Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Success and Failure

Sometimes I feel like I never succeed.  I've had a lot of failures in my life and my self-esteem has suffered because of them.  I try to stay positive and hold my head high, but there are times that the voice inside my head that says "you're no good at anything" gets too loud to ignore.

Don't get me wrong, I've succeeded in a lot of ways.  I managed to marry an incredible woman (my wife, Claire), I have a job teaching music with the greatest kids in the world, I've co-written a musical, been the music director of the Music Man, graduated college, made the dean's list, gotten my Eagle Scout award way back in boy scouts, qualified for Mensa, played lead trombone in my college's top jazz band for 3 years, etc.  I've had my fair share of successes, but I still can't shake this feeling that I'm a screw-up.

I'm tremendously disorganized and that has hurt me quite a bit in my life.  I was diagnosed with ADD at the age of 10 and if you know me personally, you probably aren't surprised (if you didn't know already).  I'm very easily distracted, disorganized, and manage time terribly.  Seriously, I'm very good at procrastinating.  I'm often unprepared (shame on me, especially after all of that boy scout training).  I often feel as though I'm not good enough or not capable of accomplishing great things.

That's why I get so frustrated when things don't go the way I want them to go in my weight loss.  I want to be doing something without screwing it up for once.  When I stall or backtrack, my inner critic gets very loud.  I want to show it who's boss.  I want to make huge leaps in my weight-loss.  I want to be successful.  I want to have one thing in my life that I don't fumble.  One big thing that I can really be proud of.

After reading through what I just wrote, I realize that I probably put too much pressure on myself to succeed.  Losing the weight probably won't change how much pressure I put on myself, but hopefully it will be one more thing I can really be proud of.


  1. I don't know you personally, but for me, I will always feel that my marriage to a great woman has been my most successful achievement. It sounds like you have done that as well. Please don't be so hard on yourself about the weight.

    You've also lost 48 pounds and whether you know it or not, you've likely inspired others to do it too. Lose some more, or just keep this weight off and consider it another success.

    You're doing great.

    P.S. The Music Man is the greatest musical of all time!

  2. You are doing so well losing weight. You SHOULD be proud of it. I am even more proud of you for addressing these issues that might be holding you back from true happiness. If ADD is getting in your way, maybe you need to talk to your doctor and see a therapist. You've accomplished some amazing things. Things a lot of people can't do. You need to figure out where that inner critic is coming from so you can silence him for good!

  3. Read this again

    Read it slowly, be proud, be strong and be the man your wife loves and respects.. All good, and keep up the great work

  4. But you've already lost so much weight! Even if it takes you 5 years to lose the rest you're still a success!

  5. It's odd. I suppose success truly is in the eye of the beholder because I look at your list of achievements and think "holy cow, he's successful!". But, then there's this one thing that you haven't conquered yet. And that one thing is weight loss. You're well on your way, and have had successes along the way, but I totally get what you mean here. You want Success with a capital S...You'll achieve it just like you've achieved your other Successes in life!

  6. When I read this, I felt as if I was reading about myself. I put too much pressure on myself. I have a huge fear of failure. But I think you and I are both going to succeed this time.

  7. Laudable achievements all.

    Maybe you are unrealistic in your expectations but you are HALF WAY to your goal - a goal which was many years in the making.

  8. Success doesn't mean anything if you can't rejoice in it- no matter how big or small.

    My new trick for avoiding afternoon snacking at work: About an hour or two after lunch, I have my daily diet pop. Then about an hour after than I have my official afternoon snack.

    I think it helps with the inner struggle of needing to put something in my mouth....(If I'm having a really bad day, I'll chew gum in between-I'm trying to learn to chew gum when I drink so I don't eat, but the taste is a little off-putting).

    I'm not sure if this would even work for you while you're teaching (teaching alone should prevent you from eating!!)..but I thought you'd like the tip. :)

  9. I just heard about this:

  10. Just found your blog, and read a bunch of your posts. Be proud man! You are kicking butt. I will be following your journey going forward and will be watching when you hit goal!.


  11. Once an Eagle, always an Eagle goes the saying, right? You're a great writer, and each achievement in life just highlights the greatness you have overall.

    This is coming from a guy who reached Eagle Scout in 1999 and still ranks it as one of the greatest achievements, even on par with graduating college!