Get back in the saddle again!

You can have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down, Mary Pickford once said and it’s so true. And only you can do it. If you wait for others to lift you up, not only will you be disappointed – you will stay down.

Get back in the saddle again and look at your problem in ways that will allow a solution.
Get back in the saddle again and look at your problem in ways that will allow a solution.

Now it’s time to make an effort and make sure your life and/or business benefits.

Are you brave?

Fear is hard to overcome. And so is taking huge risks. But frequently the choice is between a risky and adventurous life or a safe and boring life. Not sure about you, but I personally thrive on the former. If you would like to get out of a dull life you have to get the courage to move on. And it has to come from within you.

Opportunities disguised as problems

Being positive is crucial and to look at your problem in ways that will allow a solution. Maybe you have to look at possibilities you never considered before? But no matter what, it will be a question of persevering until you succeed, and not allow yourself to feel down. And don’t forget that we are often faced with great opportunities disguised as insoluble problems

Are you “problem friendly”?

How creative are you? Ever thought about the fact that creative people are “problem friendly”? Don’t get me wrong, nobody is delighted to deal with problems but now is the time for you to roll up your creative sleeves and find opportunities to improve your life. How? The solutions will be different for each of you. We all have problems that need to be solved every day. Even if it’s just that we got dirty and have to wash. There’s no running away from problems since everybody has them. If someone says they don’t, they are simply not telling the truth. So the important thing is to try to find solutions that will enrich your life.

Don’t discard your ideas

Don’t discard the ideas you have, value them instead and take the challenge of developing them. If you are creative you will be persistent and optimistic until you succeed. If you, or others around you, dismiss your ideas too early you will never get anywhere. Many of the ideas that I have had would in the beginning have appeared crazy to others, but nobody called them crazy after I succeeded. What would have happened if I had talked about them to early? Maybe criticism would have killed off my ideas? Be flexible as well. The fact that you are developing one idea doesn’t prevent you from working on other ones as well. In fact, I think you should work on several possibilities at the moment because so much is changing in our world. Covering your back is always a good idea. Have noticed that when I don’t, things go wrong. Still stuck in the rut? How about re-framing your situation by looking at it from different angles? It has the power to change your entire perception of the problem and finding new solutions.

And always, always remember that the only thing that’s certain in life is that everything is uncertain. That’s a fundamental fact of life and you have to get the strength from within to handle it, because whatever happens to you in life, it’s up to you how you perceive it. Positive or negative? Your choice. Or as Lincoln once put it “You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves”. Remember that failure happens on the road to success, which may be just a step away.

Photo: Photo Xpress + Antonio Rivera

105 thoughts on “Get back in the saddle again!

  1. When you make a mistake, you've got to forgive yourself and start over. That isn't always easy to do. But what's the alternative? If you don't make the effort than your life will be a failure.

  2. Timely for me to read this post, Catarina. My husband has always been a half-empty versus half-full type of person, and now that he has dementia, that quality is magnified! It is difficult dealing with people who always see the negative in any given situation.

  3. Life is uncertain and we must learn to have a flexible approach. I tend to be a solution finder- always wanting to provide practical support wherever I can.

    Failure is inevitable and a part of life. If we wish to succeed we will face obstacles and challenges along the way.

  4. Getting discouraged from being around negative people is something i can totally relate to. It is easy to fall into that trap without even realizing you are doing it. I have been working over the past year to get my life back in balance and eliminate the negative people and influences from my life. I think i have made some good progress. But your inspirational post is very helpful, Catarina. 🙂

    1. Glad you like my article, Susan. Agree with you completely about negative people. Although having done things my way all my life I'm so used to such people what they say have no impact on me.

  5. My favorite quote now is from "Batman Begins" where Alfred Pennyworth say "Why do we fall sir? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up."
    So many times it is easy to get knocked down and stay down. It is not the once, we usually get right back up. But if you get knocked down over and over again, eventually you want to quite. Getting up at this point is where true courage takes place.

    1. Good quote, William. Let's face it people who don't get knocked down over and over again have a dull life. If you have an interesting life you get used to being hit in the head and just crawl up again. If not you will be left on the side of the road to die.

  6. I like Mary Pickford’s statement that failure is not falling down, it’s staying down. Sometimes what we initially perceive as failure is just a step on the path to success (however we decide to define success). Good article.

  7. Catarina, "remember that failure happens on the road to success, which may be just a step away" is very motivating. So often we want to stop at the 'failure' part and never see the success. If we just regroup and believe in ourselves we can push our way through the failure to success. Super porst.

