One of the problems a lot of people have is that they don't fail enough. At this point, for me, I seen to have crossed some threshold where additional unintentional errors and mistakes isn't bother me. I'm on the edge of so many things I'm trying to learn that I'm finding myself confused or making errors that were obvious in retrospect fairly often.
And you know what? It's not so bad.
Some errors are embarrassing, some are ridiculous, some are obvious in hindsight. But a lot of things are falling into place too. I still don't like making mistakes, and give the biggest effort I can - but often my biggest, focused effort isn't good enough when I'm pushing the envelope.
But you know what? It's like, not much has changed. My life is the same life I had last month, except now I'm making more errors, and I'm also accomplishing a lot more stuff.
Maybe people don't do this because they make one error, and it kind of shocks them out of normal life. It gets easier. I keep trying to write down six things at the end of every day to do the next day, and then not doing them all the next day. But I'm doing a hell of a lot more than I was. Eventually I'll start going for 6 for 6 frequently.
I'm trying to do some really tricky stuff with my new business where most people in the business have 20+ years of experience, which I obviously don't have. I keep making errors. I mean, I'm not trying to, but there's lots of things to figure out. It's ok though, I'm learning a ton. I kind of dig it. The failure is less making me cringe and more making me shake my head and roll my eyes at myself. It's pretty good.
I'm pushing the boundaries on my writing, getting lots of feedback from people. Trying to find the right mix of entertaining, thought provoking, connecting with people, slightly provocative, not too offensive, etc. Hard mix to find. Before I would write too timid, boring, safe. It's gotten a lot more entertaining, but I'm making more mistakes too. But it's not so bad. Maybe it's even good in a way. I kind of almost dig it, all the errors are helping me figure out where the line is. I think most people are miles away from the line their whole life.
When's the last time you tried something, gave it your best effort, and it fell apart? If it was happening more often, would you also be succeeding more? What do you really lose when things go wrong? Pride? Your will's pretty strong, though, right? You'd survive if you made a screwup, yes? I'm thinking - fail more. It's not so bad. Succeed more too. Succeeding is good.
I don't like making mistakes. In fact, I think I dislike it more than most people.
Yet, in any discipline that includes new and novel and pioneering things, mistakes must be made. This is not a good thing, per se. But it's not a bad thing either. It's just a thing.
Embarrassment is something else entirely. The vast majority of mistakes won't be noticed by anyone else, but embarrassment is when you do something that you don't like how it reflects on you to other people.
While most mistakes can be fixed and then mostly shrugged off, I think embarrassment cuts people much deeper. In fact, I've heard plenty of anecdotes of a person getting embarrassed the first time they tried to do something, and then not trying again for a few years. Or quitting entirely, even.
Yesterday, at 5:35 am, I finished my fourth book of 2014. It was Robert Greene's 'The 48 laws of power'. In this blogpost, I will explain why I push myself to read, why it's so important to me, and why I'm (sort of) glad that most people don't read.
Over the past couple of years, self-development has become really important to me. I realised at one point that if I don't work on improving myself in skills, physique, intelligence, personality and way of thinking, I would end up with a really shitty life. So I started reading books in order to grow. What makes books so important? I'm a very practical person. I'm hands-on and more comfortable with doing things than talking or thinking about them. Books help me improve my weak side, the theoretical side of life, the abstract. (i.e. marketing, PR, social psychology, story telling, politics, boedhism,...) I exercise both my art skills and my physique, but I need brains in order to put that into good use. And the brain can be trained by reading and studying books.
Books give me a better sense of my lifes purpose. I can build or improve my own character and insights from the insights and stories from various books. For example, Seneca's 'Letters from a Stoic' has had a profound impact on the way I look at wealth, audience and morals. Here's one of his quotes:
'“A cheerful poverty is an honourable state” - Epicurus.- But if it is cheerful it is not poverty at all. It is not the man who has too little who is poor, but the one who hankers after more.'- Seneca