Reading Angela Duckworth’s Grit really changed my perception of what makes someone successful. From a young age, we hold on to many myths about the ultra successful. We think talent, connections, luck, or right place, right time dictate who will win, but what actually counts is usually hard work and resilience. Duckworth’s book says it’s the hours you put in to perfect your craft that will see you through. Don’t slump.
Sometimes I look back at the early days of running WAH Nails, when I had no clue what I was doing; we would have no money to pay wages and disasters would happen every day, not to mention navigating my 20s and being pregnant, and I wonder why we didn’t fail. Why didn’t the disappointments stop us in our tracks? I would take an analytical approach to every bad event: what disappointed me, what did I learn, how can I do better?
In Meditations, Marcus Aurelius goes so far as to say it’s “evil that none of us look back upon our own lives”. Use your disappointments to learn about yourself and how you work, but don’t descend into victimhood. Review it like an experiment that didn’t pan out how you hoped and end with a theory for how you’ll solve it next time.
My seven-year-old son asked me the meaning of “regret” and if I ever had it. I told him, yes, but if I didn’t, how would I know what I liked and what I didn’t? A tough day at work only helps you know what a good day looks like. Everything that happens to you should be taken as a precious opportunity to know more about how you operate and what pleases you. Each bit of data, positive or negative, helps you shift your environment and circumstances to suit you.