  8. Thanks for sharing this inspiring post. We need to keep moving even if we are fearful of what we are about to do or think we may fail at it because if we don’t, we will have stopped at failure. And, who wants that? I know I don’t.

    1. Yes plucking up the courage is essential isn't it even if it's something really scary. If not we can ruin our lives. The really scary things almost always turn out to be easy. Our mind just built up a scenario that had nothing to do with reality.

  9. This really speaks to where I am in life right now. I’ve actually challenged myself to fail. Of course, not because I don’t want to succeed. But because I will get so much further if I risk failure to reach a higher level of success. I once heard someone reference failure as valuable because it tells you one more way not to do something. And that gets you closer to the way that will work. Anyway, great post.

  10. I agree with Abraham Lincoln’s statement. We should lead others to stand on their own two feet. “Rescuing” others may make us feel good but it does nothing to mature them. Choosing to hold back will force those around us to find a solution for their situation.

  11. I find the older I get, the less I act from fear and the more from faith. Whenever I see a post like this, I cannot think of the stories we have in the USA of one of our presidents, Abraham Lincoln. Even though some of his reported failures are myth, most cannot deny, he lost two senate races and ended up being elected president twice. We have several people in our history who as you say, got back the saddle again – and rode even further!
    My recent post 9 worst people for introverts to be with in elevators #infographic

  12. Very appropriate post for me right now. Thanks for the reminder. Sometimes it is a matter of perspective. You are so right.

  13. It's a matter of courage, and it's up to us to choose how to live our life, to find our path to happiness, satisfaction and success. Very inspiring post Catarina, it's really coming in the right moment for me. "If you wait for others to lift you up, you will stay down." So true.
    Some people wait for the others to do something to make them happy, but there's nothing more wrong in my opinion.
    My recent post A dream called Santorini #preview

  14. I do like the encouragement and the tone of this post, Catarina. If I eat for lunch, will I really ingest it? I was kind of having a bummer of a day. I will blame part of it on the humid heat, which I hate.

    1. Thanks, Leora. Also hate humid heat. We all have days when everything seems to go wrong. But we know that's part of life so, next day it's back in the saddle again, isn't it?:-)

  15. A truly timeless topic. I have a good bit of perseverance in me, but it does tend to get a bit more difficult to adjust to change as we get older. At least it seems that way to me. All great learning opportunities stem from failure and making mistakes. We don't know what we are truly capable of until we dust ourselves off and keep at it. I spent a lot of time feeling like a failure for making the conscious choice to leave the classroom. Funny how we can be so hard on ourselves when it's not warranted.
    My recent post #AmReading: What are your guilty pleasure books?

  16. I like this blog; we really concentrate on our problems when they occur without seeing the opportunity that the problem may open up. This reminds me of the story of the elephant that is being tied up with a tiny rope. Once they had to use a thick chain, but once the elephant knows he cannot break free, they can use a simple rope to restrain him. The elephant never realizes he could break that simple rope and become free.

  17. So appropriately motivating for me right now Catarina. You mentioned one thing that is taking me so long to develop and another that I learned many years ago, that most of the time still works for me. Still working on – flexibility: sometimes I get in my own way being so stubborn. Always works even if in a little way – reframing: this is one of the best ways of being able to continue to move forward when things go wrong.
    My recent post 5 Tips To Understand and Get Out of LinkedIn Group Posting Jail

  18. There are so many wonderful nuggets of wisdom in your post. I think that one of the biggest obstacles to success for most people is overcoming fear in the many forms that it can manifest itself. I don’t know any successful people who haven’t failed a few times on the road to success. Your beginning Mary Pickford quote is so very true. Failing at a task doesn’t make you a failure…….but not trying again after learning from your mistakes does.

    1. Yes, we have to keep on failing an learning for as long as we live, Audrey. Fear is a natural part of life that we cannot avoid. The trick is to accept that and instead challenge ourselves.

  19. Hi Catarina,
    I like how you've encouraged your readers to value their ideas and the the challenge to develop them which lead to growth. That's a very positive idea… one that would make anyone want to get back in the saddle again. Have a nice week!
    My recent post The Wisdom of Suffering…

  20. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I often feel like I am surrounded by people who fear the risks I take and would prefer to live small. It often seems like such an up hill battle which is rooted in the core of who I am on outwards! It's such an encouragement to know there are others in the world who are willing to take risks, to fail and to keep trying.

  21. That is definitely true Catarina. It’s not the fall, it;s the recovery and as you say, covering your back. So many times have I been in a situation where I left myself too exposed and got burned. Mitigating exposure is a cornerstone to risk and problem management..

