There must be a hundred quotes we've all read related to determination. Most of them talk about falling down and how quickly you get back up or some facsimile. The more you read the more trite they become. For whatever reason, this one really hit me hard:
"How you think when you lose determines how long it will be until you win."
G. K. Chesterton was a writer and theologian in the late 1800's and I have no idea what specifically he was referencing with his comment, but let's pull it into 2014.
Let's call "losing" as something not working out the way you hoped it would. To start, you've first got to deal with your own internal battle of misguided expectations. Your Grandmother told you not to count your chickens before they hatch, but you did it anyway. Then, you've got to deal with the drain of energy the "loss" has created. You had a power surge based on optimism, hope and confidence and now your ego's bruised.
Let's take it one step further, depending on the significance of whatever you didn't "win" and you're dealing with your own mini-version of postpartum depression. You're sad, you were counting on the "win" and now you're having trouble finding the energy to tackle it again.
Here's the key issue - there's nothing wrong with being disappointed, down in the dumps and frustrated over whatever it was that didn't work out. What's wrong is the number of people who just give up and that's the time element that G.K. Chesterton references. You don't have time to be gun shy in today's market environment.
You've got to come right back to the fight and throw another punch. You didn't fail, you just discovered something that didn't work and you're in great company with thousands of other photographers, inventors like Thomas Edison and great spokesmen like Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin and most of the contemporary celebrities we consider iconic today. The point is, you're not alone, but you will be if you stay focused for too long on what didn't work.
Here's my best suggestion when something doesn't go as planned...just walk away for a day. Put it all aside and go do something you simply love doing. Maybe it's getting out to lunch with a good friend. Take your spouse out to dinner. Phone a friend. Do whatever you love doing most to just relax. Put it away and allow your frustration to mellow a little. And, get yourself a decent night's sleep before you react.
The next day, sit down and analyze what did work and what didn't. Sometimes the biggest challenges are not seeing the small obstacles along the way. Bring a friend into the discussion then start thinking about what it'll take to tackle the project again with a stronger chance of "winning".
Photo Credit: © LoloStock - Fotolia.com
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