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35. Failure is not the end

Photo by Dylan Nolte; Quote found on Pinterest

I think failure haunts everyone. It defines us; it shapes our lives; it makes us better. Some people look at failure as a roadblock, a stop sign to not go down that path anymore.

I like to think of failure as an obstacle on an obstacle course. If you get through one, there are more to follow, a path of falling and rising in between. But at the end, if you keep going, is success.

Maybe not like a million dollars success, but something you have achieved and is worthwhile, and could possibly lead to million dollar success in the future.

Don’t ever listen to people who tell you that you are a failure. You are not a failure. You will succeed eventually. Just because someone says you are stupid to pursue that idea or that goal doesn’t mean it is true.

Get up. Fight back. Succeed. Show those people that you will accomplish something worthwhile, and you will win in the end. Just like with running, you could be the slowest person in the world, but you are still lapping everyone on the couch.

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31. Venting

Photo by Steve Johnson; Quote found on Pinterest

My vent for the last few months:

I am just so frustrated. I want my experiments to work, but the majority fail. Yes, my Teazzed straw is awesome, but the project I have spent a little more than 4 years on still doesn’t work. I have a notebook filled with ideas and strategies on how to best approach my idea, but always I fail. It’s like I am stuck in a loop that seems never ending.

Of course, as the saying goes, it took Edison over a thousand times to invent the lightbulb. This struggle is nothing new to inventors—it’s just so incredibly frustrating.

I have an experiment lined up this weekend. As much as I hope for it to work, as much as I wish for it to succeed, it might not. For the past year I have been sure that the latest experiment will work, but always I am disappointed. I do learn a lot from the failures, and am still pressing onward with new information each time, so you could call it progress.

I just wonder sometimes if it will ever work. Like the ant that dreams of growing up to be a giant, but will never see fruition. Sometimes I wonder if it will all be worth it someday.

End of venting.

Have you been frustrated with something lately?

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28. Not always perfect

Photo by Annie Spratt; Quote found on Pinterest

Did you know that when you look at something, what your eyes really capture is equivalent to the jerky, unstable images of a handheld camera?

So why is it that we see so clearly? Because our brain compiles those jerky images from our eyes moving around and stitches them all together to make one cohesive picture, like movie frames.

Even what your eyes capture isn’t the full view—there are gaps in the images—like pictures with smudges or holes. You brain fixes this too—it takes in information from the surrounding images and fills in those gaps.

All of this happens so fast, that the majority of people are not aware of it, and the brain spits out a visual interpretation of what the eyes see so we can understand and respond to our environment accordingly.

But sometimes, the brain is too smart for its own good. It will fill in those gaps with what is supposed to be there, not what is necessarily there in reality. The educated guess only goes so far, especially if the brain is under stress.

A great example: Last week I made some changes to my website and posted about it with a butterfly picture. I made the picture late at night, on a day where I had worked some long hours, and I was very tired.

Now, usually, I work on my posts and pictures over the weekend, when I am refreshed and relaxed. But since I had spent the majority of my early and late hours after work last week on my website, I decided to go for an impromptu post, #26.

Everything was going smoothly, except this happened:

I was typing, “Change is in the air.” That’s what I thought I had typed, and what I had thought I read when I proofread it. But my brain, my awesome tired brain, interpreted what my eyes saw, in all their jerky, holey glory, that one of those “in’s” was in fact an “is”. Picture goes up, gets posted on social media, and I happen to look at it several hours later, and notice my mistake.

Moral of the story: your brain is awesome and makes you unique, but sometimes it needs to be rested in order to perform better. I might have caught the mistake had I been more refreshed, but alas, that is the nature of working all the time.

Until next time, dear readers.

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27. Quote Dissection 1

Photo by Rohan Makhecha; Quote by Nelson Mandela

I’m going to add something new to my blog: quote dissections. As you are already aware of, I like to use quotes, and sometimes a few words can have powerful meanings.

So I am going to dissect them.

Today’s quote rings true with a lot of things. We live in a society where people are judged by the first appearance, the first handshake; that instant moment where you are superficially sized up.

Not everyone who has a weak handshake is a pushover.

Not everyone who seems distracted isn’t on the ball.

And not everything deemed impossible is actually impossible.

Waaaay back in the day, people might have not imagined that everyone would have access to a computer, whether desktop, laptop, tablet, or cell phone, or even a smart watch. Now, computers are everywhere.

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in the day, people might have not thought there was anything better than a candle for light. Then along came some great discoveries and inventions, and now, whola!, you can flip a switch and light up a whole room.

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in the day, people dreamed of a way to transport heavy materials, or just anything really, without the slow trudge of dragging it on the ground. Then one day, someone invented the wheel, and we’ve been building off that awesome idea for quite some time now.

People think something is impossible because they don’t have the solution; they can’t see the answer. 

Some people dare to conceive an answer, and bring it to life, to change the way society perceives something, even if it is just a better way to make a product.

Here’s to the dreamers: to them impossible is just a word and has no bearing on reality.

What are you dreaming about?

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23. Project updates

Photo by Jeremy Lapak; Quote by Walt Disney

2 updates on projects:

That new invention idea I’ve been working on quietly in the background, the one with the headphones, has failed yet again. I’m pretty sure my theory is sound, I just need a good way to implement it. It’s a pretty cool idea that could be super beneficial, if it would just stop not working (said every inventor ever). One day it will work, and then everything will be awesome for a couple hours, before another obstacle rears its head.