  22. Wonderful article, Catarina! It’s so easy to throw in the towel when things don’t go our way. So many good hints and reminders here to handle obstacles in more resourceful and positive ways…thank you for such a thoughtful article! It was a good way to start my day.

  23. I thrive on a risk and adventurous life as well, dull and boring never works for me. Uncertainty is a certainty I have become used to in life. Fear is there to be dealt with and will always be there as a shadow of faith. Greatly inspiring.

  24. Hi Catarina – terrific post and one I totally agree with. I love the last line “Remember that failure happens on the road to success, which may be just a step away.” That’s perfect.

  25. I like this term that you created "Problem Friendly" I guess we sometimes forget that this is an important skill to have when dealing with "Life" (as well as on the job). Even today, when a friend and I were on the beach and we decided to go out and walk on these large rocks. It looked scary at first but with some breathing and we did it. We took a chance, and enjoyed a great view of the ocean. A small victory in my book of overcoming obstacles.

  26. So well said Catarina, I particularly like the point about seeing the positive in events. If there is morning traffic on the way to work, play favourite songs and see it as an opportunity to relax. Having a hard time finding a new work challenge? Take on a new personal challenge that enhances your professional capacity. Working with a difficult colleague? Take a interpersonal skills course and use that person as practice. I have done all of the above and have been so much happier as a result and I dare say, more successful.
    My recent post Running to the future

  27. COMPLETELY agree with you Catarina! It's all about the getting up, because sooner or late we all fail at something and we'll do it again Very inspirational quote from Lincoln…You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves”. Wish the politicians would take note of this 🙂
    My recent post Busy…Where’s The Justice?

  28. I really needed this inspirational post right now Catarina! I working hard to stay optimistic and persevere through my many challenges. I do know that these things will pass… Big sigh! For me all was working well but now it would seem everything is braking. BIGGER SIGH! I can totally relate to the risk of being discouraged by people who are negative. I am now working on extracting my self from the negative influences in my life and getting back that balance I so love. 🙂
    My recent post Homemade Whole Wheat Bread For Any Cook: #Recipe

  29. To me your best line is: 'And don't forget that we are often faced with great opportunities disguised as insoluble problems'.

  30. Great piece, Catarina.

    Perhaps it is because I am jaded, but I agree with you completely.

    Witness the politicians who have reinvented themselves and resurrected their careers. Nixon comes to mind. Okay, poor example. No, wait. Excellent example. If he can do it….

    However, I've often said, "I learned more about management from novels than from text books."
    Captain Rhett Butler. Now married, with a child, can ride through Atlanta on horseback with the nice ladies beaming their approval. (Oh, fiddle-dee-dee!)

    Forget what the opposition has to say. "Never listen to the other guy's lawyer." Slim Fairview.

    Edison? Columbus? And need I point to Hollywood? (Edison invented the light bulb by candle light.)

    Thank you, Catarina.



    PS. I used to be respectable. I shall be respectable again. 😉
    My recent post China! Economics! Diversification!

    1. Yup, Geo or George. Either one.LOL! So true Catarina. If they didn't…they wouldn't make any money!Keep up the good work.

  31. Great post! I think another great way of staying positive is by surrounding yourself by positive people. I know when I am around negative people, it's just such a drain of energy. I really try and surround myself with positive people that are always looking for solutions.

    1. Well, I think labeling people 'negative' is sometimes just a way of not dealing with reality.
      Most (but not all) so-called 'negative' views are are nothing more than very harsh, but
      realistic views based on either a past or a present bad circumstance/situation.

      I have found that the self-anointed, self-help guru's tell their disciples to
      ignore the realists (aka- negative, energy sapping people) and the reality of
      the bad or negative news/situation. Negativity exists. Just as positivity does.

      It's like emotion, most of society encourages almost everyone to express their emotions
      EXCEPT, anger/disappointment. Society wants you to suppress that emotion.
      Which is typical progressive liberal behavior.

      What ignoring or shutting out the 'negative' person or situation teaches someone,
      is that when confronted with terrible or bad news or circumstances.
      One now may be more inclined to run away, rather than face the problem
      head on.

      1. Interesting and different points of view, "Pegroup". By the way, I really hope you don't believe I consider myself a self help guru. If you do, please read the articles on my site and you will find that I write about any subject I find interesting that could be of interest to people no matter where in the world they live.

  32. Like the post Catarina especially the reframing. Also I have found breaking down the problem into what I call tiny pieces then look at each piece, possible actions and take one step at a time.


