It Would Be Boring If Everything Went According to Plan

Sometimes things go wrong. In fact, it seems they go wrong often. I wish I would have good things to tell about  my newest challenge, but as it happened, I failed.

From Failure to Failure

I failed Spiral of Awesomeness, I failed the Hard Work Challenge. I’ve failed and I’ve failed. No matter. I keep trying. Fail better. Fail at bigger things.

For all my failures, I don’t deem myself a failure. In fact, I see that through all of these repeated attempts to smash my head against the wall I’ve developed a thicker skull and learned a lesson or two.

This won’t be my definitive post about you needing to fail, though that could and should be one of your takeaways from this message – we all need to fail so many times before we even start to have a clue what we are doing.

Things Don’t Go According To Plan – Good

I’m sure many are interested of how did I fail the Hard Work Challenge – I’ll get back to it later, but it is not how you think. In fact, you could say I was unfortunate.

Now though, I want to talk about what I reflected upon in those gutted moments standing at the ruin of the challenge.

Let’s think of a moment about movies. If the hero just completed his objective without any setbacks, it would be one hell of a boring movie. It works the same way in this regard – if I just went from strength to strength, it would be too easy. There would be no story there. The story is what makes us feel really alive, it is the setbacks and adversity that we deal with.

Adversity is good. It is what forces us to grow. It is what hardens us to deal with more of it.

I welcome my failure in the challenge. It makes for a better blog to have me fail my way to the top, or however high I’m going in the end. It makes for a better story to have to have gone through some bullshit. Most importantly, it makes succeeding, whenever it finally happens, be all the more rewarding.

But Did I Really Fail?

Yes I did – the terms of the original challenge were very clear. On Tuesday I completed my ten hours as I always did, but as the clock was approaching midnight with me already being exhausted, I had forgotten to write my daily 750 words*. Writing these were part of the challenge. It might be cruel to deem myself to have failed and miss out on a trip to New York (that I really, really wanted to do) for a thing that would have taken 15-20 minutes to complete, but a rule is a rule. I’ll have chances to visit the Big Apple some other time. I failed my commitment, and for the rewards to be real I can’t get them if I don’t succeed.

But let’s look deeper – did I really fail any of these times? Haven’t I repeatedly regarded Spiral of Awesomeness a positive experience, not a failure? Did I not complete two weeks of my Hard Work Challenge and learn a whole bunch of things? Things like focus and putting in long hours, among others?

I did learn all that, and that is the very fundamental piece of wisdom I’m going leave you with. There’s no failure – there’s either success or a lesson. Success or experience. If lucky, both. Certainly at least one of them – ain’t life beautiful like that?

What do you think? Drop a comment below.

*What made it even more brutal and gutting was that it also marked an end to an over 500-day streak - while writing 750 words every day is not that hard, it will still take me at least to early 2015 to even match that streak - oh well, streaks are meant to be broken.

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