Failure: Get Over It


 Video Above: Failure: How to Get Over It


I just interviewed a dear friend and colleague of mine co-founder of ACT: Mike Muhney.


Mike and his then business partner, Pat Sullivan launched ACT! on April 1, 1987. With it they produced a best-selling product that digitilized the Daytimer® era and created the contact management software category, which was a catalyst for the multi-billion-dollar customer relationship management (CRM) sofware industry. Kind of a big deal out there in the world in terms of game-changer inventions wouldn’t you say?


Now you would think after that kind of success you would kick back and retire right? Not so with Mike, he geared back up again and gave birth to a mobile relationship manager: VIPorbit .  


In this interview you will see how Mike shifted his understanding of failure into a learning experience in his life and some very valuable reminders to all of us who pursue personal excellence and success in life.  I was taking notes during the interview so I wouldn’t forget some of the wisdom Mike has gained from losing something he valued most in the pursuit of success.


Some of the greatest leaders in our time have mastered impulse control and stepped into an ability to welcome failure as a part of the puzzle for creative solutions and sustainable success. What have you gained in your life from past situations that you would label as failure? Have those situations offered you an opportunity to remember what you value most in your life or do the moments labeled as failure in your life define you and restrict you from stepping into the successes that lie ahead?


I met Mike at an event a few years ago and was instantly drawn to his authenticity. I believe that true greatness in this world walks through the archway of humility, love and authenticity. Or more simply put: remembering the depth from which you have been saved. This interview came about from a recent conversation I had with Mike on one of those “catch up” calls. I was so moved by the insights that Mike was sharing from a recent Keynote he gave called: (Accept) Failure to Succeed, I scheduled an impromptu interview with him the next day to capture some of those insights to share with the public.  The conversation with Mike came after hearing a plug on the radio on accepting failure as a good thing. When insightful ideas cross my path 2-3 times in one week I take action. I have shared many times addressing this earth school experience of failure which produces fear; doubt and worry that all too often spins us off course: Success Magazine


Could you imagine the clarity of purpose driven focus we would recover if we could step away from thinking of failure as a bad thing in life? What if we could see each perceived undesirable outcome (failure) as an opportunity for learning and growth?


I remember desperately pursuing a publisher for my first book: Hearing His Whisper and receiving a ton of thanks but no thanks replies to which I would quickly respond, “It’s not rejection it’s simply direction.” How much of what happens to you in a day do you give power to define your value and capability, not to mention purpose in this world? What could you do to eliminate the negative body response when things don’t show up the way you want them to? What could you commit to moving forward in your life that would help you flip back inside your “interior castle” quicker today than yesterday when an undesirable outcome pops up in your day?


Perhaps it’s as simple as remembering what you are and what you are not. I remember going through the loss of my hair, breasts and marriage at the same time. Very quickly I remember shifting my sense of identity from those things outside of me to what lies within me as a part of my survival tactics. I can honestly say I have never been left empty handed when it comes to maintaining inner courage and strength when I have flipped my identity from the outside in to inside out.


Once I regained what I valued most in my life, which also happen to be those things I get to take with me beyond the “Pine Box” at the end of this life journey, I started to include the following daily prayers in the midst of my pursuit for excellence in life:


“Dear God, I give you permission to withhold territory from me until I have developed the essential character to handle it successfully. Withhold expansion of the territory you have entrusted to my care until I am able to maintain the highest version of the person you have created me to be on earth, no matter how much success surrounds me.”


“Dear God, protect me from compliments and complaints so that my heart will stay grounded in the mission for which it beats.”


What prayer or mantra can you write down and remember which will help you stay aligned with what you value most in life? Take a moment and write that down today and keep it close to your heart.


“Success is becoming a person of value.” Mike Muhney







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