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Fail Your Way to Happiness

Dear Friend,

You’ll never find happiness if you always play it safe.

Take it from a guy who learned this the hard way.

When things aren’t going so well, and pleasurable moments are few, the last thing you want to do is to take on more misery.

If taking new risks in your life could jeopardize any happiness that you already have, you might choose to just do nothing, to wait for the clouds to pass over and the stress level to lighten before you try something new.

Perhaps you take small pleasures in eating, but you know you need to diet?  If the rest of your life is particularly stressful at the moment, the last thing you want to do is give up one of your few sources of happiness.

Yet, it may just be that the pattern of your life itself is what is causing your misery.  Perhaps you have grown too comfortable in your safe harbor, and your higher self needs to take a chance.

Could it be that a major source of your discomfort is the fact that you are bored out of your mind of this “safety”?  And yet, isn’t a safe harbor the perfect place from which to start new voyages?

Perhaps you are exactly where you need to be at this moment? And it is time to test out your new wings and fly.

Will you crash?  Absolutely.  Will the world be appalled at your failures?  Probably not.  And you will survive.  My friend, it is time for you to fail your way to a great new life.  And someday, you will wake to discover that failure has built you a very successful life after all.  A life bursting with the happiness that you crave.

We all have a fantastic new life just waiting for us beyond the thin veil of decision.  All it took me was a simple epiphany.  I realized that it wasn’t my current lifestyle that was holding me back – it was me.  My fear of trying something new was what was making me miserable.

Here’s a little tip – when you decide to set off in a new direction for your life, your first failures don’t add to your discomfort.  The simple fact that you have begun your journey to a new way of living makes all of your first goofs actually fun!  It’s counter-intuitive, I know, but it is true.  Happiness derives from the journey, not the accomplishment.

If you are not satisfied with the life you now lead, the simple act of deciding to make a change, and then taking real action in a new direction – any direction – will bring pleasure and a sense of accomplishment to your life.

Momentum is the greatest tool to reaching our highest destination.  Stiction is what engineers call the force that resists change – that keeps us from getting started in a new direction.  Once stiction is overcome, the job of change gets fairly easy – momentum is now on our side.  So, the greatest challenge that faces us all when we set out to make a change in our life is not achievement of our new lifestyle – it is overcoming the stiction that has held us in place for so long.

The enemy of stiction is decisive action.  It’s not so much what you do, but the fact that you do it at all that matters.

I have known all of this for some time.  I’m sure that you have read it many times, too.  The funny thing is, our heads are quite hard.  They can acknowledge the common sense of a fact and yet it still doesn’t really get through to the part of our brain that makes the big decisions.  We hear it.  We comprehend it.  And we do nothing.

Do yourself a favor if you can.  Spend a weekend alone.  No TV.  No email.  No distractions of any kind.  Sometimes our minds need this safe time to process all that we have learned.  It works for me.  I am often surprised at the ways I process my own words.

So give your mind a chance to comprehend all that you already know, but haven’t absorbed.  Perhaps this will be the weekend that you turn the power of momentum from your enemy to your friend, and you begin to take your life in the direction you really want.

Happiness to you and yours in this new year!

Hugh 🙂

P.S.:  I really want to hear about your breakthroughs! And your “failures”!  🙂  Leave a comment on this article, or drop me an email. We are all in this journey together.  You never know how your thoughts, ideas and experiences might help someone else.

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • JimDavisHicks January 13, 2011, 5:00 pm


    Thanks for this. It’s so true. We are in the process of making that decisive action and it feels so good, yet the obstacles continue to try to push us back to a place of stiction. We will resist and fight against.

    Good words for my soul.



  • Hugh DeBurgh January 14, 2011, 3:59 am

    Congrats Jim!
    The obstacles never cease. But know that you are not alone. We all fight the same battle.
    I wish you and yours the very best.
    Hugh 🙂

  • Lemur January 20, 2011, 10:08 pm

    I left my job to start a completely new endeavour.

    I’m there. Fighting for survive, but much happier.

    Security is an illusion!

  • Hugh DeBurgh January 23, 2011, 3:52 am

    Hey Lemur!
    You’ve done the hardest part. You took the first step.
    You will have setbacks. But don’t let them deter you. Starting new can be lonely, and those around you may not understand. No matter. You know inside what is right for you.
    We are here for you. Way to go!

  • Aimee September 21, 2011, 3:59 am

    this is so cool! I’m doing an assignment of happiness and failure, this was a good read! 🙂 

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