Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Keeping Expectations in the Face of Failure

Wile E. Coyote 
Well Happy New Year Folks!!  Over this past Christmas and New Years, I got the unusual chance to take a vacation.  A long and well needed vacation unlike I have never taken before.  As such I got to spend a lot of quality time with my wife and kids, so it's still taking a while to get back into the swing of things this morning.

As a family we all got a chance to sit down and watch the Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck movie (to which our seven year old daughter seems to have memorized every line already).  For me it was fun because I got to watch my kids appreciate the same simple cartoons that we watched while growing up.  We literally laughed for most of the movie and as they say laughter is good for the soul!

In the midst of that laughter, I found myself putting my adult analysis on the Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner clashes.  It dawned on me that there was never an episode where the coyote caught the road runner (at least that I could remember).  That means out of years and years of watching the same show, that coyote kept chasing and trying different ways to catch that bird!  He tried and tried and tried, but never could get any of his tactics to work.

Many of us would quit with 100% failure.  I could understand stopping if you attempted to do something the same way every time and got the same results.  That is insanity.  However, Wile E. tried a variety of things with different consequences, but the same results.....no road runner.  The one consistent thing that he did have was determination.  Not matter what happened, he was for certain the next attempt would be the one!

Look at Wile E. Coyote in the picture above.  Despite all the failed attempts, he still prepared to eat.  At least he would have been in the correct position had he caught the Road Runner. Many of us start out things with good intentions, but after failing a few times we lose motivation.  We no longer expect to win, but rather our attempts become a repetitive experience with no expected outcome.

For example,  when I was in college, we had to call into a system called TRACS to register for classes.   When the time frame opened up, the phone lines were flooded and you would just have to hang up and redial to get through.  After several attempts of not getting through, redial just became routine and I would expect to fail instead of getting through.  On occasions I would finally get through then hang up due to routine, only to realize that the phone was actually ringing.  ARRRRRRG!!!  My expectations had changed and I wasn't ready and prepared when the results changed in my favor.

Can you say the same for you and your life?  Have you been running into a brick wall over and over again?  How does it make you feel in the process?  It can be tough, but I would suggest you take a look at Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner for inspiration.  Hold your head up high and keep marching forward.  While catching the Road Runner would surely have marked the end of the cartoon as we know it, but we also know it to be just that....a cartoon.  As for you, failure will happen, but don't let your determination and expectations leave you, "[f]or the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry."  So, put your napkin around your neck, get your knife and get your fork ready in expectation for your next attempt!

Be blessed folks and have a good one!

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