There Are No Failures: Just Experiences and Our Reactions to Them

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Catherine Hughes

Director of the 8 Women Dream Project at 8 Women Dream
Catherine’s dream is to make 8 Women Dream the premier online publication for women looking to pursue their dreams. She is a published author, a freelance writer, and a guide for those who want their dreams to come true online. Catherine would someday like to be invited to speak at TED about her observations about her 8WD project inviting women to take a chance on their dreams. Wine was required... Catherine posts on Sunday evenings and fills in dream stories as needed. If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.

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There Are No Failures: Just Experiences and Our Reactions to Them

Is your life hard because you choose to dream, or is your life hard because you choose not to follow your dream?

Which is it?

I can give you several reasons why my life could be considered too difficult to dream:

I feed growing football teenagers who aren’t my own and can clear a refrigerator of all its food in 30 minutes; I support a financially failed ex-husband – while I watched my own finances shrink like water in a drought.

I have even counted pennies for gasoline.

Walked instead of driven.

I have stayed home from my son’s pre-season football games to save money.

Is this shocking?


Does it stop me from chasing my dream?

Hell no.

Why should it?

It’s just life.  Everyone has their own versions of this same story.  I see it in my neighbors who’s jobs have been cut back to three days a week, or their husband has been out of work for a year, or the wife’s hours have been cut, or the unexpected pregnancy which lead to a newborn mouth to feed with all the diapers and expenses that come with it.  I have friends who went from wealthy to poverty and are attempting to climb back out.

How do people make it through these times?  Many of them have dreams – a plan – and refuse to let anything get them down.

My father was dead by my age.

Anything is better than that.

He would have taken on everyone’s problems as if they were joyous tasks if he could have lived to see his grandchildren.  I think of this every time I get discouraged.  I remind myself how lucky I am to be getting up in the morning.

Those I love are healthy.

Life is great.

But I cannot motivate you to think beyond your own situations – you must know how to motivate yourself. You must be able to keep your spirits high no matter how discouraging your situation might be this month – or year.

Keeping your spirits lifted is the only way to get the power you need to overcome any difficulty. Those who are discouraged in difficult times are certain to lose even before the battle to achieve something different is over.

W. Clement Stone once said,

“Like success, failure is many things to many people. With Positive Mental Attitude, failure is a learning experience, a rung on the ladder, a plateau at which to get your thoughts in order and prepare to try again.”

Each Sunday evening I prepare to try again.  Who knows what great things may happen during the week.  I am game to try – just like the boys on my son’s football team who jump to their feet every time they are knocked down, ready to get right back in the game.

I’m in the game every single day – are you?

Don’t you think that every single person who lost their life on that fateful day September 11 and those who amazingly survived would want us to never give up and to

Keep on dreaming –



  • Hey, Catherine, you are just the best! If I was to be your therapist, my job would have already been done, as I see you are very cognitivist in your beliefs! Good for you, girl!

    It’s now easy to think naturally like that, you have a gift. And I’m glad that you decided to share it through your site!

    Adam (

  • Catherine, Site Admin

    Ah, I am really lucky Adam. My son is healthy and happy. My mother is alive and thriving at age 81.

    I have great friends, a great job and I am doing what I love to do. I work with three of the most lovely people anyone could ever dream of working with.

    I have a cute dog to walk, a loving family and something funny happens in my life every single day. I have no debt. I own my vehicle.

    I live in a beautiful area of Sonoma County. My view at work overlooks an oak tree where squirrels play with birds and deer.

    I write every day which is a dream I hid away for 25 years. I have one of the most beautiful drives to and from work anyone could ask for (I go over a hill that overlooks the Sonoma Valley – all back roads and no congestion which is 10 minutes from my front door).

    When I got sick, doctors found out what was wrong and made me well (even though I have to take tiny little pills everyday). And there is so much more.

    What I wanted to point out is that anyone can achieve their dream if they do not give up. Everyone has obstacles.

    The important thing is to never let those obstacles get in the way of our dreams.

    Life is too short.

    And look! Now we are getting to know you! How great is that?

  • Now that’s really inspirational! I didn’t know you had such trying times! I just loved the pic, by the way!

    Adam (

  • Catherine, Site Admin

    You are such a dear friend Kim.

  • Kim, the traveler

    We love your dream. It’s a great idea and it will pay off I’m sure!