I had a golden moment and it was a little bit of a kick in the ass that I needed.
What was it?
I was listening to the audiobook of Seth Godin’s book Poke The Box and one theme really struck me about my life.
What have I started recently that could fail?
And by recently I mean the last 5 years. What had I really committed to doing that could fail, where had I stuck my neck out?
Truth is probably no where.
Starting blogs and new website ideas weren’t things that I had to worry about failing. I mean what’s the most I could lose £20. I’d just stop when they never took off. Some will say the Beer Emporium is one thing but the truth is that’s someone else’s idea I was just investing in. I’m now more involved but that wasn’t something I started.
This also relates to relationships, how many of those have I really committed to in 5+ years – Zero. Why would I start something I think will fail? Same with fitness and health have I committed to doing anything like that either – not really.
Truth is there’s 2 things in my life I do that I am happy to fail at and continue to learn from it to make it, or myself, better until it works and this is perhaps the point of Seth’s book.
1. Computer Programming – as Seth says computer programmers don’t expect to get it right first time, in-fact they know 99.9% of the time the first try won’t work, all they have to do is see what does happen and learn from it. When I work with computers I want to see what happens, I don’t need to know exactly why it happened I just need to learn from it. Once I see what happens when I program a line of code I then edit it to do what I want to happen and test again. My latest program is now in it’s 279 revision, those are published revisions not individual edits. This is what Seth calls poking the box.
2. Golf – Now this crazy game I never expect to do anyting but fail, I’m not Tiger Woods or Rory Mcilroy but there’s no reason I can’t bash that little white ball around and have fun. I may beat my last score and my analytical skills will be able to access the feedback and make changes for the next shot. I’ve never given up or thought that’s it no more with golf, I’ve just decided to be better next time. I guess it’s a sport I can’t blame anyone else for my own failings and the score keeps measuring my true progress.
So why don’t I seem to have the ability to try this method in life? Or when did the fear of failure take such a grip that we don’t try anything new? I’m certainly glad I never had that attitude when I was learning to walk or ride a bike.
Maybe’s it’s time to embrace the fear of failure and remember – There is no such thing as failure only feedback.[product id=”676″]