What a Bank Ad Taught Me About Success


As I write this I am on a layover in London on my way to a yoga retreat in Greece.

For those of you who know me personally, you can stop laughing now.  You see, I am about as “un-yoga” as a person comes. If Type A is a thing, I am Type A plus.  But I digress.

What struck me as I deplaned my flight in London was an ad (I think it was for a bank, but to be honest I was quite sleep deprived and people were pretty anxious to move out of the jetway so I couldn’t linger).

The title is what caught my eye: “how do you succeed?”  And then there were three panels “push,” “failure,” and  “friends.”

Push.  That activation energy that takes an object at rest and puts it in motion.  Sometimes self-generated, sometimes generated by a gentle parent, teacher, coach, mentor or peer it gets us going toward a goal.  Without it, we would simply stay exactly where we are.  With it, we get out of our comfort zones (and do things like yoga retreats…but again, I digress.) Call it drive, motivation or ambition,  we all need “push.”

Failure.  Failure, a favorite topic of this blog, is the feedback we get about the efforts that are not effective in achieving our goal. It’s really that simple: failure is feedback.  We all need feedback in order to succeed.  Call it coaching, testing, or evaluations, we all need information that might be labeled “failure.”

Friends.  Friends are the people who choose to like us for us and support our hopes and dreams.  We all benefit from people who lend us their encouragement and who pick us up when we are down.  Call them friends, parents, coaches or teachers, we all need “friends.”

Push + Failure + Friends = Success.  Not a bad formula at all.

So as I get ready to board my next flight to Greece, where I will begin my yoga adventure with my dearest friend, I shall take this advice to heart: push, failure and friends.

And all of you, in whatever challenges you are taking on this week, please consider using these three things as well.  Let me know how it works for you, and I promise to do the same!