“The only man who never makes mistakes is the man who never does anything.”
-Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States
Without a doubt, my greatest moments of enlightenment have come after a major disaster, mistake, missed goal, or all-around complete screw-up.
A self-admitted perfectionist, failure is difficult—and usually not an option—in my book of self-governing rules. I don’t participate in competitive sports because I’m not very good at them. They are unnecessary torture. But I enjoy watching competitive sports because I can multi-task while watching, like reading, exercising or eating. I’ve always gotta be doing something productive, even while relaxing.
But my all-time best failures are categorized not by the magnitude of embarrassment, but by the value of what I learned from them. Here goes:
- Monday afternoon club in college. During my time at Kearney State College, which is now University of Nebraska-Kearney, I worked at an insurance office on weekday afternoons. The office manager and I thought we would be envied by all if we made Monday nights our big party night of the week. Which, in the end, was dumb. I started messing up at work, and one day one of the insurance agents in the office suggested I stop partying on Monday nights and start paying more attention to the quality of my work. That sobered me up. Quick.
- Not being selected for Chorale singing group. I got served a dose of humble pie a few weeks before graduating from high school when I was not selected for a singing group at Central Community College in Columbus, Nebraska. My brother, Lee, had been in the group and I thought I was a shoe-in. But I didn’t get selected based on the fact my voice didn’t blend well enough with the others. It was my first big defeat in life, but after a few days of processing I let it go. Then I auditioned again the following year and was selected.
- Being on the board of a bank that failed. Wrong place, wrong time. The bank’s failure was a culmination of many factors, but the most frustrating part was it failed for reasons that many of those on the board besides myself warned management about. I now call those experiences “expensive lessons.”
- The quote heard ‘round the world. Those who have read The Unlikely Gift of Breast Cancer might remember this story, but I did not understand the importance of failure until a few days after I was diagnosed. We knew I had cancer but did not yet know whether it had already spread past the lymph nodes in my left armpit. While I was relaxing in an easy chair in a private room at Parker Adventist Hospital, waiting for the radioactive medicine with glucose tracer to travel throughout my body before having a PET scan, I was leafing through a magazine of new age products when I stumbled across this quote:
That moment forever changed my attitude about failure. I no longer see events in my life as successes or failures. Instead, I focus on the process of living. And learning. Perpetually learning.
Thank You for Supporting Women of Influence
Big fun was had at the April 27 Women of Influence luncheon hosted by the Castle Rock Chamber of Commerce! I was truly honored to be the event’s keynote speaker. My sincere thanks to all of you who attended, and a special thanks to my husband, Rene, for once again entertaining the crowd with his “Command Chief salute.”
New Psycho-oncology Study Results
Blue Note Therapeutics, a digital therapeutics company I am advising, recently released results from a study providing the largest, most comprehensive assessment to date of the impact of cancer-related anxiety and depression on healthcare costs for elderly patients. The study, in which over 230,000 Medicare patients participated, found that the annual incremental healthcare costs of cancer-related anxiety and depression are estimated to be nearly $17,500 per patient.
Some other important data points:
Attention, Kmart Shoppers
Okay, this is depressing. After a Kmart store in Avenel, New Jersey, closed its doors for good on April 16, there are now only three Kmarts left in the continental U.S. and a handful of stores elsewhere. The first Kmart discount department store opened in 1962 in Garden City, Michigan, and at its peak the chain had over 2,000 stores.
Farewell, Blue Light Specials…
The Launch of the Rebranded Me
On a brighter note, late last year I embarked on a makeover of my personal brand—who and why I am. The process of defining myself has been one of the most intense, complex projects I have tackled!
Below is a sampling of my evolution. If you have thoughts or suggestions, feel free to Reply to this post and share your thoughts (your reply email will come only to me). Or, reach out directly to me at Diane@DianeMSimard.com.
Diane M. Simard guides those impacted by cancer to overcome anxieties, fears and other roadblocks that prevent them from achieving a healthy, rewarding life and career. Her inquisitive personality, wit, and impactful writing skills help her steer followers to re-discover themselves again through her authentic leadership abilities and inspirational education curricula.
To create and deliver comfort to those traumatized by the horrors of cancer and other harrowing life experiences.
Who is Diane M. Simard:
Diane M. Simard is an authentic woman of action and results-driven connector who steers followers to acknowledge and address their emotional scars. By living a disciplined, structured life, she listens intently more than she speaks; she confidently exudes gratitude, positivity, and joy; and she strategically strives to squeeze every ounce of productivity out of every day. She also creates and delivers comfort by celebrating the unlikely gifts in every circumstance.
Well, there you have it. I have stumbled, experienced disappointment, and endured rejection. And I am a happier, more conscious person because of my many failures. I don’t profess to have all the answers, but I look forward to helping others discover our answers together.
Thank you for being a part of my journey!
Until next time,