I’m still thinking about failing – some gems I found today on Seth Godin’s website:
fail often. dream big and fail often.
you can’t have a lot of good ideas without generating a lot of bad ones
I was thinking about failure in another context this morning. I’ve just started running. Those who know me understand how extraordinary this is. I’ve never been able to run. Not being able to run was as much a part of my identity as my curly hair, or my relentless overuse of the word ‘relentless’. It wasn’t that i needed to try harder, it was that my body wasn’t built for running. I’d start, and 30 seconds later I’d need to stop. But then i found a way for that 30 seconds to become 30 minutes… And inexplicably, unbelievably, what was once true [because ‘i can’t run’ really was true] no longer is… which is disconcerting, bemusing, and completely lovely.
I was thinking when i was out this morning how, at school, running slowly was never an option. You ran to win. It was the people who were fast at running who did running – the rest of us did high jump or javelin or whatever – even if we were just as bad at that as we were at running. It’s been such a revelation to change the playing field, to realise that even though i’m not that fast, I’m actually pretty good at running. I’ve got good form, and i seem to adjust quickly to longer and longer distances.
I hate moralistic stories about trying harder. That’s not what this is. It’s about letting what was true no longer be true… and about how much something small like that changes everything about how we understand ourselves.