I recently heard 7 powerful words that I will never forget: “Nothing you’ve been through will be wasted“. These encouraging words mean even more as we approach the new year. Pastor TD Jakes totally turned the tables for me. No failure, no mistake, no loss, no pain, no hardship or no experience (no matter how bad it was) has to be wasted – and instead, it can actually be USED for good.
Yes, you heard right. Any mistake you made or any failure you experienced (EVEN if it was your own fault) can be used for your benefit, for others’ benefit, and even for God’s benefit. How? Here are 3 ways the failures of 2013 can be a success in 2014.
#1 The Lesson
First, we can LEARN from our mistakes. If you tried 10 ways to diet in 2013 and failed, you’ve successfully know 10 diets that are not for you. You probably also learned a few things along the way. You might have learned how many calories are in your favorite cheat meal – or you discovered a low-calorie snack you actually love. You may have discovered a workout you love, but now realize you can’t compete with what you eat – and now you know you need to try the same workout with new eating habits. Either way, you still have learned something.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” ― Thomas A. Edison
#2 The Testimony
Second, we have a more powerful testimony when we DO succeed. It may seem like some people succeed with ease (and they may). However, when someone succeeds in an area of their life that was truly challenging, THAT person can make even more of an impact on others than someone who easily reaches their goals. Whether your struggle is with your weight, or something else, when you finally do succeed, just think of the encouragement your story will give others who are dealing with the same stuff you have conquered. Your testimony can help someone have the courage not to give up.
“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” Michael Jordan
#3 The Understanding
Lastly, our experiences allow us to see life differently, in order to relate to others. If I never struggled with my own weight, or struggled with laziness, weakness, injury or failures, you may not even listen to me right now. You may be under the impression that I couldn’t possibly understand what you may be going through. You may even believe it’s just easier for me than it is for you. You might even be tempted to think that what works for me cannot work for you too.
That is why I try to make it very clear in my blogs and posts that I am one of the laziest people I know – so you realize if I can do it, anyone can. Do I look lazy? Maybe not, but do I have to fight my lazy lame flesh every single day, and drag my sorry butt to the gym? Almost every single time! Hopefully, that encourages you! Hopefully, you will see that fitness isn’t a feeling or the result of insane motivation, but that it’s a decision. It’s a commitment, like a job, – and it pays off BIG TIME!
“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.” Booker T. Washington
Sure, you can waste your experiences by not learning from them, by not sharing them, and by not helping others who are going through the same thing you have gone through. OR, you can realize your experiences can make you stronger, wiser and better – and they make you a more effective leader to impact others in a way unimaginable.
1.) Make a list of your 2013 failures, struggles and mistakes.
2.) Write your response on what you should have done differently.
3.) Make notes of how you can use those experiences to help you reach your goals in 2014. Focusing on USING your experiences (instead of WASTING them) may be the only thing that motivates you to not fail – and that may be exactly what you need to succeed!
4.) Journal your feelings, failures, victories and progress daily. Pretend you are going to write a story of your success. Even if you never write a book for millions to read, your story can help you stay on track, never forget what you learned and help you share your story with others in a special way.