I try to live my life with as little regret as possible, but sometimes…it’s not possible. Ever feel this way?
The funny thing is that I never, ever regret my failures. Instead, it’s far more often that I regret the things I didn’t take action on more so than falling flat on my face.
You have to decide for yourself whether you prefer failure or regret.
The difference is, when you fail at something – you learn from it. Regret just leaves you with an, “I feel like crap”, kind of feeling and does no good for you down the road. When you fail, you get to pick yourself up, learn from the experience, and grow stronger from it.
In hindsight, part of me wishes I had added failure as a fifth pillar of self improvement…
But in any case, I’m writing this to show examples of things I’ve failed at, and how I’ve bounced back and become a better man because of these specific failures.
- I was 14 years old and lived off of Mountain Dew and Doritos
- Vegetables…what are those?
- I played video games 8+ hours a day on weekdays and 16+ on weekends
- My BMI was about 35 (5’7″, 220+ lbs) – that is well past “overweight” classification and well into severely obese
- I never exercised – going up the 16 flights of stairs in my home could be a laborious activity
How this failure made me better:
- I learned to exercise from both a cardio and lifting perspective
- I later became a college athlete
- I learned to eat proper foods for nutrients
- I gained insurmountable amount of self confidence – money can never buy this
- I developed healthier hobbies than sitting at a screen shooting at CGI characters
My First Book
Many of you probably don’t even know this – but I wrote an eBook about San Diego and it’s nightlife scene several years ago.
What a horrible idea on paper. I thought because a few people searched for it a month, I could automatically convert them all into buyers and become rich off of it. I actually think it’s a great product packed with info, but…I just laugh now.
It was (is) a failure.
But it taught me a lot and I wrote a kickass book on OkCupid to make up for it.
And now I’m working on another one which will be even better.
In high school, I did web design as a freelancer for various connections; mostly through my parents. I even had a couple of jobs that paid me $1,000+ – not bad for a sixteen year old kid.
But I failed to capitalize on this and turn it into a full venture. If I’d kept up with it, I could have continued honing my portfolio in college – and maybe I never would have had to take a desk job in the first place. No real way of telling how this would have played out, but I failed to develop the skills to build and keep a business. Sixteen was too young for me to comprehend this at the time, but that failure has served me well in modern day by helping me build this blog into what it is.
Ahhh, yes…the crux that was the main reason this blog was started to begin with.
Let me tell you a story from college: I was out with a pretty blonde girl. We were at the beach at 10pm at night. It was empty. We were just sitting outside on the sand by ourselves.
What girl hangs out with a guy at that time at the beach who she doesn’t want to fuck?
I chickened out with her repeatedly. Never held her hand. Never kissed her. To this day, I still wonder what could have been if I’d just made the move. Would I have had a better college girlfriend than the one I ultimately ended up with? Would I have lost my virginity far sooner and honed my player schools in college; if so how many girls would I have nailed?
Was there something? You see…
I REGRET it.
Compare it to failure: do you know how many times I’ve been rejected for a kiss? Or pushing for sex? Or even on my initial approach? THOUSANDS. I’ve “failed with women” thousands of times, but I wouldn’t have developed the skills I have today without all of those failures.
See the difference between failure and regret? It’s huge.
You do not want to be a man who lives his life in regret. Part of being a man is failure. And yes, in today’s world, to an extent – the odds are stacked against you.
But you can come out stronger. Better. Ready to kick ass in new ways. It’s what being a man is all about.
No regrets. Embrace the failure.