How to deal with setbacks, failures, delays, defeat, or other disasters.

I'm a firm believer that "New Years Resolutions" (the 'year long' goals that we swear we'll hold ourselves to for 365 days starting tomorrow) DON'T WORK

Side note: It's for that reason that, for the past 3 years, I've committed to treating the top of each month (and subsequently the top of each week) as a a 'mini-new-years' to set my focus and goals for the next 30 or 7 days. To hear more about that, check out my podcast episode "A Bucketlist Big Enough To Live In" HERE.

That said, the top of the year is an incredible time where we naturally reflect back and look forward. 

If you find yourself in an introspective goal setting place in life, I read an article recently that I think you will find absurdly inspiring and a great kick in the ass. 

After reading this, I realized it was something I've done the past couple years when it comes to approaching setbacks, failures, delays, defeat, or other disasters... but it takes me freakin forever to get there sometimes. (Also talked about in the above podcast). 

Hopefully keeping this on the front of my mind will help me get there faster and more consistently. 

Side Note: I've added a few examples in with Jacko's that personally come to mind for me that I feel like people like us can relate to as well. They're marked with a "+"

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“GOOD”

by Jocko Willink, retired Navy SEAL Commander (Printed in "Tools Of Titans" by Tim Ferriss, p640)


How do I deal with setbacks, failures, delays, defeat, or other disasters? I actually have a fairly simple way of dealing with these situations. There is one word to deal with all those situations, and that is: “good.”

This is something that one of my direct subordinates, one of the guys who worked for me, a guy who became one of my best friends, pointed out. He would call me up or pull me aside with some major problem or some issue that was going on, and he’d say, “Boss, we got this, that, or the other thing going wrong,” and I would look at him and I’d say, “Good.”

And finally, one day, he was telling me about some situation that was going off the rails, and as soon as he got done explaining it to me, he said, “I already know what you’re going to say."

And I asked, “What am I going to say?"

He said, “You’re going to say: ‘Good.’ ”

He continued, “That’s what you always say. When something is wrong or going bad, you just look at me and say, ‘Good.’ ”

And I said, “Well, I mean it. Because that is how I operate.” So I explained to him that when things are going bad, there’s going to be some good that will come from it.

> Oh, mission got cancelled? Good. We can focus on another one.

+ That gig I was pumped about got canceled? Good. We can focus on another one.

> Didn’t get the new high-speed gear we wanted? Good. We can keep it simple.

+ Just insert ANY musical gear you can think of with the above one.

> Didn’t get promoted? Good. More time to get better.

+ No gig's this next week? Good. More time to get better.

> Didn’t get funded? Good. We own more of the company.

+ Someone else got the gig you wanted? Good. Go out, gain more experience, and meet new musicians.

> Got injured? Good. Needed a break from training.

> Got tapped out? Good. It’s better to tap out in training than to tap out on the street.

> Got beat? Good. We learned.

> Unexpected problems? Good. We have the opportunity to figure out a solution.

That’s it. When things are going bad, don’t get all bummed out, don’t get startled, don’t get frustrated. No. Just look at the issue and say: “Good.”

Now. I don’t mean to say something cliche'd. I’m not trying to sound like Mr. Smiley Positive Guy. That guy ignores the hard truth. That guy thinks a positive attitude will solve problems. It won’t. But neither will dwelling on the problem. No. Accept reality, but focus on the solution. Take that issue, take that setback, take that problem, and turn it into something good. Go forward. And, if you are part of a team, that attitude Will spread throughout.

Finally, to close this up: If you can say the word “good,” guess what? It means you’re still alive. It means you’re still breathing.

And if you’re still breathing, that means you’ve still got some fight left in you.

So get up, dust off, reload, recalibrate, re-engage, and go out on the attack.

And that, right there, is about as good as it gets.


"Good" by Jocko Willink, retired Navy SEAL Commander (Printed in "Tools Of Titans" by Tim Ferriss, p640)

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this in the comment section below. Any real life examples you have that may inspire someone else?