… And with these two words begins another auspicious journey, a journey through the mind of that one-of-a-kind friend of the Earth, visitor to the stars, and swimmer with the fishies at the bottom of the deep blue sea, the one and only…
Woo hoo! Hear the applause! Hear the audience go wild (as I make fake audience sound by blowing through my mouth like I’m trying to fog up a window and hold my hand up as a fake megaphone). What an incredible reception! I am so grateful, so very grateful, thank you one and all…
Okay, back to reality. But it was fun while it lasted, wasn’t it? Anyway, here I am, sitting at my chair and my computer in the middle of the day in Sacramento, which is in California, which is in the United States of America, which is on planet earth, and if you need further description then either there’s something wrong with you or this blog has a much further reach than I thought (I know of the “world wide web,” but the “universe-wide web?” The hottest thing in 2147!)
Like I said, back to “reality.” Posh. Reality is boring. I create reality. Reality is in my mind. That is what the Law of Attraction experts say. That we create our own realities. Like Wayne in Wayne’s World: “She will be mine. Oh yes… she will be mine.” The power of thought is undeniable.
So let me talk about failure. Failure failure failure! Ouch! What a thing! We all hate it right? We all shun it, fear it, avoid it, shrink from it, attempt to escape its clutches and insure ourselves from it… and yet, somewhere along the path, we encounter it… like the mythical wolf in the woods that eventually is going to find us, step on the path we are walking, and force us to do something… or be eaten.
What of it?
To bring up another cool movie (a favorite of my wife and mine), “Elizabethtown,” the main character mistakenly helps a company launch a shoe product that MASSIVELY fails, costing the company almost a billion dollars… and in his state of shame on the brink of suicide he learns that his father has died and has to go back to his father’s home town to bury him. And there’s this scene where the female lead/love interest says to him “So you failed. You failed, you failed, you failed.”
What of it?
And furthermore, now what?
Believe me, I am probably an expert at failure. I “failed” to make it work with a music mentor I thought was my ticket to success (!). I “failed” to properly promote two CDs I’ve put out, and I’ve so far “failed” to put out many more songs that I quite like! Plus, most recently, I “failed” when I shared this blog with my email list and got like 0 responses!
Blah blah blah.
I’m still here. Man I used to wallow in it, in fact I did everything I could to avoid failure. That’s what perfectionism is! But right now these latest episodes of failure just kind of irritate me, maybe disappoint me. But I’m learning to move on. Because it’s all part of the growing process.
Yesterday I awoke to find that someone had ordered my piano album… in the complete absence of promoting my album last week, or even this year for that matter. And this represents “success” in a simple form… and it feels good… and it negates any of those other previous “failures.”
And on my birthday, which was 3 days ago, I took a 16 mile hike with my brother and had a GREAT time… and that was success, in another form.
I could go on and on, the list of daily wins, the list of successes, no less important than any “failures.” I know the failures can suck, but furthermore, I know that the wins are coming. I know that the more I step up to the plate, the more I may strike out… but also, the more I may win!
In fact, to use another weird but highly relevant example, last year I started playing Scrabble on my phone, and to be honest, I was quite conservative at first about playing new people, because I was worried that I would lose… and then my Scrabble stats would look bad, and somehow this would make me look like a “loser” (?? wtf) Maybe it’s hanging out with my wife, who just likes to play whether she wins or loses, or maybe it’s just seeing the error of my overly-competitive, winning-obsessed ways in this case, but I’ve decided not to HAVE TO avoid losing. And you know what? As a consequence, I play more games. I’m having more fun. And i’m still winning! And I’m losing too, but less than I’m winning. And I’m learning not to care so much. Because it’s a fricking game!
I’m learning that if I am willing to fail, then I am willing to LIVE. I’m willing to show up and play the game, win or lose, succeed or fail. That is so much more important than making sure the score always looks good in my favor.
Know what I mean?
So Long Live Failure.
May it continue to teach us, to inspire us to greater action and the inevitable success that is on its way…
4 Thoughts to “Let’s Talk about Failure! (Yeah baby)”
Love it! Thanks for the blog and especially this sentence: “I’m learning that if I am willing to fail, then I am willing to LIVE.”
…Not the philosophy we are taught in school, where grades and getting everything “right” is the priority…
Why beat ourselves up. When we learn from failure we grow. Each day is a gift. Thanks for your blog Chris. When we open ourselves up to others and let them in, we find out so much about ourselves.
Hi Mary. Yeah, I find that this blog allows me to let people in in ways I never have before. I find it’s very freeing… and yes, I am learning about myself too.
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