Sunday, January 1, 2012

Bring on the Failure

Happy New Year all my Crunchy friends. I hope that you had a safe and happy holiday and now it's back to work :-)

I volunteered to make vegan cupcakes for my family's New Years Eve party (I know that it's hard work but someone has to do it). I found this recipe in my Vegan with a Vengeance cookbook for Chocolate Cream Cheese cupcakes (take a moment to drool). I was very excited to make it. Not only would this be another chance for me to spread the word that vegan food is AWESOME, but it would also give me a chance to try something new.

When the timer went off and I ran to open the oven to door to admire my creation, I saw something that shocked me. My beautiful cupcakes came out wrong. Very wrong.

I don't know what happened. I had followed the recipe to a T. I have NEVER failed at making cupcakes. Not only had they come out wrong, but since I had been bragging about how good these were going to taste I was going to have to tell my family that I messed up.

Before admitting defeat, I came up with a solution. Instead of filling the cupcakes with the cream cheese filling, I would use it as a topping to hide my chocolate creatures. That would have worked had the cupcakes not fallen apart as I tried to remove them from the cupcake pan.

I had to change course. I frantically searched my cookbook for another tasty recipe that not only included ingredients that I already had, but that would not take long to make. I ended up going with the No Bake chocolate and peanut butter pie (with homemade graham cracker crust) and with most things that I bake (toot toot) it was a hit.

I used this story to talk about why I love New Years day so much and about my goal to fail this year. After my son and my birthdays, New Years day is my favorite time of the year (yes even before Christmas). I LOVE New Years Day. I mean think about it. It is a new year. A time for change. A time when you can explore all that went right and wrong in the past year, and make plans for the next year. It is a time to do it all again and hopefully for the better.

I have a lot of goals for this year. Some personal (reduce debt, tone up my body) and some business (write an article for VegNews magazine, help organize the first Chicago Veggie Pride Parade). In order to hit these goals I need to make a plan and get to work. Everything may not turn out the way that I want it to and I may fail at an endeavor. Instead of throwing in the towel, I will try to come up with solutions and if it can not be fixed then it is time to try something else. Who knows, the alternative outcome I may arrive at may be just as good if not better than what I could have planned. Dale Carnegie (Author of How to win friends and Influence People) said it best, "Failure is not a bad thing. It means that you at least try something new. Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are the two stepping stones to success."

I plan to fail a lot this year. Fail at baking, fail at learning a new skill, fail at taking CrunchyandHappy to the next level, fail at making friends, fail at hitting financial goals, fail at bringing the vegan lifestyle to the masses, and fail at being the perfect mother and wife. As a result of these failures I will move toward a better life and greater success.

How do you plan to fail this year?

"Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success."

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