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No Passion

I love failure. When it occurs, I'm pretty indifferent to it, but as a concept I love it. Failure lets you know that you're doing something wrong. It shines a light on a personality trait that needs to be fixed,one that probably would go unchanged if it weren't for failure.

People who fail and get angry are missing the point. Failure is opportunity. It's like getting angry that your car tells you you're low on gas. The indicator light isn't the problem,the level of fuel is. Further, hiding the failure doesn't solve the underlying problem. Disconnecting the indicator light won't fill up your gas tank, but filling up your gas tank will turn off the light.

During my tenure as a pickup artist, I never took failure personally. It never mattered to me. Each time I failed, I felt as though the girl had revealed a secret to me. No attractive girl is chaste her whole life, no girl is a bitch to every guy. If she didn't want me to call her, that meant that there was something unattractive about me that I had to change. Compliments and success stroke my ego, but honest critical feedback leaves me thinking for months.
I have failed financially so far. It's not that I'm poor, or anywhere close to it. I'm sure my income, net worth, or lifestyle are impressive or even enviable to a lot of people. I'm so immeasurably grateful for everything I have that I feel a tinge of guilt on a daily basis for not spending the entire day thanking everyone who has made my life so great. However, despite whatever success I have, I am not where I want to be. I will be a billionaire, I will own my own submarine and airplane, and I will spend the majority of my life traveling and seeking adventure. I'm not nearly as close as I should be to these goals, and I'm not exactly on the express train there.

Love Leads to Affection or Fake It Til You Make It

On Megan Clark

In my current stage of life, I'm an aftercare director, substitute teacher, babysitter. I spend a lot of time with kids which I enjoy, but there's one class that has tried my patience more than any other--the first grade. The first time I substituted for their class, I wanted to go home and drink an entire bottle of wine afterward. They exhausted me. I thought I was good with kids, then I met these kids and wasn't sure anymore. They refused to stay in their seats. I couldn't get the words "be quiet" out of my mouth before they were talking...again. They tattled, they never raised their hands, they had a stack of worksheet corrections everyday that was daunting. Every time I had to sub in this class, I was exhausted before I walked in the door.

I've subbed for this class a number of times throughout this school year. Their teacher's husband is fighting a hard battle with cancer right now, so she has to be out frequently. Not long after we came back from Christmas break, they found out he was facing some invasive procedures in the near future, so one of the teacher's assistants and myself were asked to sub in first grade for a couple of weeks. Our goal was to just make it through without losing our minds.

But something unexpected by me happened. I began to learn each of the kids' personalities, his quirks, her story. I learned encouragement was a much more powerful motivator than scolding. I learned to just listen to them. I learned to make learning as interactive as possible (they made those space shuttles while learning about the moon). I learned to get them out of their seats as much as possible. We hopped on our two feet while we counted by twos. We took a break in the afternoon to do the Cha Cha Slide, and we did stretches to calm down (This is not as idyllic as it sounds, but it is fun). I came home to-the-bone tired every day, but things started to get better.

And imagine my surprise, when I suddenly felt deep affection for these kids. We drew a smiley face on the board, and if someone was particularly hardworking or helpful, we would put his or her name under the smiley. I choked up the day I got to put one of the most exhausting student's name under it. A few days later, I put every name under that smiley face because they all remembered to raise their hands before speaking. They're still rambunctious and like to talk more than they like to listen. They still wear me out, but it's different. When they inevitably misbehave or make mistakes, I understand why because I've gotten to know them. I'm better at engaging them in their work because I know their interests.

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