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Success, Failure, and the Chipmunk

Kathy Wilson

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The view from my office is my back yard, most of which I've left in it's natural state and which also abuts a greenbelt. There is a wonderful variety of wildlife that passes by my office window every day - deer, raccoons, chipmunks, and all kinds of birds. Both the birds and the chipmunks are drawn to the seed in the birdfeeder I've placed right outside my office window.

The birdfeeder has a “squirrel proof" shield on it and is hung quite high on a metal pole. However, this contraption apparently isn't chipmunk proof. I found myself vastly entertained by a very determined chipmunk who spent days leaping from the pole to the birdfeeder.

He fell many times, and each time would immediately scamper back up the pole where he would try again. I began to wonder if this little fella was a little nutty (pun intended) as he repeated his fruitless actions time after time. Then I noticed he seemed to be using the information about his most recent attempt to calculate his attempt and improve his aerial acrobatics. He'd carefully eyeball the situation, gauging how much oomph to put in his leap and where to aim for the best landing.

He soon became so adept at it that he was no longer missing. He would scamper up the pole to the exact spot he knew was the best launching place, leap with the exact amount of push-off, and land exactly where he knew he could easily grab toe-holds. Then he'd eat the birdseed until he was full, jump down, and scamper off to play in the trees.

This chipmunk is one very smart, and now very fat, little guy.

While I was watching this process, I was reminded of one of the most important parts of accomplishing goals:

Failure isn't failure. It's learning.

Each time you experience a set-back in achieving one of your goals, you are gaining knowledge that will assist you not only as you are working toward your goal, it will also make your end result more grand.

I invite you to look at your “failures" and set-backs from a new perspective. Ask, “what have I learned in this that can help me in achieving my goal?"

I guarantee you'll find valuable information lurking in that “failure".

Kathy Wilson helps people get their life unstuck using a multi-faceted approach. She and her clients utilize life coaching, spiritual consulting, NLP, vibrational healing, and teaching. . . whatever is in her client's highest and best interests. She's a Certified Professional Coach, spiritual teacher, Reiki master, vibrational healer, and author of An Inner Journey: Living Your Life Purpose. For information about her products, services, and classes, visit her websites: and


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