We looked at each other. The babies crying in the background. “Should we respond?”
We created a routine to help the babies learn to sleep. Sometimes that meant letting them cry for a few minutes. It was hard. Very hard.
On Christmas Eve, we woke up. The babies slept through the night. 9 weeks old (5 weeks based on full term). Mission accomplished!
I’d mention we wanted the babies to sleep through the night as our Christmas present. People would scoff at me. They told me I was out of my mind.
I told friends how I was put off by other discouragement …
You are not me. And I am not you. I can’t tell you specifically how to succeed based on my success. I can only tell you what worked for me. I can’t tell you what won’t work for you based on my failures. I can only tell you what didn’t work for me.
If past failures equaled future failures, the Apple Newton would have been the final foray into a hand held consumer computer market. I wish it was …. But my opinion on “smart” phones is a different story. And if past successes equaled future successes, New Coke might still be around. It’s not.
Research shows that successful/wealthy people overestimate how much their actions contributed to their success. They also underestimate how much external factors – friends, market conditions, infrastructure, etc – contribute to their success. It’s one of the reasons we have some the political problems we have in this world. We forget where we came from … when we succeed. We look at they unsuccessful and blame them for their situation – “If they wanted to be successful badly enough, they’d be successful. Just like me.”
The reverse is true of unsuccessful people. They underestimate how much their actions contributed to their failure. They overestimate the influence of external factors – friends, market conditions, infrastructure, etc – contribute to their lack of success. “Traffic was bad.” “Those people don’t like me.” “I never get a break.”
Jen and I were talking about setting a day/night schedule for the twins. Someone said, “We’ve tried everything. That doesn’t work.” No. It didn’t work for you! And did you really try everything? You’re talking to me at 9:30 at night with your baby awake while your away from your home.
Just because you haven’t had success, doesn’t mean that someone else won’t. Just because you failed doesn’t mean someone else will.
Sometimes it rains on a parade. It just happens. Be prepared for it. Have the parade either way. If it rains on your parade, you don’t have to rain on someone elses. Give some sunshine instead. It will be more welcome. And more helpful.
Be encouraging yet honest. Tell what worked and didn’t for you. They could learn from your lessons. You might both share in the success. That would be a win-win.