For Teazzed, I’d been putting it on the backburner lately, because I was getting my book finalized. But I recently got back to it and redid the website and am gearing up to do some marketing. It is so cool to be able to make tea brewed to completion in about 30 seconds. I take my straw a lot of places, and especially on trips, so I don’t have to worry about making tea the old-fashioned way. Feel free to mosey on over and check out the new design:

What are you currently pursuing dear readers?

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22. A little touch up

Photo by Danielle Macinnes; Quote by C. J. Cherryh

When I was doing freelance writing more often, I came across some bad writers. People actually sent me stuff that looked like it went through a grammar shredding machine. Those projects took a lot longer to polish and get back on track.

Some people had better grammar and sentence structure skills, and I could put together their stuff—editing, resumes, etc.—in a much shorter time frame.

Some people are better at business too. I would love to tell you I am a business master, but truth is, there are people out there that are better and have been doing it longer. But with the right research, learning, and polishing, hopefully I will be one of those people someday.

If your just starting pursuing something, or aren’t hitting the six figures you thought you would, don’t fret too much just yet. Keep polishing, keep learning, and hopefully you’ll land where you want too.

Keep going, dear readers.

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12. Build on your strengths

Photo by Jungwoo Hong; quote by Arnold H. Glasow

I know nothing about cars. I am not as bad as the chick who splashes oil onto the engine to “put oil in the car,” but I can’t tell you how to fix a car. I can help you change a tire, but that’s about it.

My husband, on the other hand, knows tons of stuff about cars, and how to fix them. He does most of the maintenance work for our vehicles, and people even call him for advice on their cars. Did I mention he is badass at fixing cars?

Everyone has their forte—most people aren’t good at everything. Find your niche and run with it—build off your strengths.

 I am a tea fanatic. I drink a lot of tea daily, and I have gotten into blending my own flavors (that hopefully one day I will sell on Teazzed). I wanted brewed tea instantly and in bottles that I could reuse over and over throughout the day, so I invented something to fill my need. I combined my love of tea with my love for inventing and ran with it. The business is still a work in progress, but I am having fun with the process.

I also like writing, which is one of the reasons I started this blog. It’s still going well, I think, and hopefully it will continue on.

Have fun with whatever you decide to pursue. Make the journey just as fun as seeing the end result.

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11. Slow times

Photo by Miguel Bruna; quote by Edwin Louis Cole

Sometimes things are just sloooow.

This is where patience comes in. This is why I have side projects going on with my main experiments. I haven’t found anything to be full steam all the time. Even prepping for my courses doesn’t take every second of the day. So my patience looks like I’m waiting on something, but in reality I am focusing my efforts on another project for the moment so I don’t have to constantly worry and fret over the thing I am waiting on.

Everything takes time. 99.9% of businesses aren’t built overnight. It took Edison over 1,000 times to try to get a light bulb to turn on. I guess the smartest person on the planet could answer questions and come up with solutions, but I bet they weren’t born the smartest person on the planet.

If everything happened right off the bat, more people’s businesses and ideas would be booming, and everyone would have their foot in the game. But reality is, everything takes time, and some people don’t want to wait. Most people love the end results, but they rarely hear about all the money spent and all the failed attempts to get to that end result.

 What are you striving for? What are you waiting on?

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8. Studying & Learning

Photo by Zhu Hongzhi; quote found on Pinterest

What do you think is important for a testing environment? An answer sheet? The test questions (of course)? Something to write with? A quiet room?

How about having studied ahead of time?

There really is something to be said for being prepared. Obviously, people absorb information in different ways; visually, auditory, or cramming at the last second, but I like the approach of taking as many notes as possible and going back to them when I have questions. I like to fully understand material, and it takes me a little longer to do that. If I have spent a lot of thought on a subject, then watch out, because I will talk your ear off about all facets of that topic if you let me.

And I love learning something new. I don’t know everything. I won’t pretend to know everything. Heck, I even tell my students I don’t have all the answers, and if I can’t answer their question, I will try to find the answer.

What’s important is that I prepare as best as I can about a subject, and learn more as I go. Learning is a lifelong process—this why we pay people for their experience. No one hires the two year old to build a house—you get the person that has the years under their belt, that know the issues that can crop up, and have a plan in place if something should happen.

I’m not the best inventor. I’m not the best in business. I’m not the best in blogging. But I am learning as much as I can, so hopefully I will build up experience, and someday, help other people in their pursuits.

What do you like learning about? What are you studying for in life?

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6a. Anticipation

Photo by Logan Fisher; quote by me.

As I was originally typing this there is was storm outside. I’ve always like rain storms—they can be peaceful and calming. It doesn’t bother our pets either, except one of our cats. He huddles in the hallway so I move his bed into the hallway to give him something to lay on.

I am doing an experiment later today or tomorrow—all my parts came in over the weekend. I am excited and nervous. What if this is the one? What if I have a major breakthrough?

I guess the more realistic question is, what will I learn from this experiment? What will I glean for future experiments? Will I be moving forward, or moving back to the drawing board?

I really like Schrödinger’s cat. That cat has two realities existing at the same time—success and failure. Failure has not happened yet, and success is still a possibility.

From the outside perspective, there is hope.

Of course, you have to open the box eventually. You have to do the experiment and work with the outcome.

Do you ever linger before doing something, thinking about the task before you, and if you will succeed? How do you prepare?