step 3: always progress
I once heard a man say that we all fail at some point, and if we all have to fail then we might as well fail forward. Failure, especially when the stakes are high, can be a hard blow to the chest. I know for me it can sometimes be immobilizing. The reality is that even when we think we are standing still we're actually in a regressive state as time continues to move forward. But success is no different.
Resulting in the extreme opposite emotions as devastation from failure, success can become an even more seductive settling place. While some have a hard time celebrating or even tracking past success, others of us get caught up in memorializing it. We build monuments in their name, take a seat for several months, years, or decades, and reflect.
While reflection is a healthy necessity for growth, we mustn't live there. As the saying goes, we should...
"Learn from the past, look to the future, but live in the present."
Hmm, learn from the past.
I have often found that the true value of my lessons learned is revealed through their application. Similar to one practicing math, I can only apply the lesson learned when I see the same type of problem arise again. And then, my knowledge is thoroughly tested when I face a more complex problem at the next grade level or next level of life, and I have to combine lessons learned to solve it.
Similar to how our lessons in grade school built upon each other, it seems that our lessons in life do so as well. So in order to keep a healthy growth cycle of learning and application - whether we succeed or fail - we must always but always progress.