Stories from our international boarding schools

Making the most out of not making it

If you are anything like me, your life is a relentless series of events and activities, whether at work or at home. Whilst this might seem like I am moaning about nothing, this kind of constant activity can really take its toll. As soon as I am finished with one thing I am often straight on to the next, without taking the time to appreciate what I’ve done. Often life is based around a series of long term goals, with smaller milestones and actions in between. When we reach one goal, we set another and keep going, without really celebrating our achievement.

Despite not appreciating our victories as much as we should, it often doesn’t stop us from being devastated by our setbacks.

As we move from goal to goal, there can be moments when we fall behind or simple fail to achieve what we set out to do. Now, I can’t just tell you to not be bothered by your setbacks because unfortunately it just doesn’t work like that. Setbacks are hard, in all forms. Whether it’s missing out on a job, going through a break up, or simply burning some food, we all struggle to put on a brave face. When we are faced with these kinds of setbacks, it does give us a chance for a brief respite from the relentlessness of it all.

Not making it doesn’t mean you never will, it just means it’s not going to happen right now.

This is probably one of the most important pieces of advice I will ever give in one of these articles. When we fail at something, the tendency is to either give up entirely, or try again immediately, which often yields similar results. Regardless of whether it’s a PB at the gym, a sales target, or your dream job interview, you need to take some time before you try again. When we hit a goal we immediately think about what’s next, but when we are knocked down, we need to take some time to dust ourselves off before we move forward.

Look at things from a different perspective, take a moment to breathe, then go from there.

The next step is to address what you can do and how far you got, then think about what you were actually trying to achieve. Why are you trying to hit that PB? What does that sales target reflect? Why were you going for that job in the first place? Think about what your motivations were, what hitting that goal was supposed to achieve, then approach it from another angle. Often you will find that your reasons for wanting to reach a goal can be satisfied in a variety of different ways.

You just have to wait and see.

Chances are you won’t see the results straight away, but in a couple of years you’ll find you’ve gone far beyond what you were once trying to achieve, you just took a different route. I might not be an astronaut, a millionaire businessman, a politician and a Nobel Peace Prize winner all at the same time. However, each time I don’t become one of those things, I become something else. Hope for the future is never misplaced, you just have to take a new route and see where it gets you.

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