In fact, devastation happens to everybody.
It’s the response that matters.
Dwelling On Devastation
I think it’s good to take a little time to sort through thoughts on devastation.
And obviously there are varying degrees. I’ll share one I went through several years ago.
I paid a developer several thousand dollars to build a website. We had been semi-friends. We had known each other for a few years. He was always available via phone and email.
Once the check was cashed he disappeared. I never heard from him again. I think he went and became a pickup artist or something. No joke.
That was pretty devastating.
No website. No money.
I spent some time dwelling on it. It really bothered me. That seems like a normal reaction.
But I remember that at one point I thought to myself:
What will dwelling on this get me? I could chase this. What’s the best outcome? Some kind of lawsuit and I get some of the money back? That seems like it would take a lot of time and effort.
What else could I do with that time…
It was like a weight lifted off my shoulders. I turned my focus and energy to something else. That was blogging. It was into a relationship with my then girlfriend and now wife.
I’m still bothered by that situation when I think of it. But I really haven’t thought about it for a long time. At some point you just stop thinking about it all the time.
Now, I’m not saying I’m successful.
But I do notice that successful people seem to be really good at moving on in life. They make mistakes. Bad things happen to them that are out of their control.
It’s not about what happens. They focus on how they react. They move on.
Nobody Likes Listening To Complaining
You would probably agree that to be successful you need energy.
Well something that doesn’t fit in that view is self-pity.
Self-pity is a huge drain on mental energy.
And nobody wants to listen to it. Tell someone about the negative things in your life and they’ll sit there thinking, “Big deal. If you only knew what my life was like…”.
Everybody has their issues. Devastation happens to us all.
The next time you’re talking with a friend or loved one see if you can catch yourself complaining about something. Then turn the conversation around.
How would you react if the other person was saying the same things to you?
Or catch yourself listening to someone complain.
Do you really care about what they’re saying? Do you feel bad?
Maybe a little. But you’re probably just waiting for them to get over it.
This is where successful people find an edge. They see opportunity.
While everyone else is complaining and dwelling on devastation. They simply move on.
The Key: Just Move On
And that’s the key. The big takeaway.
NFL season is kicking off right now. I can guarantee that if you watch a game you’ll see players make mistakes.
You know how sometimes they show videos where the players and coaches are miked up?
When a quarterback throws an interception he’ll walk back to the bench. The first thing the coach says is usually, “Forget it.”
The same with teammates.
“Forget about it.”
NFL players know that you have to move on. Yes, a bad thing happened. But it’s not going to help to dwell on it. You have to forget about it fast and move on.
Successful people are like that. They make mistakes. Bad things happen. They move on quickly. They might use the devastation as a learning experience. They want to prevent it in the future.
But they move on.