Don’t measure your success in life by how infrequently you fall. We all fall. Many of us many times.

Rather, measure your success by how often you get back up and how long it takes you to do so. Because, setbacks are inevitable, yet they are temporary. You can move from your ass to your feet. You can stand up and find the strength and power to change something–even if all it is is to try once again.

Yesterday, I made a big mistake. And, fortunately, someone called me on it. The painful and necessary gift of accountability greeted me during that witching hour of late afternoon as I was rounding the final leg of the carpool traffic, exhausted from an already jam-packed day. Upon reading the brightly lit message on my Grand Central phone, my stressed heart plummeted to my feet. I knew they were right, and I was wrong. I head-slammed smack into toxic shame. I was hailed to duty. Made to say hello to that ole’ entitlement that yet lingers to cause my life more difficulty than I’d like it to.

Then, I made amends. Corrected my wrongful action. Stayed with the pain long enough to revisit my working edge, the growth that lays waiting on my emotional to-do list. And suddenly, I let it go. The other party and I had repaired. I took in what I needed to own and remember about my imperfections. My scuffed-up knees and wounded pride crawled to a stand. The show must go-on.

Although unhappy with my actions, I was surprised at my process. In past days, it would have taken me much longer to get up. I would have laid on the ground, frozen in shame. Paralyzed in my imperfection. If I am using a measuring stick that records how often I get back up and how long it takes me to do so, I think I am going in the right direction. I bet you are too.

For the rise of your life …