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What do I mean by identifying failures before they happen? Well, we talk so much about positivity. We talk about designing your goals, designing your ideal day, looking back and planning for the future. Often times, what we don’t talk about is failures. I mean, by design … How do you know when you fail?

A lot of times people say, “Well Doug, I don’t want to look at failures. I don’t want to look at the negativity. I don’t want to look at failures because, also, it’s painful. It’s painful to think about failures.” What’s more painful, is what by not thinking about it is to fail, what it means to fail to you, means you’re going around blind.

You’re going around blind because failures are painful. You don’t want to identify those painful. Then what happens is you wake up five, 10, 20 years later, and it’s too late to go back. You’ve been down the path of failure because you’ve been avoiding really looking at yourself clearly and looking at yourself from a point of view that you’re willing to look at the hard evidence.

What do you do? In your Five to Thrive, I love the Five to Thrive again, because it’s wholistic. It looks at your whole journey of you being this human existence wholistically. You have your mind, your body, your soul, your relationships, and your business. Now again, if you don’t own your own business or you don’t even work, use business as a goal, just a big goal, a BHAG- Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal. What’s a big thing that you’re working on?

Then, how do you define failure? For me, what is a failure in my mind? Well failure for me is not being able to speak a second language. To me, that would be a failure, I’d be failing if I wasn’t able to do that. If I constantly wasn’t reading a new book … If I hadn’t read a new book within a month, that’s a failure.

What about my body? I’m just going to share mine with you. Body for me, a failure, for me, for the body would be to not be active. Not to be able to hike with my family, unless of course there was some kind of physical limitation that occurred. Life happens, and I get it.

I’ll tell you a short inspirational story that I always remember, is about feeling bad for myself, my physical activity, then turning on the TV, and then seeing a guy get out of the San Francisco Bay on a triathlon with no legs. I was like, “Okay, I’ve got to turn the TV off and get out there.” That’s how I define failure for me for my body.

What about my soul, what is a failure for my soul? Well, it’s feeling unfulfilled. It’s really feeling unfulfilled and not sharing my gifts with other people. That’s part of why I film these Daily Growth Hacks. They’re not easy to film these. They take a lot of my time. We edit it, we pay money to have this all done for you guys. I’m not saying woe is me, but I do this because it fills my soul to give back. The comments that I get from people really, really, really, fill me up, and that means a lot to me.

What about relationships? A failure in my relationships would be not having anybody that I love and that loves me, that kind of mutual standpoint. Not being able to pick up the phone and just call somebody and share my wins and my failures … We all need a support system, you know?

When I was in my younger years, I thought, oh I can just do this all by myself. I can be in a cave and all alone, and not a problem. I got this. I love myself and I’m fine. I found that’s just not the case. That’s not true. I was really running for other things in my life, that I was able to identify by doing the work, doing the work that you guys are doing.

Then business, what’s a failure for my business. For me, a failure for my business is not trying. It’s not just going out there and putting myself out there. It’s not really opening myself up and going big. It’s not shooting for the stars. Also, failing for me in business is not doing the right thing for a client. That really is something that I just never will do. I’ll always do the right thing for a client. I’ll always go the right path.

Even when we get who want to coach, one on one coaching and they’re not the right fit, I send them somewhere else. It’s just not worth it to me. Yet, it’s great money, it’s six figures. I’m almost stupid not to. But at the same time, the pain that it causes me internally, in my business, and also goes with my soul, it’s not who I am. It’s not with integrity, so I recommend they go somewhere else. I point them in the right direction. That’s mine.

What are yours? What are your definitions of failure in your Five to Thrive? Grab your journal right now, write down your Five to Thrive, and write out what failure is for you. What are these benchmarks in your life, that you know if you hit this road mark, that’s success? We do that all the time. If you had this other road mark, that failure.

This allows you to open up those blinders even wider and gives you more opportunity, more positivity, in my opinion, to see the breadcrumbs in the road. Hey, you want to know. If you come to a fork in the road and you start walking down to the left, and you realize that’s failure, that’s a path to failure, that’s okay. You can turn around and simply walk back the other way. Go down the other path of success.

But, if you haven’t identified failure, you’re going to walk down that road way too far, and maybe to a point where frankly it’s too difficult to turn back. I’ve seen this happen to more and more people. Especially as I get older, the people that I associate myself with, are a lot older as well. I have clients in their 70s. I’m also here to tell you, look, it’s never too late to turn back. I’ve seen people make dramatic pivots, even in their late 70s.

My oldest client is in his mid-70s right now, and he is making a 180. It is amazing to see how much vibrancy he has. Don’t let that hold you back. Don’t get yourself down a path too far that it’s harder for yourself to pull back. You have to do a lot more work.

This is analogous to the businessman who gains 200 pounds of body fat and now recognizes that this is a sign. Now has to go back and spend years are really working on his health just to get back to baseline. I don’t want that to happen to you. This goes with all areas of your life.

Write down your Five to Thrive. Write down in each category what failure is to you. Again, I’m going to tell you, build your tribe. I can’t emphasize this enough. Share this with three people you know right now. If you’re watching this on YouTube, or on Facebook, the video, just click the share button, send to three people. Then simply say, “Hey, what do you think about this?”

Now, if you listen, this is a podcast. You can share that too, right from your phone. Share from the podcast or if you’re reading this. You could be reading this. We give you three ways to digest this content. If you’re reading this, share it. Share it with three people you want in your tribe, three people you think you’ll feel accountable to.

If you’re just super shy or super nervous about sharing this kind of stuff with people, I understand. Share this with three people you don’t know very well. It’s an easy way of doing it. Share it with it online. People you don’t know that well. It doesn’t hurt you. Plenty of ways to do that.

By sharing, I can guarantee you, if you start sharing this with people, your conversations will increase. The conversations that matter that you’re having in your life will up-level and so will your lives and those around you.

That’s it for me today. Remember, go out and be the author of your own story.

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