How many failures does it take you to give up?

I’ve failed at starting my own business probably 50 times by now.

I get excited, I run toward my future and then I smash my face against a glass wall.

I’ve got my limits and they are plentiful.

I’m not type-A. I’m type B or C. Is there a type-D? I get stuck in think-about-it holes and massive self doubt.

And for some crazy, perhaps even misguided reason, I keep getting back up and trying again.

It’s easy to talk yourself out of dreams and things that will make your life better because you’re “not good enough” or not as good enough as that other person.

And none of those excuses matter.

One of the things I have the MOST pride in myself about is my insane need to keep trying after failing.

Just looking at simple things in my life – email management – I started getting into “Inbox Zero” at work a few years ago. That’s where keep your inbox completely empty.

When I first cleared it out, it was a HUGE relief. I was so proud and so energized by only seeing the things that mattered.

And then a few days later I had a few hundred unread emails.

A few months later I hit 3k.

I can blame the digital age and the amount of emails I receive. I can convince myself that Inbox Zero is a stupid idea and impossible.

And I do all of that.

But that doesn’t make it true. It doesn’t make it an unworthy pursuit.

If it makes your life better, chase it. If it makes you feel better, try it again and again until it’s a permanent fixture in your life!

Don’t give up. Don’t let yourself think anything is impossible just because you failed once or twice or even fifty times.

Practice makes perfect. And failure is the ultimate sign that you’re practicing.

Time to engage your invincibility cloak

There’s a sort of misunderstanding to the word “invincible”. Please note, I didn’t say “Invisible” – that’s the opposite of what I want for you.

“Invincible” almost implies superhero status or tough guy attitude. And I don’t think many of us would feel that we fall into that persona.

But I think of it more like this: “Learn to exist in the world with an invincible heart.“

Did you suffer heartbreak? You get over it and love again.

Did you stand up for something you believe in and get shot down? You get over it and do it again next time.

And each time you get stronger and recover more quickly.

Until the things that try to hit you in the heart don’t hurt. All you have left is a powerful love that you put into the world and the ability to create amazing works of art that create a better world. The strength of that love makes the things that take aim at your heart puny and incapable of penetrating it.

Please don’t think I’m saying “man up” or “grow some balls” or any of that macho BS. I’m saying it’s ok to hurt, it’s ok to be vulnerable and feel pain.

And don’t mistake being invincible for being hard or being cold or being incapable of feeling heartbreak.

The bravest thing you can do is allow your heart to feel, despite all of the pain you’ve experienced in this life.

The bravest thing is to allow yourself to love people so much that you actually experience heartbreak.

It hurts.

And I’ve been on both sides. I’ve completely shut down and stopped feeling. I didn’t cry for YEARS. And I’ve opened myself back up and allowed myself to feel hurt and joy and all of the feelings.

And shit, I’ll take feeling.

After thawing from a frozen old man at age 30 to a warm-hearted man at nearly 40, I see how beautiful the human experience is, purely because of the range of emotions we’re capable of feeling.

I see how easy it is to run away from feeling because of past hurt and I see how difficult it is to remain open.

My heart truly wants to be open. My brain wants to find ways to stop me from feeling pain.

I don’t blame myself for shutting down. I’m not surprised that people do.

But I think it’s up to all of us to create a better world and I believe the key to that is for all of us to feel our feelings and love each other, no matter how different we all seem.

In the end, if that’s how we all end up, then maybe we are superheroes afterall.

I love you.

As always, Stay Invincible (not “invisible”)

Who’s in charge of your future?

The future is such a beautifully fluid place full of possibility for anything to happen.

And yet, how many people actually own it?

We can harness our power and create whatever future we want. OR, we can let life happen to us and end up where we end up. There are behaviors that will move us in one direction and behaviors that will move us in a very different direction in life.

Oftentimes, we are in that default path of life, the default direction and will end up in a fairly predictable place. If we want to change where we end up and how our lives look, we have to change our behaviors.

But to change the course of our lives we actually have to know where we’re currently heading and where we want to head.

And there’s nothing wrong with having a default future, as long as you decide that’s what you want. “No effort, where I end up, I end up. That’s my decision.” Cool, go for it.

But for the rest of us, we want some say in what happens in our lives.

There’s nothing worse or more disempowering for me than letting life choose where you’re headed. It’s the ultimate in victim mentality. It’s like laying in a river and waiting to see where you end up. When you come to a fork in the river, you lay there, waiting to see what the river chooses for you. Go down a waterfall? “The river chose this! I blame the river! Damn you river! AHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhh!”

The alternative is deciding and taking responsibility for the direction you go.

True power over your life comes from making powerful decisions on the direction you want to take and then heading toward it.

Sometimes you make the wrong turn and you have to try to back track. But at least YOU were in charge. You took control over your life and situation and made a decision instead of letting life tell you when you’ll get a raise or get promoted or have time for the things you care about.

This is a life of strength where you speak up and work with the people, time, money and resources in your life to get what you need and what you want.

It’s pretty simple to make looking at a different path actionable.

I personally love easel pads. I go crazy thinking about what I want my life to look like and drawing out my ideas; which direction I want to be going, where I’m at today, etc. I’ve got tons of huge papers all over my walls while I’m doing this. It’s so much fun and I generate so much excitement for what I want to create.

Here are some starter questions to ask yourself:

Where are you?

Where do you need to be?

What are the milestones I need to hit in order to get to the future I decided.

What areas of my life do I want to change?

Take responsibility for all of it and don’t blame or judge. Love yourself for where you’re at and love yourself for deciding to change the direction.

As an INFP, it will be SO much fun for your imagination to take you anywhere in this world and be ok with not knowing how to get there.

Get out of your head. Do this. Play. Have fun. Daydream, baby!!!

What future do you want to create? What’s your default future if you do nothing? I want to know.