“I have no problem with failure.”
If you have a surface-level knowledge of the failed projects behind and prior the achievements of influencer, vlogger and content creator Nate Punzalan, this is a surprising statement.
In one of my recent posts, “Why You Do Not Need Resolutions for 2018”, a reader sent me this e-mail:
“I have plans and aspirations for this new year but it will involve a lot of courage and risks. I am anxious of what people or my friends would think of me if I pursue these things. But I know deep in my heart that I want to. I am just scared that I might fail and all my time, effort and resources would just go to waste. What should I do?”
Nate Punzalan, a believer and follower of Jesus who happened to be an inspiring YouTuber as well, pleasantly gave his insights on this topic during a recent personal interview.
Since his first video upload a year ago, Nate has been constantly engaged in working with brands and producing creative content for his more than 50,000 YouTube subscribers. Needless to say, his subscribers often eagerly look forward to his weekly vlogs (with over 2.4 million views as of date!) on “Real Talk” and “#QandNate”. Recently, Nate was chosen to represent the Philippines in the 2017 YouTube Global Creator Camp at YouTube Space, New York.
Nate is also known for his outro, “Let’s seize the carpe diem together!” In this post, we might find out why he means this so.
WHEN YOU DO NOT KNOW WHICH WAY TO GO, SEEK GOD.
Nate began his response to the question with Romans 12:2: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.” He elaborates on this with, “When your mind does not think like the world, but thinks in a renewed way or the way that God wants you to think, then you’ll know what God’s will is for you.”
He then encourages those who are uncertain of which path to go (i.e., which desire or direction to pursue), to seek God first. “If you are going to make plans (this year), be sure it is aligned with God’s plans because His plans are the best.”
“Yes, I am all for staying close to your friends. I am all for relationships. I am all for making sure you have an image with your friends that is beyond reproach. But if you know deep down in your heart that you really want this, pray because maybe God gave you that desire. If God is the one who wanted you to pursue it and the one who gave you that desire, then you’ll know that everything will go well. It means you are being a faithful steward of God.”
WHEN IN FEAR, PLEASE GOD.
“One thing I know for sure is that the way that the world thinks is they want the approval of man.” For Nate, we should not fall into this trap. In reference to Galatians 1:10, John 12:43 and Ephesians 6:6, he adds, “You do need to please man, you need to please God.”
“I don’t know what it is so I can’t give advice on it (pertaining to the concern raised by the e-mail sender). But you know what it is. You have your leaders to help you out. And if you know that God is giving you this desire then by all means, pursue it. Pleasing God is a million times better than pleasing people.”
“One reason why people are scared to publish their work is they do not want people to judge them or criticize them. Even though they are expressing themselves with their own content, bearing their heart out to the world, they think: What if people just hate on me? I would have been scared, too. But I think I just grew up with the mindset that: When I do it, God is proud of me. My security is not on whether or not a stranger who I’ve never met posts a hate comment about it. So what you should care about is God’s perception of you – if He is pleased with you or not.”
WHEN IN DOUBT, HOLD ON TO GOD.
“Whenever I would doubt, my reassurance would always come from ‘Am I doing this for God’?” Referring to Matthew 6:33 (“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”), Nate adds, “Everything you need, God will give it to you if you are doing it for Him.”
Nate also believes that before making or pursuing any plan, one should pray about it, be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit, confirm it to God’s word and consider some wise counsel. “If God does not explicitly close the door on you, if you are not sinning, if you are being faithful and if you are doing it for God, then you are doing the right thing. There is no wrong choice if you are holding on to God the whole time.”, he emphasized.
FINALLY, FAIL FORWARD.
“I have a bunch of failed projects. But failure is really a win if you think of it as a learning experience.”
Without any hint of self-preservation, Nate continues with, “I have no problem with failure. I think the only reason people fear failure is they are scared of what other people will think of them when they fail. But if you look at it in perspective and you tell yourself: Hey, I didn’t fail. This project failed. I made a mistake in this but I am not a failure. The project is a failure. Sorry, Project. You are a failure. But me? I’m good. And because of the project’s failure, you can say: Okay, Project. I am learning more. Because you failed, I now know what I should have not done and what I should have done better. And you become more and more of a success as your projects fail.”
For Nate, failure is good as long as one fails forward. “When you fail, do it in a way that pushes you to the next level. Failure is good. I can’t stress it enough. Just because you failed once or a few times, does not mean you are a failure. It means that your project is a failure. You? You are becoming smarter.”
And so he tells those who are afraid of failing, specifically those who are afraid of risking their time, effort and resources for plans and desires they want to pursue for/through/with the Lord: “You are okay. If you are doing it for God and God is not stopping you, then do it with all your heart. Whether or not you fail is out of the question. Make the question not whether or not you fail but whether or not you learn. If you succeed, you learn. If you fail, you learn. It’s a win-win.