Failure is not the end of your story, its just a chapter in your book

Dear Readers,
I come to you today to talk about the journey, not the destination. I think its super easy to say, hey, I did it.. or we did it.. and bask in the glow of success never giving a though to the sacrifices and setbacks you experience among the way. For my purposes, I am going to tell you about a setback we are having right now in our journey to debt freedom.
We had projected by the end of November which is exciting and then Tuesday we found out that the car we are paying off (Murphys Law has a sense of humor) needs some repairs so the money we have been using to pay off the debt at an accelerated rate now gets to go to car repairs so its disappointing. In fact, I was trying really hard to not get excited about the debt free date at the end of November because I kept waiting for something to screw us up. Guess what, I was right. I HATE that I was right. Its certainly not the end of the world, but its worth mentioning because it is part of the journey. . (looking forward to that post when we ARE DEBT FREE) because its still coming, just slightly delayed.
In my career as an actress, I have failed many more times than I have succeeded.
I have auditioned many more times than I have “gotten the part”. As the speaker and writer Jon Acuff says, “Its about making reps”- or repetitions
Showing up to do the work, over and over, makes you READY for when they (the people casting) say YES. At the end of the day, when you get that goal, you don’t focus so much on what rejection has come before, you are so excited that you have won.
I also hurt my back in May and have not been able to keep training for the half marathon I wanted to do in January 2016, but I am focusing on the fact that I am now working my way back up to a 10K. Recently I slow jogged a 5K so 10K can’t be far behind. I am looking forward to the chapter (many months away) that I get to write about that success. Stay tuned, for more on that.
So put another way, if you fail, its not the end, its just a chapter in your book.
I love this quote from Michael Jordan who is undeniably a success story. MichaelJordan
Think about it…..

Epiphany. It’s not what you think..

Dear Readers, I have been valiantly struggling to get a concept in my acting class. It has eluded me week after week. Ever the diligent student, I watch intently in class, taking copious amounts of notes, and consciously practicing the skill and failing.

Then last night, I got it. It was so clear and all of a sudden like tumblers clicking into place the knowledge was revealed. I wish I could tell you there were blinding lights, choirs of angels singing and a very enthusiastic audience to applaud the moment but I can’t because it wasn’t like that at all.

It’s very quiet when it happens and if you aren’t paying attention you might just miss it.

Notice that I posted when I accomplished it, not when I was struggling? That’s not an accident. I did not know if I would ever really get it, and now that I have it seems easy. Have you ever stopped to think about that? Put another way, Nelson Mandela says “It always seems impossible till it’s done”

It’s done now, so it’s no longer impossible. No one is perfect, and it takes time and energy to get something worth doing right. Think about it!

Don’t quit.

What do Nelson Mandela, Winston Churchill and Pink all have in common? They don’t want you to quit and neither do I. I want you to be able to accomplish your goal.

“It always seems impossible until its done.” – Nelson Mandela

“Never, never, never give up.” – Winston Churchill

“Gotta get up and Try, try, try” – Pink

I am thinking a lot about these quotes as I eat my paleo snack (cashews) and make a commitment to walk my next 5K because I have failed to stay consistently with an exercise regimen. I am not proud of it but know that the only way to fix it is to get back up and do it.

I also know that it will take me being accountable to myself and to others (dear readers, that’s you!) to get back on track. I have learned that if I don’t schedule it, I don’t go to the gym and if I don’t consciously work on it, I don’t up my stakes on my risks and goals

So that’s me, what about you?

Not failing. Experimenting!

The following statement seems like a cop-out or an excuse but it’s the pure unvarnished truth.

You do not fail in life. You experiment and try things and sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. I tried being a sales person for a computer company and that experiment did not go well. I understand computers but not how best to sell them, took me almost a year to admit that was a failed experiment. I experimented with running and found it not for me. I prefer walking. I experimented with spicy foods and despite being a native of New Orleans, failed to find my appreciation for them. I experimented with cooking and found I prefer my husband do it. (he is better at it and I really don’t enjoy it).

