How Much Is Failure Worth?

Sometimes I look back at old posts and see a man I know is me but no longer recognize.

I look at the guy who asked if people suffer from blog envy and see a kid who thought he had been through a few things but had no clue just how much was yet to come.

It was before the floor fell out on some things and the world changed so I can’t really blame him for thinking he had experienced a lot because he had, but not to the degree he thought he had.

No surprises there.

If you were to go through my life and speak with me at five-year increments in time there is a good chance I would mention how much older or more experienced I feel compared to the time before it.

Don’t lose time asking why I felt like that was true, just know I was consistent about it and that now I am positive it is true.

That is part of what happens when you’re well beyond the fresh out of college, barely been married, young parent stages of life; especially when you have been through a thing or two.

About fear

The 17 long time readers of the blog know I am the guy who pushes his limits and crosses over blurred lines.

Some of you have written and or spoken with me about this and asked what it is like to be unfiltered and to be the guy that might say or do anything.

You have said wish you have/had my guts but I always warn you to think about what happens when you get what you ask for.

We live during a time when it is cool and trendy to say you haven’t let fear of failure prevent you from taking risks but I am here to tell you to be measured and aware about what that really means.

Why?

Because sometimes failure leads to tremendous learning experiences and growth but it can be really fucking painful.

Try getting fired a few times and having to figure out how to pay your bills when you have no money coming in and you can’t find a job.

It doesn’t matter whether you were let go because you are incompetent, your contract expired or you got caught in a reorganization.

Your ego and sense of self take a beating and you begin to question things about the world and your capabilities that you never wondered or worried about.

Cue Helter Skelter, and listen to Paul:

When I get to the bottom I go back to the top of the slide
Where I stop and I turn and I go for a ride

It is a hell of a ride and I have had the pleasure of riding that show pony a few times.

But the thing about it, the really special thing about confronting failure head on is that you learn how to deal with adversity and prove to yourself that you have a special skill set that you can call upon as needed.

It is how I learned how to not just walk, but dance upon the razor’s edge without fear of severe bloodletting because I know I can survive the nicks, pricks and slices.

Hell, I have had the blade shoved between my shoulders and twisted and that didn’t stop me from doing what was required.

How Much Is Failure Worth?

Long before I got my own private tour of Hell in the bed of a pickup truck filled with gasoline I made a decision to let my children fall and fail.

That is a fancy way of saying when they were little I didn’t go running every time they fell down. I took a moment to see if they were really hurt and if they weren’t I let them figure out how to stand back up.

I did it because I wanted them to learn from an early age that they were capable of figuring out how to deal with adversity.

It is a practice I have continued to engage in throughout their lives.

The challenge has been trying to make sure their ego and self esteem wasn’t destroyed in the process. I never want them to feel like I don’t have their back and won’t support them.

But I don’t want them to expect me to rescue them every time things get hard. There is value in learning how to be resourceful.

I think it has worked because they are well adjusted, independent and good students.

Let’s hope that is accurate and I am not one of those parents who is blind to the reality of who and what their children are.

workforprize

I turned on Johnny Cash so I could listen to his cover of Hurt.

Been focusing on putting everything inside my head onto these pages again, partly to understand what I think/feel and partly to exorcise a few demons.

That old fire in my belly never stops burning but it burns harder and higher when I am angry and I am angry now.

But I am happy and scared too.

So there is this odd combination of happy, angry and frightened floating around inside my head.

 

That anger is mostly frustration with myself and some other people. You could say that the fear is intermixed in that all too.

But that happy spot, well that is there because I look back at where I was and see how I overcame to get back to this place.

There is this song in my head that only I can hear, a path only I can see that I am following.

I wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t failed and I hadn’t paid a price, but I wouldn’t appreciate all I have and accomplished either.

 

Now we go onto the next steps and determine if the value meets or exceeds the price I paid.

That is part of the joy of the journey, it is different for us all. What do you think?

2 Comments

  1. Julie February 13, 2016 at 8:18 am

    It is really fucking painful, and sometimes it sneaks up on you and smacks you in the back of the head with a shovel, just for fun. In the end, I’m betting your value will exceed the price. Whatever happens, at least we can say we played.

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