Temporary Setbacks are Not Permanent Failures

Napoleon Hill Thought For the DayOne of my friends recently turned me onto Napoleon Hill’s Thought for the Day.

(Yup – the same guy behind the largely loved/hated book Think and Grow Rich (hated because it’s so simple maybe?  I still haven’t read it, but it is on my list)).

I’ve only been signed up to it for a few days now, but the quick bursts of inspiration into my email has been pretty cool to read.  Perfect for us with A.D.D. If you’re interested in checking it out, you can sign up here: http://www.naphill.org.  They also list ’em online too which is great cuz you can go back and check out some of the ones you’ve already missed.  Like, on the days you need an extra kick in the pants ;)

Here’s one of my favorites so far:

Success requires no explanation; failures must be doctored with alibis.

The surest way to achieve acceptance in any organization or in any line of work is to be successful. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way. No matter how carefully you study a subject, no matter how rationally you make decisions, no matter how well prepared you are, you will occasionally make mistakes. Human beings always do. The important thing is to realize that temporary setbacks are not permanent failures. Successful people recognize that we all experience temporary setbacks that require us to reevaluate our performance and take corrective action to achieve success. They know that adversity is never permanent.

LOVE that last line – Adversity is never permanent.  This is so true on all types of  levels – in particularly with our finances.  Do you know how many times we mess up?  And NOT give up?  I’m guessing a lot from this group :)  Just the fact that you’re reading this right now means you’re constantly looking out for ways to keep on moving forward.  We all spend too much money and screw up our budgets – we’re human!  But we do our best to figure out what makes us tick, and we adjust accordingly.  Even if it takes us a few times to get it to stick.

We’re going to continue to fail for the rest of our lives, but if you keep a good head on your shoulders you’ll never stay down for long. You gotta have the downs to appreciate the ups.  And the older we get, the smarter we become.


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  1. elle December 27, 2010 at 8:56 AM

    I’m a lurker but had to comment on this…I’m struggling with a few things right now (budgeting being one of them) and this is really good to hear. It’s comforting to know that even the bad stuff doesn’t last forever. Thanks for writing this blog! I always look forward to what you have to say.

  2. Clare December 27, 2010 at 11:53 AM

    I love it! Practice, practice, practice.

  3. J. Money December 27, 2010 at 2:41 PM

    Thx guys :) It’s SO TRUE too. Life is constantly changing around us and keeping us on our toes – for the good and the bad – but as long as we understand that we’re the ones in control here, we can keep pushing forward! As cheesy as it is, it’s all a journey.

    Nice to hear from you Elle :)

  4. Charlie F December 27, 2010 at 4:52 PM

    Practice does make perfect! This is what keeps me going despite all of my screwups.

  5. retirebyforty December 27, 2010 at 5:02 PM

    I like that – Adversity is never permanent. You should make a poster.
    Nobody can be perfect, we just have to keep heading the right direction and we’ll get there eventually.

  6. twentysomethingmoney December 27, 2010 at 5:40 PM

    I see this so much, where people are so afraid of failing at something, they wont even try. This stunts growth, creativity, and success in my opinion. If you never fail, you’ll never learn how to win.

  7. Pete December 27, 2010 at 10:29 PM

    Napoleon Hill, Dale Carnegie, all those positive thinking books from the early 20th century… my parents and grandmother had ’em all. And yes, they may seem corny, but honestly, there’s a lot of truth in them, that applies just as well today as when they were written. They’re pretty inspiring, even for things that the authors never dreamed of like starting an internet business or whatever.

  8. J. Money December 28, 2010 at 12:16 AM

    For sure. I bet they’d love to see their stuff growing even more online too! This stuff will live on forever and most of it never changes — we just keep trying to remind ourselves in different ways over time ;)

  9. Doctor S December 28, 2010 at 9:48 AM

    If there is one thing I have learned in 2010, is that we can not let bumps in the road shut us down. This has been the most challenging year of my life, yet I am still standing today. Looking forward to the calendar changing to 2011, can’t wait to get started!

    @retireby40 – I agree I love the “Adversity is never permanent”.. If that slogan was on a t-shirt, i’d wear it all year around.

  10. J. Money December 28, 2010 at 7:27 PM

    That was the original title of this post too – then I changed it cuz it was too professional sounding! haha… Keep up the good work Doctor S! Now you got a lady by your side to keep you even more motivated ;)

  11. Jim Smith January 2, 2011 at 5:52 PM

    Its funny, cause if you ask a lot of successful people what made them successful, the honest ones will say their failures. They get up and keep on going. Failure also allows us to find new and better ways of doing things. I’ve been a spectacular failure in so many parts of my career – but each one led to a far better experience that has catapulted me forward to make me more ‘successful’. So, while they felt like failures at the time, in hindsight they feel more like a bit of a pothole in the road.

  12. J. Money January 4, 2011 at 2:58 AM

    Good way to put it – I like that. Potholes :)