Post #48 – Success Through Failure

Disclaimer – The following post is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease or sickness. Please use caution if any parts apply to your specific situation and contact a health care professional for further advice. 

Hi there! Welcome back to another fantastic edition of DudeWithPOTS. Figured there was no better time to post another masterpiece than Friday the 13th in 2020. I really hope all is well with anyone reading this. As always, please follow, share, comment, or ask any questions. Enjoy!


I have been pondering a lot about what it means to be successful. We live in world where we are supposed to be better than everyone else. Get more likes on a Facebook post. Finish that race faster than anyone. Make more money. And when I take a look at where I am at in life, overall I would consider myself successful. But it doesn’t always feel that way. I have friends that make more money. Most my friends actually haha. I know people that are always traveling the world. I even know a couple people that are better looking than me. But I do have a lot going for me. I had a very privileged upbringing where I was loved and supported in all my endeavors, and that continues to this day. I think one of the most challenging things for me to come to terms with is events society has branded as “failures”. There is so much pressure to succeed that often times we aren’t given the space for learning how to succeed through our failures. That is what I would like to talk about right now.

1 – Success, Failures, and Careers.

The most relevant place I currently deal with success and failures is in a professional setting aka my job. The business world is cruel. It is tough. Some jobs are getting hundreds of applicants and the odds of you getting hired are basically zero. Sorry, no sugar coating in this post. I overheard a conversation the other day about someone complaining that they applied for 3 jobs and didn’t get hired for any of them. I would like to tell you a “welcome to the real world” fact. Since the day I started applying for jobs out of college (7 years ago), I have applied to over 150 jobs. Of course me being me, I have a spreadsheet listing every one of them and how far in the interview process I made it. Out of 157 jobs I have applied for, I have been offered 3 of them. That is an incredible success rate of…. 1.9%. That means I have “failed” in getting 98.1% of all jobs I wanted. They don’t teach ya that in school folks. My brother in law recently got a new job and I was almost giddy with excitement for him because I knew how hard getting a new job can be. You learn to appreciate a good job through being told “no” to many many many MANY dream job opportunities.

2 – Success, Failures, and Sports.

One time in high school, our basketball team was asked to write down our greatest fear. I wrote down “failure”. To be honest, what a suck up answer haha. But also there was a lot of truth to that response. I really was afraid of failing. I held myself to unrealistic expectations. There was one game in particular I remember I was a freshman (starting on varsity but no big deal), and I only had 9 points. I was accustomed to scoring well above that. After the game my mom drove me home (I couldn’t drive yet I was a freshman!), and I cried. I remember saying “what is the point of me playing if I am going to play so bad?”. HA HA classic me. Over the next 4 years of high school sports, I had many failures. I even had a zero point game 😊 You know what I learned through those failures? That I sure as hell was not NBA material. Kids need to learn that failure is ok. You have a better chance of getting a job than making the NBA haha.

3 – Success, Failures, and Home improvement.

This is also a relevant one to me. Houses are hard. Let me say that again, HOUSES ARE HARD. Over the years of home ownership, I have developed many skills. Plumbing skills. Electrical skills. Drywall repair skills. You know the #1 way I have learned new house skills? FAILURE. I have shocked myself on live electric wires, I have broken pipes and flooded my basement, I have put holes in walls that I am not even sure how it was possible. I used to be terrified of home projects. Mostly because I spent so much time in the gym growing up that I never learned how to fix things. But through the bottom pits of burning failure, a beautiful (and surprisingly handy) phoenix was birthed from the ashes. That phoenix is me. That being said, I could use some help replacing a toilet flange 😊

4 – Success, Failures, and Life.

Let’s face it. Life is gonna hit you in the face over and over again. Especially this year. We have to be allowed to fail in order to succeed. I don’t know the exact quote, but I think one time Thomas Edison was asked about how it felt to fail over 1000 times when trying to invent the light bulb. And he said something along the lines of “I didn’t fail 1000 times. I learned 1000 ways how not to build a light bulb”. If that isn’t what he said, I think the point is still important and useful. I learned 1000 ways how not to study for a test. 1000 ways how not to have an argument with Rachel 😊 1000 ways how not to prep for an interview. 1000 ways how to not to plumb a sink drain ha.

I end this post with my usual DudeWithPOTS tips and advice.

1 – Allow people to fail. Sometimes it is the only way they can learn how to succeed.

2 – Allow yourself to swing big. Barry Bonds had 762 home runs (with a little help from the ‘roids). He also had 1539 strikeouts.

3 – Success is relative. Don’t compare apples to cucumbers.

4 – Failure allows you to be relatable. I often find I have more in common with people on things we are bad at and have failed at, versus things we are good and succeed at.

5 – 2020 was a failure in a lot of ways. BUT IT IS ALSO THE FIRST STEP IN A SUCCESS STORY

Thanks for reading! Please contact me for any specific topics, questions you want answered, or reviews you want!

Jarod Gunning – Dude with POTS.

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