Suicide is always a tragedy no matter if the individual is famous or not, in these moments of tragedy we can take a pause and learn valuable lessons.
How many more famous individuals have to commit suicide until we all learn the lesson?
This is a topic that should not be taken lightly and one that we can learn a lot from.
Robin Williams… Heath Ledger… And the list can go on and on. They were all rich and famous, yet there was something missing in their lives.
The goal of this post is to help you understand how to pay attention to the things that really matter so that you can avoid vicious cycles that may lead to dark places.
A great way to start to take the right steps is to first eliminate all that is noise. Eliminate all the things you should not be paying attention to.
Another important step is to understand, especially in a life full of social media, that most people only show the highlights. Most people will not show their struggles or failures.
Since I am a firm believer of doing instead of saying I will share some struggles and failures with you.
DISCLAIMER: This will not be to vent, to complain, or to “let it out”. We will explore how we can turn failure into something positive together.
If you feel life is going great, that you are not struggling or failing, then please avoid this post because I wouldn’t want to waste your time.
This post is for you if you feel your efforts sometimes are lost. If you feel you might be traveling on a dark road and see no light at the end… then what I’m about to share with you might be helpful.
Let’s avoid going into darker places by embracing the struggle and using it as fuel.
Suck It Up Buttercup
Have you ever had an opportunity, which from your perspective was “the opportunity, and you blew it?
Maybe it was when meeting someone important, or at a job interview after which you received no phone call. Yet, this can be a great experience if we view from the right point of view.
Did you know that 75% of candidates are rejected just because of their resume? Yes, just a template will not solve the obstacles you are facing. But having a great resume will put you in a great position to overcome those obstacles.
Now let me share with you a bit of that time when I blew my chance to make an impression on a CEO of an important international bank.
- The Place: Texas CEO Magazine Event
- The Person: The CEO of a well-known International Bank
On my name tag, under my name, I had “Cougar Investment Fund” which the person recognized and asked me about Dr. George and how the program was doing. We talked briefly about that and then he asked… What is your view on the market?
I stood there like a deer in the headlights.
Have you ever analyzed, in slow-motion and inside your head, what is happening to you… and then you realized that you are actually not in slow-motion and you’ve been standing there silent for what seems like an eternity?
That was me right there. I was involved with a $10 million dollar equities fund… and I had no set view of the market. I understood the current stocks that I was responsible for and the ones that I was analyzing, yet I haven’t thought deeply about the market as a whole.
I am so glad that this awkward situation happened to me!
Learning from Failure
This is a great situation to understand how we can turn negatives into positives. Because all negatives are just momentary.
There are two specific things that I learned after that situation:
- I need to come up with a personal view of the market
Next time I won’t be caught off guard. At least not with that question. Yes, they say that Economists spend half the year explaining what is going to happen and the other half explaining why it didn’t happen what you said was going to happen.
Which means that whatever my view is, it just should be backed by some fundamentals and data, it doesn’t mean that I must be 100% right or that I must predict the future.
Yet, the most important lesson was the second one.
- I need to come up with a general process and response for when I get asked something I don’t completely know
The number of things that we ignore will always be bigger than what we actually know. In fact, the more we are experts on something the more we ignore about many other topics.
The process that we design must be based on principles. The goal is to avoid that “deer in the headlights” moments as much as possible.
It can be something as simple as quickly responding “that is a great question”. The goal is to avoid the “paralysis by analysis”. This is something that is a common situation for us the introverts. If it happens a couple of times it is fine, but there is no excuse for it to keep happening repeatedly without you creating some type of process to avoid it.
A suicide can be a devastating experience for family and friends. It can also be very damaging to society in general.
There is a lot of research (see The Tipping Point) that proves that when there is a high-profile suicide on the news, in general, the number of suicides will rise for a short period.
Why don’t we make that negative into something positive?
One way we can do so is to start being more honest with ourselves and with those around of us. Don’t play the attention-seeking game (an ego-based game) by sharing only your highlights. Share your failures and struggles too, and share it with the lesson learned so that it can be valuable for others.
What are you currently struggling with? What is your most recent failure? What is stopping you from sharing it?
We don’t have to face these struggles and obstacles alone. Sharing your struggles means acknowledging everyone else that is going through the same thing. Don’t let them stand alone. Your story might be their light at the end of the tunnel.
IMPORTANT: Remember, being vulnerable by sharing your struggles doesn’t mean to overshare. It is not a license to vent, to complain, or dump negativity on someone else.
Share those failures and struggles with a valuable lesson attached to it, share it so that others can feel that they are not alone or so that they can avoid making the same mistakes. Share it to create value for others.
Be vulnerable and stay caffeinated!