One-hundred per cent

Everyone has flaws; it’s a simple and necessary corollary to “Nobody’s perfect.”  It is how we, as individuals, address these particular hindrances that sets apart failure, and success.  Throughout life, a reoccurring lesson I’ve come across is to fail, and fail a lot. To fail intentionally would be foolish, but in most situations, it’s a precursor to success.  You will not become a better guitar player if you abstain from practicing (and sounding awful) for the first few months.  You will not become a Casanova without being rejected by a few hundred women.  Create three ugly websites before your masterpiece.  Put simply, “Throw shit against the wall and see what sticks.”  It’s a much more effective alternative to eternally staring at the wall, with the pile of shit in your hand, thinking about how you can perfectly throw it and maximize its stick potential.

“Failure” is too harsh a word.  It implies a totally negative connotation.  You failed, you screwed up, you wasted your time and effort?  Nonsense.  But every situation where you fail should be a learning experience, a way to improve for next time.  Fear of failure is what often holds us back, when the risk or possible loss won’t even be that great.  More often than not, you’ll walk away with nothing more than a bruised ego, and realize it was totally worth it.

A personal flaw, something I’ve recognized and try to address, is doing things 70% of the way through.  My father would be furious.  I know how to play 70% of hundreds of songs on guitar, but there are very few I can play in their entirety.  When it comes to writing music, I’ll lay out 2 of 3 verses, probably neglect a bridge, and then relegate the unfinished symphony to a notebook on the bookcase.  I’ll start a fiction writing exercise, be happy with where it’s going, and then scrap it, thinking that the next one i write will be better.

All of these situations are inexcusable.  Goals are always more effective when put into writing.  So this is my personal call to action, as well as a challenge to everyone else, to be incredibly thorough in everything you do.  Otherwise, what’s the point?  If you don’t give 100% to the task at hand, it is not worth undertaking.  You have the potential to give it your all, so do it.  No excuses.

I’m curious (and would also like to get some feedback if nothing else) as to the self-recognized flaws of readers, and how they are addressing them.

“Lively up YOURSELF/Nobody gonna do it for you.”

-Bob Marley

4 responses to “One-hundred per cent

  1. a wise old snake once said: mistakes are a part of life. once you make a one, you won’t (or shouldn’t) make that same mistake again. then you have learned. it’s all part of the experience. if you don’t immerse yourself in life or are too afraid to try to throw the shit on the wall, then you are not truly living.

  2. beautythroughthelens

    There’s a song I used to listen to with a lyric that I loved:
    “To fall is not to fail, you fail when you don’t try.”
    I totally agree that failure is a necessary part of existence and that we cannot learn without it.

    As for my self-recognized flaw… this hasn’t changed in all my years… procrastination. There are so many more enjoyable things to do than the necessary task at hand. Even if I enjoy the task at hand. I would rather put it aside and do something else. I like to think I do it because I thrive under the pressure, but I think that might just be an excuse I made up at crunch time when I was at school.

  3. I think everyone under the age of thirty could claim procrastination as a character flaw, so let’s just chalk that up to the fact we all grew up on cable TV and refined sugars and move on to our other foibles (in honor of Yom Kippur). Mine: my inability to think of personal faults (also known as arrogance).

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