Many things I’ve tried this year haven’t paid off. Which isn’t to say it’s all been losses, but I’ve definitely had my share of them.

In my experience, most of what we do as entrepreneurs is fail. Few new endeavors are successful out of the gate.

The emotional experience of weathering that environment is challenging.

Professionally, this year won’t go down as a banner year for me. However, personally, it’s been a great year.

This year:

  • I lived in a little Mexican fishing village for a month.
  • I dove with sharks in the Virgin Islands.
  • I was published in Idaho magazine and featured as their cover story.
  • I learned how to lead climb.
  • I joined a sailing club and am growing my skill as a sailor.
  • I enrolled in a college art history class.
  • I joined the Rotary Club and started to plan their service events.
  • I became a “Big” with Big Brother Big Sisters.

In the next couple of weeks, I’ll get another diving specialty certification while traveling in Thailand.

These aren’t “successes” to balance out my professional failures, but these activities help mitigate the suffering involved in uncertainty.

I can’t control the outcome of every bet I place. But I can choose how to spend my time, energy, and attention.

My dad is a counselor and a proponent of a mode of therapy called ACT. One of ACT’s tenants is to live your values.

Living your values is a bulwark against the turns of fortune. It’s a support for navigating the inevitable trials of every new endeavor you engage in.

For me, I value exploring, creating, learning, service, adventures, and using my time here well.

So while I’m not happy about my failures this year, I feel good about how I’ve navigated life, in and out of work, because it aligned with what I really care about.

Featured image is Edward Burne-Jones, The Wheel of Fortune, 1875–1883, Musée d’Orsay. Used under public domain.