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59. Quote Dissection 2

Photo by Christopher Burns; Quote by Henry Ford

One of the universal things out there is failure. I don’t know any person that has not failed at something.

Failure is a right of passage; a way to gain experience and grow in wisdom. Not everything goes right the first time because we just don’t know enough to make it go right.

Some people see failure as a flaw. To me, it doesn’t matter how many times you have failed if you get back up and continue onwards. You might have scars from your failures, but that does not mean they have to define you for the rest of your life.

Everyone has skeletons in their closet; nobody talks about everything in their life. People may not know all your failures, but you can still learn from them, and have them shape you into a more awesome person.

Get up. Pick yourself up off the floor. Because you are a warrior, and warriors continue on towards the end.

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50. The things we do to keep going

Photo by Martin Reisch; Quote by MGSpear

My home study/office is littered with artwork all over the walls. I look up from my computer and get inspired by art, quotes, and posters. I let my mind wander a little looking at all the abstract, a brief respite from work.

Then it’s back to work.

In my classroom I don’t have a lot of personalized stuff, but what I do have are rituals. In the mornings, I gather my notes for the day, check my emails, and get ready for my incoming classes. At lunch I take a moment to check out for a few minutes, recover some of my energy, and plow through the rest of the day. After my day classes end, I enjoy a diet Dr. Pepper—my first for the day, and for some reason, tastes like chocolate. It instantly relaxes me.

Then, on some days, it’s off to teach some of my college classes for the evening.

Having these small mini breaks and rituals keep me going and help me to not wear down as much. A small recovery to gather my thoughts, get mentally ready for what’s coming, and then march forward.

What do you do to get you through the day? What are your rituals that keep you going?

Best ritual of the day for me: hitting my bed at night and catching some z’s.

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45. Another project update

Photo by Ian Chen; Quote found on Pinterest

I keep putting off writing my update on my big project. Remember that post when I was frustrated and wanted my next experiment to work? Well, it didn’t. And the next one didn’t. And then the one after that failed too.

But you know what? Rather than get discouraged enough to quit, alternative ideas kept coming to me: what if I tweaked it this way? What if I did this differently? Or even a completely new approach would form in my thoughts. I have an experiment coming up that is a completely different take on an old concept.

I love that feeling—the feeling of hope in a new approach. The feeling that even though my experiment failed, it is not the end.

When I first started down the inventing trail, like all young inventors presumably, I took it really hard when my experiments failed. It felt like the end of the world. I cried a lot. Then after a few failures, my attitude shifted and I started to see each failure not as the end, but as information about how not to do it.

There are two main ways people take failure: it either makes a person feel so down that they decide to hang up the idea/project/relationship/etc., or they see it as a way to not do it and try a different strategy.

Is everything doable? No, but the doesn’t mean you can’t try. Who knows—you might find a solution everyone missed.

Have you tried a different approach to something lately?

Also, offering the short horror story Toilet Paper went over so overwhelmingly well that I’ve decided to keep it a free download for now. Feel free to enjoy anytime, and check out my other stories!

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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.