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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Martin

Success and Failure. (PEOPLE DON'T FAIL!)

I have recently seen a couple of comments about Successful people one on Facebook and then another in a marketing email. When I read them they got me thinking mainly because they implied that to be successful you have to earn a lot of money although neither expressly said that.

Success to me is simply about achieving your goals whatever they may be. And I very deliberately said goals in the plural, as often to achieve a goal we have to make sacrifices often in terms of time but sometimes financial or other goals. Occasionally people are considered successful when actually they were lucky, and by that I mean that the right thing happened to occur at the right time and not through their planning or organisation. And this is largely the point I wish to make that if you want to succesfully achieve something you work out what that goal is. This means you have to be specific about what it is you want to achieve. ‘I want to be a better swimmer’ isn’t specific, whereas ‘I want to be able to swim 1500m in under 25 minutes by May next year’ is specific. You also have to plan how you are going to achieve your goal you can’t just hope it will happen otherwise it is a dream not a goal. So if I use my swimming example your plan might be to hire a coach, swim 5 days a week, work on your technique or to try and swim 15 x 100m on 1min 30sec with 20 seconds rest. Individually each might work together they probably would work.

Your goal could be anything.


  • Overcome an injury.

  • Manage a medical condition.

  • Reduce pain levels.

  • Run a marathon.

  • Lose weight or bulk up.

  • It could be to get rich.

  • Or just spend more time with the kids.

However to make it your goal it needs to be personal and specific.

Failure - I read a long time ago now, I think in a book by Paul McKenna but it could have been somewhere else, something I feel everyone should understand. And people successful in almost any field generally do understand this. PEOPLE DON’T FAIL, methods, systems, techniques, approaches fail. If something doesn’t work it is not you that has failed it is the means by which you have tried to achieve your goal that has not worked. So you go back to the drawing board and try to work out what went wrong then change the method so as not to repeat the same mistake and try again. You might find that many methods of trying to achieve something fail before you get it right.

You only fail if you give up, unless you decide that the sacrifices you have to make are detrimental to achieving your other goals. In which case it is not a failure but a sacrifice you are making towards achieving those other goals.

Good luck (planning) in achieving your goals whatever they may be, and don’t be afraid to ask for help as it could save you a lot of failed attempts and a lot of time you could spend achieving other goals.

Importantly take a little time to celebrate your success when you do achieve your goal.

In my position if something isn’t working as a sports massage therapist or as a personal trainer then I step back and take a look at the whole picture again. What am I missing in that clients posture or habits that means something isn’t working, and when I have established what I think needs to change I make those changes and try again.

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