Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Failing Is Good

Ever fail at something? I mean really, really badly?
Wasn’t it great?
Seriously, after all the dust settled, and you picked up the pieces and got on with your life, (and maybe worked though a few other clichés) didn’t you feel pretty good?

Everyone fears failure. We don’t want to be a loser or a screw-up. We want to be good at what we do, not a laughingstock.
Look around your life. You likely know someone who won’t try anything because s/he might not be good at it.
I had a friend like that years ago. Talked a good game but wouldn’t do much because she was terrified she wouldn’t be perfect at it. She couldn’t get it through her head that no one was perfect at anything, but that’s not my point.

Figuring you have to be good at something, anything, first time out is absurd. Practice makes perfect although no one is perfect. We’re human. Everybody’s practicing.
So here’s some free advice. Get out and be lousy at something. Really stink the place out. Be the worst you can be.

What have you always a wanted to do? With me it was play guitar.
I come from a musical family on dad’s side. I got my talent from my mom’s side. I own a very good guitar and some simple songbooks. In fact some are so simple the name of the note is written within its symbol. I’m pleased to say that’s more than I require. But not much more.
My fingers remember the notes in the first position although I have to stop and think about low E, F, and G.
I’m not tone deaf though I do have a very high tolerance for missteps. I can play that lovely guitar when it’s out of tune and it doesn’t bother me. However, it has gotten so bad that even I could tell it needed adjusting.

It’s a gross overstatement to say that I failed. I learned to read music and to play simple melodies. I can even do a passable rendition of the opening of Marty Robbins’ El Paso because I taught myself to read simple tablature.
However, it’s an even grosser overstatement to say I’ve succeeded. I cannot tell a note just by listening. I do not remember how songs go; I have to have the music in front of me.
My husband can play violin by ear and guitar too, to an extent. He will say things to me like go higher, meaning, I suppose, to go higher on the scale. I cannot reason out how to do that.

I’ve tried. I have failed. It’s great.

Now, get out there and fail at something today so you can enjoy it later.

6 comments:

Crabby McSlacker said...

Nice post, and a good reminder.

I still hate failing, though, especially if it's at something I've put a lot of effort into.

Wish I could be more Zen about it and welcome opportunities for self improvement. But I want to be good at stuff, and when I'm not I pout.

Perhaps someday I'll evolve and learn to embrace my ineptitude. Instead I just tend to avoid endeavors that make me look like an idiot. I probably miss out on a lot of fun that way.

Samantha said...

Failing is often perception. I love to try new things, often I am not very good at them but, if I learned something, anything, I do not think that I failed.
Still, I think that it maybe a learning experience to admit when something is I did was a failure. But, if I admit it then I might not want to try again.
Denial, my fair weather friend.

Dawn said...

Embrace public failure and the shame and humiliation that goes with it? Yep. I have. I've locked myself out of my own blog! How's that for a fairly public show of total ineptitude.

I am a failure as a blogger.

Oh well, I'll just cruise round everyone else's blogs until Blogger Tech Help gets back to me.

It's so nice to have you back, Leah.

amy said...

Glad you're back! Nice shot on yesterday's post. We must dish soon... you can tell me all about Montana etc, 'K? Oh, and good post today... very very true!! How can you learn if you don't fail?

Leah J. Utas said...

Embracing one's ineptitude leads to a much healthier life, Crabby.

You're right, Samantha. It's all perception. Change how you view a failure and you see it for what else it is: experience. And something to laugh about later.

Dawn, feel free to park here until you get back into your blog. Not only will you have a great story to tell, when someone you know does it you'll be able to help.

Amy, glad you like the pic. Thanks.
I'll happily tell you what I can about my adventures. I'll be posting about it, too.

Now if you'll excuse me I have to go fail at something or my day just won't be complete.

Anonymous said...

Leah,
Great post, good timing, I needed the reminder. (I guess that abundance thing really works!)

Oh, and that explains a lot! :-}

Like the pic too.

R