Failing and the Future

Christmas fudge 2I made fudge over the holidays and took some photos to show off my baking ability. This was the first time I’d ever used a candy thermometer and I was looking forward to creating a delicious batch of peppermint fudge. Unfortunately I was missing a key ingredient (marshmallow fluff) and the substitution of “whatever mini marshmallows were left in the bag” did not do the trick.

Christmas fudge 1 As you can see, my fudge was an epic fail.

We tried freezing the fudge, but the second it thawed we were left with a sticky mess.

Since my son was having a gingerbread house making party, he decided to repurpose the fudge as glue. It worked really well and was the hit of the party.

This is a great introduction to the book Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success by John Maxwell.

Since most of us grew up attending school, we have preconceived ideas that we either pass or fail. We perceive failure, in instances such as my fudge experiment, as bad and something to be avoided. John Maxwell suggests that we view failure as a natural part of life that should be expected. We use these experiences to learn and to make different decisions in the future.

He gives dozens of examples of people who took actions, made mistakes, and were ultimately successful. I think this book is especially valuable as we evaluate the past year and look ahead.

Today, blog about a time when you failed and learned from your mistakes.

Self Promotion for Introverts: The Quiet Guide to Getting Ahead by Nancy Ancowitz

Although published in 2009, this book is still very relevant for those of us who are introverts. (Yes, that’s me. It’s also most of my immediate family and all of the women I coach!)  Reading this book makes it very clear that there is nothing wrong with being introverted and – in many cases – it can be an advantage. It will also help you have realistic expectations for networking events where, unlike your extroverted buddies, you can have a plan that does not require you to meet every person in the room.

Happy Boxing Day!

I grew up in Canada and we always celebrated Boxing Day on December 26. Although most Americans have never heard of Boxing Day, it is also celebrated in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand and other commonwealth nations.

I grew up believing that Boxing Day was when you “boxed up” (or wrapped) your unwanted gifts and gave them to less fortunate people. The truth is that the origin is unknown. Some speculate that Boxing Day began when the Church of England displayed boxes for Christmas donations. These boxes were broken open and distributed to the poor on December 26th.  Another explanation is that it’s the day when servants would receive gifts, known as the “Christmas Box” from their employers.

Whatever the origin, Boxing Day was an enjoyable day off from work. In England, apparently, it’s also the day you go fox hunting — but that sport wasn’t part of my Canadian roots!. (Source: Claire Suddath, “A Brief History of Boxing Day,” Time Magazine, December 25, 2009).


BFFL’s, BYOD’s and Polyglots

One advantage of having young adult children is that I can keep up with the new lingo.  So here are three “words” I’ve been introduced to over the holidays:

  1. BFFL. My son referred to someone as my “biffle” and I asked him to repeat it three times. Evidently this is an extension of BFF (Best Friends Forever) and means “Best Friend for Life.”
  2. BYOD means to “Bring Your Own Device” (such as a tablet or game unit). I’m assuming this is the correct definition and it’s not “Bring Your Own Drugs.”
  3. Polyglot. This means the ability to master multiple languages. I had never come across this word before and encountered it reading the book below.