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Learn Don't Lament

I always thought dramatic people were so... dramatic.

In the 2nd grade I was in the midst of a fierce reading competition with my classmate, Melissa. Melissa was dramatic. We both learned to read at a young age, so while the rest of the class was learning to read more challenging books, Melissa and I would sit at a side table and read books we chose from the library. It wasn't a competition at first. But when I finished The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles before she did and told our teaching, Mrs. Lebaun, Melissa became VERY dramatic. From that point forward, every book we read was read competitively. Whenever I'd finish a book first, the same dramatic scene would play out. Melissa would slam her book on the table, start to pout and go right to Mrs. Lebaun. "Mrs. Lebaun, Jason has to be skipping parts, it's not fair."

Melissa is what I deem as a lamenter. Someone who, when a setback occurs, ensures that everybody knows the ten reasons why the failure occurred and that it was not their fault. Lamenters are so busy justifying their failure, they fail to learn anything from it.

Last week we introduced the idea of embracing failure. There are three trademark characteristics of a person that embraces failure. The first, as we discussed last week, is someone that turns their setbacks into switchbacks.

The second, is someone that learns from their failures instead of lamenting them.

Failure is inevitable. When it occurs, the attitude we adopt directly after the failure is critical to our ability to respond. Those with a lamenting attitude will identify excuses as to why they failed. "I didn't have time. I wasn't set up for success. We didn't have the right resources. Others had an advantage."

Those that have a learning attitude will seek to find a lesson in their failure and apply it to future experiences. In doing so, they increase their chance at succeeding in the future.

When failure occurs, as it most definitely will, don't be dramatic. Learn from your failure, don't lament it.


Limit your interactions with people that create excuses. You'll be better for it.


What is a failure you haven't fully processed? What can you learn from it?


"Wherever you fly, you'll be best of the best.

Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don't.

Because, sometimes, you won't.

I'm sorry to say so

but, sadly, it's true

that Bang-ups

and Hang-ups

can happen to you."

- Excerpt from "Oh the Places You'll Go" by Dr. Seuss

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Stop Languishing

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