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Failure is not an option! Oh, wait .. yes it is: 3 things to take away from challenging situations ...

So as I mentioned a couple of weeks back  at this current moment I'm working in a school for kids who are .... uh, well I really have no words to describe them so I'll just skip that bit ...

 

Anyway, the main thing is ... I really don't like being a school teacher!

 

Not only are you vastly under appreciated ... you do a thankless job, have to grow a skin thicker than a trolls and then when you meet people who ask 'what do you do?' and you tell them ... they proceed to tell you how lucky you are that you have all that holiday! I want to shake those ballbags and yell 'YOU TRY TEACHING FOR 6 WEEKS AND THEN TELL ME YOU DON'T NEED A DAMN HOLIDAY! ... I have a new respect for teachers and to all my high school teachers ... **hangs head in shame** I'm truly sorry ...

 

My teacher training was as a yoga teacher ... not a school teacher ... I went into this work about as unprepared as a person can be and it has nearly killed me .... I truly wanted to inspire these kids, giving them the gift of inspiration so that they could overcome their (sometimes terrible) pasts and live to their fullest potential ... which is HUGE ... not gonna lie. But, after a while I just felt like a failure ... like I was going into a war zone everyday, not able to give anything to anyone except a flippin' heart attack to myself by age 40! So I had to leave ... sad but true ... 

 

Anyhoo, I digress ... (old age, I hear you cry! ... yes, thank you ... now, where am I?)

 

However, as I move forward on my path to become an artist, I see now that through this struggle something great has been born. I have handed in my notice to finish out the year and I'm going to launch myself with all the gusto I can manage into my new career. I'm scared ... (not as scared as I would be if I knew that I had to teach for another year ... ) but I realise that I have learned so much from doing this super tough job for the last three years that I can face the future armed with the following lessons:

  • failure is OK ... this is something that (and I think you'll agree .... c'mon, admit it!) we all have a problem with ... I mean unless you are some kind of Yoda (of course I mean small and green) you won't like to fail at stuff. It's ok ... no one does! But being around a bunch of small humans who's greatest pleasure is watching you faaaaiiillll (they actually yell it ... just like that...) has been something of an eye opener. Learning to fail in front of a group with dignity, feel no shame, pick myself up and carry on has been one of the biggest challenges I have ever had to face. I still haven't got it down completely but it's getting better! I see now that this has taught me that not being perfect at something is OK ... In fact, it's better than OK ... it's freakin' GREAT! When you fail it means that you are learning and from learning comes mastery and from mastery comes self-confidence and from self-confidence comes the ability to place your life in your hands! If you master the art of failing (followed, of course by trying again ... I don't simply mean becoming a grand master of trying and failing at new things every week, but you knew that didn'cha, you monkey!),  then the world is yours and fear is no longer your little pet shoulder gremlin whispering dire tales of caution in your ears (well, he still does it ... but if you don't mind failing, then screw that little green devil! You just don't listen anymore and eventually he'll shut the hell up) ... I think it's high time we started celebrating our failures as opportunities for growth and learning instead of berating ourselves in the hope that telling ourselves off will somehow motivate us to just BE PERFECT, goddammit! Some of our greatest achievements can come from failure ... so try it next time ... try being as happy when you fail as you would be if you had won ... it won't come easy but if you can at least not beat yourself up ... it's a grand start :-)

  • You can't please everyone all the time ... my Mum used to say this to me and I always thought I understood what the hey she was talking about but I realise now that I (along with a large amount of the population, I think ...) REALLY want to be liked ... we go about our days trying not to upset anyone, using the lessons taught to us from childhood (you know the ones ... 'don't be rude, always smile at people, eat with your mouth closed, don't stand naked on the roof howling at the moon' ... uh, maybe that's just me then) but mainly ignoring how we really feel and masking it with a sickly, half assed smile. But guess what ... when you are teaching, that strategy is a sure fire way to lose your argument! You have to try to please a bunch of people who for the most part don't want to hear what you have to say and any idea you may have is met largely with displeasure (at the least ... in some cases absolute refusal coupled with wholehearted aggression!) and the need to take a stand is necessary. We need to stand up for our ideas and dreams no matter what the reception of others ... if we allow others to dictate how the 'lesson' is going to run just because we are afraid of being disliked we will end up losing control and forfeiting our lives to the biggest bully ... screw what the others think ... TRY ANYWAY! Some aren't going to like it (or you for finally clawing your way out of the slippery 'safe box') ... but some WILL ... And if you fail ... see paragraph above ... :-) Don't listen to the haters, you wonderful human ... give it a go!

  • Getting aggressive is sometimes necessary ... being a follower and avid practitioner of yoga, I have often come across the idea that aggression is a 'baaad thing', being peaceful and placid is a 'gooood thing' and that is all great ... until you have some asshole squaring up to you trying (best case) to steal your lunch money or (worst case) give you a wedgie into next week ... all the 'just ignore them' advice that you got given when you were a kid just ain't gonna cut it now ... you are going to have to get nasty to get out ... Use your aggression when needed ... just try not to let it become your natural state (you know, don't go all WWF on the old lady who pushes in front of you at the post office ... I think we can reasonably assume that she is either blind or just a bit stupid and doesn't deserve to be half-nelsoned by some over aggressive dickface!)  No, I mean simply defending your position or idea of how you want your life to be and not allowing others to dictate what you should be doing, saying, being or making ... If you want to be a yogi-artist (pfffftt, who would want to do THAT ... ) then flippin' well BE a damn yogi-artist and don't let any pessimistic, idiot come along and tell you otherwise ...

 

So ... if you are still with me after that MONSTER post ... I congratulate you and will be sending your $1 000 000 to your bank account forthwith ... (haha to all those to gave up half way through! ... Oh, what? You thought you would get $1 000 000? ... ah, well this is a bit embarrassing).

 

Keep pushing forward ... you may meet resistance and even downright aggression but if you aren't afraid to fail, can cope with not being able to please everyone and can defend your idea ... there is NO way on this earth that you can go wrong!

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