The first week of 2018 is behind me.
I thought a bit about what Ben Noble of I’m Making All This Up said in his newsletter last week. Choose a word to set the tone for the year. Since that seems too vague and simultaneously too constricting, I’ll choose different words to focus on, as needed.
This past week I thought a lot about failure.
I chastise and belittle myself all the time for failing.
Failing to be graceful. Instead, I’m clumsy which causes bruises, embarrassment, frustration, pain, anger.
Failing to eat healthfully at all times. Instead, using junk food to fill myself when I feel emotionally empty and/or overwhelmed.
Failing to be financially successful. Instead, I followed my artist nature and it has never been a source of expendable income.
Failing to go to college. Instead, using my free time to pursue my art while raising a family.
Failing to write regularly. Instead, pushing it off and using weak excuses.
Failing to be kind to myself.
Failing to see my accomplishments.
Failing to give myself a break… a chance… a pat on the back.
Failing to see failure like a scientist. Instead, attacking my own character and worth.
I’d like to learn to use this meaning of failure moving forward, Treat Failure Like A Scientist. (from I Done This):
Your failures are simply data points that can help lead you to the right answer.
If you run enough experiments, then sometimes you’re going to get a negative result. It happens to every scientist, and it will happen to you and me as well. To paraphrase Seth Godin: Failure is simply a cost you have to pay on the way to being right.
Treat failure like a scientist. Your failures are not you. Your successes are not you. They are simply data points that help guide the next experiment.
My latest mantra: Experiment, collect data, repeat.