As a kid, in almost everything we start out doing, we screw up until we succeed. Yet, as adults, we totally forget this concept. We somehow magically think that because we hit a certain age, we should just know. We should just know how to find a new job, fall in love, make friends, start a business, give a presentation, write a blog, buy a house, right? Even if we haven’t done them in a while, we did it once, so we know, right? Oh, we are so unprepared!
Hey, ever watch Skateboard videos? Seriously, do you? I don’t grind <—–(Kewl Skateboard lingo!) but I have a few friends who do, or did, and they often post videos of guys trying new tricks. Know what is Kewl about their videos?
They show all their screw ups!
They are about the only people that SHOW you how, over and over they try their tricks until they get it. And they screw up, and MAN some of those screw ups look like they hurt bad. But they get up and do it again, until they finally do it. And they share the screw ups, all of em. The simple ones and the hard ones, and at the end, they show how they finally succeed. I love that. I love that they show us that it took a ton of tries to do it. That those amazing tricks are not just BAM and done. Even Tony Hawk. (listen to Tony Hawk, the most accomplished skateboarder in history talk about how he feels about this trick – remember, he’s the best EVER!)
Screw ups are not failure. Failure is forever giving up on something you REALLY want that you also have some control over.
Two things we often call failure, that are not:
1. Quitting is NOT failure!
I played Saxophone from 5th grade until the end of my Jr. year in High School. I quit my Sr. year. I was terrified to ask my parents if I could quit. Band, you see, was HUGE in my family. Open my brother or sisters instrument cases, and the tops were FILLED with medals. (mine, not so much). I got so nervous, I was actually shaking when I finally approached my parents about quitting. Their response was, “well, if you don’t want to do it, that’s fine.” OMG! I was so relieved. They truly understood, and I am grateful for that. I didn’t fail at band (or the saxophone) because I quit, I quit because it wasn’t something I really wanted to DO! I did it because I thought I had to, that I was supposed to, that was part of what it was to be a kid in this family. This isn’t a failure, it’s a realization – and it’s a GOOD thing! Why continue to torture yourself doing something that you really don’t like? (This applies to MANY things in our lives!) NOT failure.
2. Walking away until you are ready is NOT failure
In my late 20’s I was doing a lot of writing and motivational speaking. THIS I really did enjoy. I had actually tailored my “real life” around being able to have time to do these things. Then, I met a girl. Long story short, life totally changed, and I stopped doing these two things. I couldn’t figure out how to balance out Job/family and writing and speaking. I put it aside (and honestly almost gave it up, I started to forget about it). But, now, here I am! I am BACK baby, and I am going to do this better than ever! Had I tried to “have it all”, I may have failed in the long run. You may WANT that job/career/relationship/trip/experience, but if you can’t really lean into it, then put it aside for the time being. Changing your priorities is NOT failure.
Screw up! Get hurt. LEARN from it. Get back up and screw up again! It’s how we actually DO life. It’s okay If you really want it, and you can lean into it, you will eventually succeed!
Go out and DO the doings people!