    1. Yes Susan, that's useful isn't it. Once I was up in the Himalayas talking to an old Hindu wise man. He said to me "whatever happens to you in life Catarina, it's up to you how you perceive it". So true, isn't it.

  33. I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. ~Thomas Edison

    I agree that if we fall down we need to pick ourself up and try again. Most successful people have failed over and over. The only difference is that they never give up.

    Great thought provoking post.

  34. Thanks for the inspirational post Catrina! It is so important to stay optimistic and persevere. If something isn’t working, it may not be the idea that needs tweaking but the execution. I can totally relate to the risk of being discouraged by people who have negative comments. Don’t they say that one of the keys to success is to surround yourself by positive thinkers and stay away from the nay-sayers?

  35. Wow, I couldn't agree more! You must out create any problem or barrier that comes up. A few years ago I hit a serious financial crisis. I was in mortgages and heavily invested in real estate. I didn't realize my error (too many eggs in one basket) until it was too late. I lost heavily.

    I had a choice. I could have given up in despair or pick myself up and create solutions, fast.

    I chose to build up two businesses. I had been doing freelance writing, but I had never really tried to turn it into a business. So I found more clients (and some found me). Today I have a thriving business.

    I also learned that one shouldn't count on one business (or area) for all your income. I started a chess instruction business as well, teaching young children how to play. I had been one of the top 50 women chess players in the US, so I figured it was time to give back and teach the next generation. Today we have about 45 students in four schools. I hope to double that soon!

    You are right that it is just a matter of attitude. If you want to succeed you must get out there and do it, take the steps necessary to make it.

  36. As a person who's been looking for a job for a long time, and thinking about reinventing herself simultaneously, this article was really helpful. Sometimes I do get so depressed, the job market just seems impossible these days. It never occurred to me when I started looking that I would still be looking a year later, and re-writing my resume, and working on my portfolio etc etc.

    1. Glad the article was helpful Heather. Don't forget that currently it's nothing to be ashamed of to be unemployed. Times have not been as bad since the great depression almost a hundred years ago.

      1. Thats what everyone tells me! Thankfully my husband is employed and makes enough money to keep us going. Work used to literally land in my lap, but not anymore. But maybe it's good? A little adversity never did anyone any harm.

        1. What can I say. These are really difficult times. Know people all over the world that are super qualified but cannot find a job. On top of it people have less money to spend so that's having a negative impact as well.

  37. Thank you Catarine… it is refreshing reading about this topic.
    It remainded me of one of my favorite quotes:
    "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts"

  38. Hi Catarina,

    Life is full of problems and we must face them no matter what! As I am sure that you will agree, most times we seldom get what we want in life and often times get disappointed and dejected. We must not be despondent thinking that we have failed. It is not for us to decide how things will turn out but all we can do is live each day to the fullest and strive to do our best. Remember that in every crises lies an opportunity and we must seize it make the most of that opportunity. Turn the negative into a positive!

  39. Every problem in life presents new opportunities. If you take a positive approach to the obstacles that arise and learn from them you'll succeed. Those that give up fail – those that pick themselves up after the proverbial fall will ultimately succeed.

    1. Guy I heard about an immigrant in Sweden who wanted to become a taxi driver. He failed the test to get his licence 15 (!) times, somehow managed to get hold of $10,000 to pay for it, refused to take other jobs and hence lost social security. But now his dream has come throught and he's a taxi driver.

  40. Catrina, your words remind me of my own philosophy ststement about life for those who sit comfortably in their homeostasis pod. The only constsnt in life is change and the only guarantee in life is death (change). I am therefore not intimidated by chaos, which is change that is occuring all around us at a rate beyond our comprehension – it is at those times that one need only reach out and grab whatever bull's horns are going by, saddle up and ride the beast out of the eye of the storm.

  41. Great article Catarina- thank you! There is a great quote from Albert the butler in Batman Begins – "we fall down so we can learn to get up". If I've told that to you before – apologies! The film is rubbish but that quote is amazing.
    There is also a line from an old Stealers Wheel song – "stay young, keep your wheels in motion". I think you have to adopt that philosophy in all that you do. Stirling

  42. It is always acceptable and recommended that one "Reframe" when things don't necessarily go the way we intended them to. YOu are dead on point; it is senseless to seek blame, anger, resentment or dispair when an issue out of one's control occurs.

    Glad to see the saddle still is comfortable, as I know you are in for a long ride.

    Best regards,

    David Dunworth

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