But you know what, if I hadn’t tried running, I wouldn’t have discovered that I love to walk for exercise. If I hadn’t tried to sell, I would not have discovered that I prefer customer service to sales. and so on and so forth. So the next time you start to tell yourself you are a failure.. Stop and say, “Back off man, I am a scientist” instead!  All movie quotes aside, there is a lot of power in the words we use. So say, I am experimenting and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

As a wise friend said to me many times. What do you want? What are you doing to get it? How is that working for you?

Auditioning for “The Voice”

Auditions for “The Voice” are being held today and since my audition time was at 7 am I thought it would be a good idea to wake up early so my vocal cords were warm and ready to go by 7.. HA! I didn’t even get to sing till 11…  In any case, I got there to stand in line at 6:00 and they opened the doors and the line started to move and everyone got excited. I met this lovely mother and daughter in line and they were so obviously there for each other. From Missouri, they had to get plane tickets and hotel reservations, and in stark contrast, I had to get in my car.

The last time I auditioned, I remember being nervous and while I had a book, I didn’t read it, I was just so keyed up with the excitment in the room and listening to people talk about their song and their musical training and other auditions and just soaking it all in and we moved from room, to room to room (there were at least 10 when it was all said and done) at least this time there were only 4 stages. I ran into no one I knew which was surprising since in Austin, you usually do. This time I spent a lot of my time encouraging other people and talking to them about where they were from and more about what made them come audition. The stories were varied and very interesting and I have to say this is the first time I have been at an audition ( and I have been on a LOT) that I thoroughly enjoyed the environment and the “hopeful” buzz in the air of everyone after the same goal. I actually met one of the guys in my group who did a great song by Sinatra and actually said before he sang “I’m living my dream and so excited to be here” and it was charming and apparently the judges loved his singing and his personality becuase he advanced (good luck Bruce if you are reading this)  That kind of synergy is hard to come by so I am going to make a mental note to treasure it the next time I am at an audition and treat it for the gift that it is. While I feel I sang well, I was not what they were looking for…………………..this year.

What do you want to do that you are scared to do? I invite you to do it! Everyone is scared of something but sometimes that which we are the most scared to do is the thing we are called to do. Think about it.. and let me know how its going! 

jennifermckennasays@gmail.com – I am excited to hear about your dream!!!

If at first you don’t succeed, try try again..

I have heard this advice on and off for most of my life and it is good advice if not hard to swallow on the heels of yet another disappointment.

But when you don’t succeed over and over and over again, its hard to slap on a happy face and Tony Robbins yourself into a good frame of mind. With this post, I am aiming to do just that. I am trying to talk myself into doing what I know I must.

I am speaking about my weight loss in the last few weeks, or to put it more accurately, my lack of weight loss. I am doing the same things, but not getting any results. It would be different if I was chowing down on Haagen Daz  or even eating mashed potatoes at every turn but I am following paleo down to the letter and I have remained the exact same weight for three consecutive weeks and its making me ornery and a whole lot less motivated to “stay the course”

I weigh 255 pounds which is 30 pounds less than I weighed at the end of 2012, so in that sense I am experiencing real progress and should be happy. However, comparing a bad score to a better one doesn’t make the better one great, it just makes it better.

But enough of this melancholy michegas, I have a job, I am loved, I can walk, I can talk and I can read and I can write. I have to think about all the things I have and have accomplished this year. To review my goals were these. 

1. More face to face. Less Facebook- I have had no less than 5 face to face coffee, tea and lunch encounters. Still working on less Facebook. The lure of other people is strong.

2. Read 10 books. I have actually read 2 and am close to finishing a third tonight.

3. Give 10 effective speeches. I have given two and will give a third this Saturday

4. Lose 50 pounds. I have lost 30 and that is nothing to sneeze at..

So at the quartermark, I have accomplished some things and still working on others.

How about you? What are you working on? Who do you count on for support?