Failure is a sneaky thing. It usually shows up in our lives when least expected and interestingly it is usually determined from the choices or acts we made long before the moment it is realized.
For instance. Consequences have a very canny way of not seeming to be a big deal at the moment, even after a couple of days or months. We can eat our twinkie or drink our daily beer and think to ourselves “hey, it’s been a month and I am still looking good, who said this stuff wasn’t good for you” and so proceed to make the same choices. And for a couple of months you are probably right, no big changes..no big deal. And you still look good, well…somewhat, and you haven’t had a heart attack yet. All is well right? But..no, it’s down the road where that unwanted failure figure is lurking. It will show up…and in this case it eventually does as a nice double chin, or that cute spare tire you’ve developed, or in extreme but still very possible cases…..death.
Another example of how failure is subtle can be seen by the employee who happens to take an innocent 10 extra minutes at lunch for personal time. Thinking to him/herself that it will all be okay since it’s “only” 10 minutes and that their boss will never notice. But what happens is a year goes by, and those 10 minutes (assuming the avg. 50 week work year) turn into a whopping 2,500 minutes of slack time. In other words, you just took 41.6 hours of illegitimate paid time off. Which may be good for you depending upon who you are or what you want. But the failure comes in the lost opportunity, the lost options. Now that you just took a whole week off, your competitive coworkers who might not have been as much of an opportunist as you are now being considered for the promotion you wanted and it’s probably mostly because they are at least one whole week ahead of you!
The same could be said for the entrepreneur. In this instance you could be a whole week behind in the preparation of an important presentation which was to get you the start up capital that you needed to move your business idea forward. So, instead of practicing a few simple disciplines a day, and deciding not to sweep away those few “innocent” pleasures, you lose out to the more prepared entrepreneur who actually does the sweeping that matters and sweeps the investors of their feet.
You see failure is a subtle and scary creature if you are not careful. No need to fret however…. I am pretty sure that if you practice a few simple disciplines everyday you can still turn everything around.
Stay vigilant my friends.