I sit here today, taking a break in my extremely unstructured day to nosh on a little thawed something for lunch.  The food in question which emerged unlabeled from my freezer turned out to be some sort of thai chickeny something which I have absolutely no recollection of having either cooked or purchased.  I munch away, throwing all gastrointestinal caution to the wind, and find my thoughts turning to the concept of failure.

Perhaps it is a bad omen to be contemplating the nature of failure at exactly the time that one is building a new business and I certainly hope not to expand my knowledge base  in this area anytime soon but I wonder if I have been going about it all wrong by being morbidly afraid of not reaching all goals.

The concept of failure in an exercise regime is an extremely important one.  If you do not know how far you can push yourself before you can absolutely go no further you cannot glean what a reasonable level of effort truly is.  I was taking an exercise class recently (5 days a week at 6:30 AM, but we shall examine my sanity at another date) where the instructor routinely pushed the entire class to the point where they failed.  The result was an interesting one.  In many exercise classes there is a definite strata of ability and it can inspire a willful yet unspoken competition.  When everyone in the class is ultimately going to founder it breeds a real sense of camaraderie.  You encourage the people who suck because, well, you do too.  It is very friendly and I found I really liked being in the class, even though I was routinely collapsed in an unruly pile on the floor.

I have recently been taking an improv class.  The instructors reiterate the fact that “improv is 80% failure” (though in my case I suspect it is significantly more).  You cannot pre-plan an improv sketch and the second you TRY to be funny, you aren’t.  The excellent moments are never ones that are preconceived, they are the weird left turn reactions that people take and that everyone just decides to run with.  Improv teaches you to relinquish control and to just let things unfold which for a life long producer by trade and control freak by nature is no easy task.

I will never lose the fear of failure and I don’t think it would benefit me if I did, but I am glad that I am learning to embrace the fact that things going wrong can often teach the most valuable lessons.

Its a fun concept in terms of goals – to be the best failer that failure has ever seen.  I certainly hope I don’t start with my internal organs from ingesting this dubious freezer offering, but I am intrigued to discover what lessons lie in the future.

One Response to “Failure”

  1. Sus says:

    Most of your failures in life would be counted as successes for the rest of us!

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