“I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game-winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
There are times in your life when failure – and I mean complete abject failure occurs. Embrace it.
Lucille ball, arguably one of the most loved actors of the 20th century, also the first woman to build and head a TV studio and create original production methods (live studio audience anyone?) still used to this day. Did you know she had a very rocky life that was chock full of failures and downturns and people who told her that she would never succeed in her chosen path?
But what else did she have? A dream, a goal, and persistence. This was a woman who would not give up.
You know that gut-wrenching feeling when you don’t get something perfect on your first try or you are told by others that you will never succeed because you just aren’t good enough? That’s life. It happens and it hurts because you know – really know in your heart of hearts that you really could and really should be doing the thing (whatever the thing is). And that ‘knowing’, my friend, that’s the universe saying, “Bullshit to that, you got this. Try again.”
“You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”
5,126 – that’s the number of failed prototypes Sir James Dyson created over the years as he tried, again and again, to perfect what he knew would be a revolutionary new vacuum. Three plus years after that before he was able to actually build and sell a version. He had to even create his own company before he could market it to the masses (Tesla, anyone?). And now? A technology that is used daily by millions everywhere and in many industries – and let’s not forget Sir Dyson’s net worth of over £16.2 billion setting him at the top of the Sunday Times Rich List as the richest person in the UK in 2020.
And now, Dyson gives that opportunity to try and fail and try again to those who work for him. “Nothing beats the thrill of invention. Letting people go out and try their ideas, getting them totally involved, and unleashing new thinking,” he says. “They’re not bound to any methodology — in fact, the stranger and riskier, the better.”
Well, it’s been some kind of time lately, hasn’t it?
I’ve been lucky to connect with some terrific and highly motivated people that are helping facilitate the 360 Streetview project I’ve been working on. Now is the time to do what we still can even through self-isolation, and good news, we are getting some behind the scenes things done. It’s exciting to see the pieces coming together!
Something to consider for your projects as well.
Just because things around you are out of your control, you still have a say in the way your life and your dreams head. Ultimately you are the one to do the thing if it’s something you truly want to do. Take this time for planning if you can’t get out doing. Take this time for thinking through the things that you can do and map out a path on how to get there.
Motivation can be hard, but what’s even harder is kicking yourself day in and out for not doing the things you dream of – for not heading toward your goals – for not trying. It doesn’t matter what those goals are, just that they are yours.
So don’t think – do. And the next thing you know, you have taken another step toward the place where your dreams live. Don’t wait for motivation. Just take the action toward the goal. The motivation will catch up with you, don’t worry.
So much has been going on – and yet not going on, interestingly – for the last 6 weeks. It’s been a very strange time for all of us, and I’m definitely no exception. With a head full of mixed priorities and trying to figure out that magic combination of things to do that will pull them all together, it’s been at times confusing, frightening and frustrating for a variety of reasons.
On one hand, there are externally focused issues, such as being the primary caregiver for an older parent who is basically hiding in her home in another state. There’s also an inundation of highly urgent projects and programs that need launching, all in emergency status with faster-than-the-speed-of-light timelines due to the nature of Covid and the high speed of change in the markets right now.
Then we have the internally focused issues, which if I’m to be completely honest are much more troubling than the stress of any of the immediate day-to-day work that needs to be done. I love fast-paced smart work that makes a difference. Tangible activities with tangible outcomes overcomes any stressors from quick turnarounds, immediate deadlines or any amount of multi-tasking.
It’s this time alone with your own thoughts and dare I say, insecurities that spring out of the quiet moments when there is no more immediate work to keep your mind busy, where there has been a lot of introspection. Half of my mind reeling as I sit inside these apartment walls, thinking of a lifetime of choices and outcomes, efforts and inactivity, dreams, goals, and aspirations still yet to be fulfilled.
I suppose this kind of utterly extraordinary circumstance breeds these thoughts and misgivings – of both past and present choices as well as future prospects and dreams. One thing I have grappled with during this time is falling into that comfy old afghan of self-doubt and regret. It’s a snug old thing, always calling me into its recognizable warmth – but it’s a deadly embrace. One that will suck all hope if you aren’t careful.
So I’m making an active choice – EVERY DAY – to throw that old blanket off (maybe a trip through the washing machine will get that stench of self-pity out) and get moving. It’s not going to be easy, but when is anything that is amazing in life easy? A little self-forgiveness and a lot of one-step-in-front-of-the-other and we can all make it through this … and anything, to be fair.