Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Dog Cakes on the Path to Success

"Your sweetest successes always come after some of your most sour mistakes."

Confusing a mistake for a failure is a common thing to do. We often (mentally or emotionally) think and feel that a mistake or a trial and error is a failure to some degree, but really it's just a part of your next success.

You haven't failed until you quit making mistakes, and therefore quit moving forward.

A client of mine told me a great story of Saturday pancake breakfasts at his house growing up. His Dad would be up earlier than everyone else and his Dad would start to make pancakes for the family. The smell would fill the house and by the time they got up, there was coffee brewing and a giant stack of perfectly golden pancakes. The family dog was normally a beggar, but never begged on Saturday mornings. Because, as it turns out, every Saturday before the family was up- Dad would burn the first batch of pancakes, which he gave to the family dog. These were the "Dog Cakes."

The "Dog Cakes" had to be made, they had to burn the oil off the pan before you could ever get to the golden brown beauties that came next. The "Dog Cakes" were a right of passage, an important part of the journey towards a perfect pancake.

When you start a new venture, launch a new product, make your first cold calls, try to connect emotionally, give a speech for the 1st time since high school, or anything else- be ready and willing to have some "dog cakes." But, don't confuse a few "dog cakes" with failure.

"Dog cakes" are not failures, or even mistakes, they are a part of the process to the perfect success. Don't be afraid of them. Don't run from opportunity because of them. Rather embrace them.

Believe me, your greatest successes will come after a short stack of "dog cakes." The faster you burn the oil off the pan the faster you will taste sweet success.

Hungry for Life-
Jon Bohm

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Choice YOU have to Make Today

Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checked by failure...than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” - Theodore Roosevelt

I went for a hike in some of the mountains near my house the other day and it got me thinking about all the comparisons that can be made between a hike in the mountains and life. One in particular jumped out at me.

When I started my hike, I had to choose which path I would take. The trail map showed a rating for each trail based on:
  • Ruggedness of terrain
  • Elevation height
  • Elevation change
I chose, as I often do in life, to take the most challenging trail. I want the one with the highest peaks and the lowest valleys, I want the one with the hardest trail that can take my breathe out of my lungs and replace it with a burning sensation, the one that makes my legs ache and burn. But, this trail also offers me the greatest breathtaking views, the greatest sense of accomplishment, and the greatest overall rewards.

We have to make this same choice everyday. If you get married you are choosing a path with much higher highs and much lower lows than a single person will have. If you open a business, likewise higher highs and lower lows. If you step out and volunteer to give that speech, to write that book, to handle that challenging situation at work, to commit to a workout program, to ask that person out...you get the idea. Anytime we choose to step into the ring and pick the rugged trail in life with the most elevation change, you are picking a different life than the majority of people who are simply content to go for a stroll on a smooth flat path that will never experience the breath taking views nor the pain of the climb.

Which path have you chosen in your life? Which path will you choose in the future? Which path will you take today?

As for me, call it a curse, but I have to take the rugged trail to the top, the view is just to amazing to pass up on.

See you on the trail, I hope to see at the top!

Enjoy the Climb!

Jon Bohm