What do I do when things don’t go according to plan?
“He that can have patience can have what he will.” – Benjamin Franklyn
What a difference a few days make. When I started working on this post it was going to be a totally different post. It was going to be about disappointment, feeling defeated and giving up.
Now, a few days removed from all the disappointment , I have a complete different view on the situation.
I was working on a side project at work that I was sure was going to be amazing. This was not anything I had to do or part of my job, but it was something that I envisioned would make some functions more efficient at work.
I didn’t tell anyone I was working on this so I don’t have to explain or justify anything for anyone. I think the reason I didn’t tell anyone was that I didn’t want someone to tell me I was reinventing the wheel. What we have in place at work is working okay but one day some ideas popped into my mind that would make the process so much better.
I started working on it and put a lot time and energy into it. I enjoyed the creative process but what I enjoyed most was thinking that I was coming up with something that was going to be amazing. I was focused on the results.
“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” – Leonardo da Vinci
I was so sure that it would work! I would have bet my life on it, that is how sure I was.
Then on January 31 I was able to put it in practice and… to my absolute dismay and shock… it failed. It failed miserably! I was crushed! It was like I had been punched on the stomach. I tried over and over again and still it failed.
I felt I wasted all my time and energy and had nothing to show for it. All those hours dedicated to this project could have been put to better use: exercise, fun, learning something knew, sleeping. I could have used that time to read more blogs and even to find and go on more dates.
I was down in the dumps. I was extremely disappointed. I was so defeated. My sister got tired of hearing about it. So I stopped talking about it, but I was still thinking about it.
Then I asked myself: What do I do now? I knew I couldn’t continue brooding and complaining. I had 2 choices. 1) Give up, forget about it, move on or 2) Try again, look for a different route
The answer was clear: Snap out of it, and try again!
After licking my wounds and allowing myself to be sad and disappointed for a while I chose to bounce back.
“Men go to far greater lengths to avoid what they fear than to obtain what they desire.” – Dan Brown
I realize I am not a person that gives up at the first bump on the road.
I realize that I was looking at this momentary defeat completely wrong. This project didn’t fail. The project is not over. It did accomplished something. It showed me a way that it does not work. Now I just need to find a way to make it work. I can use that valuable knowledge to tweak a few things and try again. I am closer than ever to being successful.
I am however taking a break from it all now. I am not allowing myself to look at it or try anything until a little time has gone by. I want to go back to it with fresh eyes. Thinking back I see I was too narrow minded and looking at only one aspect of it. I now see I missed some variables and I already have ideas of how to address those.
This is probably just a test of my determination and commitment level. How much do I really want it?
At the end of the day it doesn’t matter if I told others about it or not. I know about it. At the end of the day I am the only one that counts.
I have all the ingredients required to succeed: desire, determination, commitment, drive and persistence. There is no reason to give up or to fail.
“Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.” – Peter F. Drucker