Principle — Dare to fail
Fail – to fall short in what is expected.
Most of us are afraid to fail, we’re terrified by it. Not so much for our own sake, but we don’t want someone else to see us fail. We always want to be seen as perfect. Keep the facade up at all costs. “To err is human,” it is said, but we do not want to be human, we want to be better than that!
Mark Twain has said much. This is one of his more dramatic quotes.
The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.
Quite a lot easier said than done, but why are we afraid, really?
June 17, 2013 Comments Off
A somewhat provocative statement from Seth Godin.
No, everything is not going to be okay. It never is. It isn’t okay now. Change, by definition, changes things. It makes some things better and some things worse. But everything is never okay.
Finding the bravery to shun faux reassurance is a critical step in producing important change. Once you free yourself from the need for perfect acceptance, it’s a lot easier to launch work that matters.
Can you handle not doing perfect? Not even doing okay?
January 20, 2011 1 Comment
Remember: Resistance arises second.
What comes first is the idea, the passion, the work we are so excited to create that it scares the shit out of us.
What is it that you are passionate enough about to became scared to do?
December 23, 2010 Comments Off
Seth Godin nicely summarizes how all the things we consider good (apologizing, delegating, volunteering, sharing, etc) are actually rather hard.
Risking the appearance of weakness takes strength.
Are you strong enough to appear weak?
December 20, 2010 Comments Off
Steve Pavlina, from The Courage to Live Consiously, on how to make constructive use of your fears.
Fear is not your enemy. It is a compass pointing you to the areas where you need to grow.
What do you fear?
December 11, 2010 Comments Off
Seth Godin, in a guest post at Zen Habits, talks about why little companies get so much more out the door than big ones:
Because big companies have committees, groups of people designed to protect the status quo, to prevent failure, to avoid catastrophe. The committee is made up of humans, each of whom is battling her own version of the resistance. “If this ships, my boss will see it, and I might get fired.” “If this ships, a kid might use it, cut of his finger and I might get in trouble.” “If this ships, people are going to think it was my idea, and there’s a chance, just a chance, they might hate it.” Most of all, “if this ships, people might laugh at me.” And so the committee shoots for the lowest common denominator of safety, a product or service or idea that arouses no one’s lizard brain. Which means mediocre. Or late. Or both.
What does the resistance stop you from achieving?
March 15, 2010 Comments Off
Even really smart and creative people fail a lot, as noted by Seth Godin.
When I was at MOMA last week, I saw a list of director and artist Tim Burton’s projects. Here’s the guy who’s responsible for some of the most breathtaking movies of his generation, and the real surprise is this: almost every year over the last thirty, he worked on one or more exciting projects that were never green lighted and produced. Every year, he spent an enormous amount of time on failed projects.
Do you fail big-time every year? Do you win big-time every year?
March 4, 2010 Comments Off
Here’s Seth Godin’s take on what laziness means in today’s world — somewhat counter-intuitive.
Laziness in a white collar job has nothing to do with avoiding hard physical labor. “Who wants to help me move this box!” Instead, it has to do with avoiding difficult (and apparently risky) intellectual labor.
“Honey, how was your day?”
“Oh, I was busy, incredibly busy.”
“I get that you were busy. But did you do anything important?”
Busy does not equal important. Measured doesn’t mean mattered.
Are you lazy-busy?
February 26, 2010 Comments Off
Let’s say you are interested in something. You might read a lot on that subject, you think about it, maybe even talk to other people about it. Perhaps you write notes about it, underline words or sentences in books or magazines.
Now, most likely, you can give me a long list of different reasons why this would be a stupid idea. No-one would ever read it. You don’t know enough about the subject. You don’t have enough time. You are not a good enough speller. It would be embarrassing. People might see it and think you’re stupid. The list goes on.
Do you know where all of these excuses come from? The resistance. Your lizard brain. The part of your brain which is desperately trying to keep you out of danger, to keep things as they are, to be safe. It is your number one enemy to making your life better. It doesn’t want things to be better, just the same. It’s safer that way.
But if you really think about it, does the excuses above really hold water? Would no-one ever read it? Well, if no-one would, then it doesn’t hurt publishing it anyway. You don’t know enough about the subject? Well, if you’re interested enough in it to study it (which probably is more than most people are doing), then you most likely know more about it than most people. Maybe there are people who know more about it than you, but that doesn’t matter. You don’t have enough time? Just keep it simple, and publish the notes you are writing anyway. Would people think you are stupid when they saw it? Well, what if they did? People who think you’re stupid for sharing what you are passionate about aren’t worth knowing or caring about anyway.
In fact, a number of great and well-known blogs have been created this very way. Jeff Atwood, creator of Coding Horror which is arguably the number 1 blog for programmers, has the following to say on why he is blogging.
Mostly for selfish reasons. I needed a way to keep track of software development over time — whatever I am thinking about or working on. I research things I find interesting, then document my research with a public blog post, which I can easily find and refer to later. Hopefully other people will find these posts helpful, relevant, or interesting.
So, if you have passion for a subject, don’t keep that for yourself! Share it with the world, and you might very well notice that you learn even more from it!
February 8, 2010 Comments Off
Teddy Roosevelt, the 26:th American President, said:
Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.
February 4, 2010 Comments Off