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What Losing My Dad Taught Me About Success

Oh 2016, it was the best of times…it was the worst of times…ha! Actually in many ways, 2016 SUCKED gigundo arse. > A project I’d spent a year writing was cancelled days before launch. > I ran over a small pothole that ended up costing me over $2K in car repairs. > I caught a cold that turned into a brutal case of bronchitis that had me bedridden for several days. And my dad unexpectedly died in May. The first three things would be enough to send me into a temporary spiral of fear and panic. But the last one…

Oh 2016, it was the best of times…it was the worst of times…ha!

Actually in many ways, 2016 SUCKED gigundo arse.

    > A project I’d spent a year writing was cancelled days before launch.

    > I ran over a small pothole that ended up costing me over $2K in car repairs.

    > I caught a cold that turned into a brutal case of bronchitis that had me bedridden for several days.

And my dad unexpectedly died in May.

The first three things would be enough to send me into a temporary spiral of fear and panic. But the last one on the list, completely stopped me in my tracks.

My love of being goofy started young

My dad strongly encouraged goofiness

My dad had not been well for over a decade. He had MS that was so far progressed he was on a feeding tube, could no longer speak and spent most days in a haze of medications that just aimed to keep him comfortable.

Over the previous 18 months, he’d battled pneumonia six times and nearly succumbed twice. But he had a fierce will to live.

I think it’s because he loved hearing my son tell him fart jokes when we visited. He also lit up whenever I’d bring my dogs to the nursing home to say hello.

Yet, I say his passing was unexpected. That week, I cancelled my visit because I was feeling under the weather. It’s not wise to visit a long-term care facility if you even have a slight cold because many residents are immunocompromised.

I took to bed for three days with a bad case of bronchitis. I was so sick that I was essentially off the grid. I wasn’t checking email, I wasn’t answering calls. I wasn’t even posting on Facebook (which is RARE).

During that time, my dad also caught a cold. Which quickly turned into pneumonia. My uncle had been notified and he reached out to me to give me updates.

Updates that I didn’t see.

While I was incommunicado, his condition worsened but then he seemed to turn the corner and it appeared he was going to make it through like he had so many times before.

But the following morning, he rapidly declined over the course of about an hour and peacefully passed away.

I had no idea.

I woke up that Sunday morning, finally feeling close to human after three days in bed. I took a shower and as I was about to start some laundry and assess the state of my home after being off mom-duty for several days, I got the call.

My dad had died.

The next several weeks were kind of a blur. I tried to keep working but let pretty much every project slide. I stopped writing. I ignored my website. I didn’t answer emails. I put big projects on hold.

The only thing I kept up with was the new podcast that had just launched. It was kind of my salvation and definitely a distraction from my emotions.

Over the course of the next few months, I subsisted on candy, cheese, and cigarettes (I know, bad Felicity, not cool). I had no appetite for regular food. I was sleeping horribly. My house was a disaster.

I just tried to focus on my kids and let my friends buoy my spirits. And the occasional cocktail buoyed me, too. But I allowed my career to slowly start to drown.

Buoyed by cocktails...yum

Buoyed by cocktails…yum

I would have good days which stretched into a good week. But I still couldn’t sit down to write anything meaningful. And then something would trigger me emotionally and I’d fall apart a little bit.

Grief is weird that way

There is no going back to “normal” either. It’s a new normal you eventually have to adjust to.

Sigh. I found myself in a directionless state of existing as I “adjusted”.

When fall rolled around, my no-nonsense side of my personality finally woke up and had a come-to-Jesus meeting with my mushy emotional side.

“Girl, it’s time to get your ish together!” she declared.

But I’d fallen into such a state of coasting career-wise, I didn’t know how to take the first step back to productivity.

That’s when I pulled out the notes, research and nearly-polished program I’d created that I’d titled The Goal Digger System. I had used this system before to pull myself away from the brink of financial disaster and create a life of abundance.

I knew I needed to heed my own advice and do it again. So I dove into the steps and started putting the pieces of my stalled writing career back together.

Here is what I learned through this whole process

It’s easy to make progress, achieve goals and dream big dreams when life is humming along nicely.

But then life runs you over like a semi and leaves you helpless on the pavement. It’s not that easy to make progress when you are smashed on the concrete.

However, it’s in that moment that I learned to define myself. Sure, I took time to grieve. And care for my sad heart. My goals just had to patiently wait on the sidelines.

Then one day, I just decided that it was time to get back to moving forward.

It wasn’t easy. Watching reality TV and chowing down on jelly bellies is certainly a simpler activity (btw Very Cherry and Juicy Pear mix together quite well).

But I’d decided that it was time to let my fierce determination back into the driver’s seat. And as I was following the method I’d created several years back, it dawned on me that it was time to share this with you.

I took my nearly-finished program and put the final touches on it so I could offer it to women everywhere. If I could use this during the most emotionally painful time in my life to date and have it help me, I knew it can help others.

I also learned that success isn’t a final destination, it’s a process and a mindset. It’s a decision to handle the obstacles thrown out you, even though you may get knocked down temporarily. You get back up and try again, that is what truly matters.

If you are feeling smushed on the pavement by life, I feel you. And I also know you can get back up again. If I can do it, so can you.

If you are ready to take those first steps, I invite you to watch this short video I’ve put together about my program.

And Dad, if you are watching (and I’m pretty sure you are), I’m back. And I’m reaching for my dreams again. I hope you are proud of me.

Again, here is the link to watch my presentation: goaldiggersystem.com

Felicity Keith dishes advice on sex, dating, and love. She is the author of The Language of Desire and The Flirty Girl's Guide to Astrological Attraction. Dubbed the “Indiana Jones of the male mind” by relationship expert, Michael Fiore, her work has influenced tens of thousands of women and she is a regular contributor at Digital Romance, Inc.