2 kinds of failures
One day . . .
I attended the Annual Day at my daughter’s School. The announcer invited the fathers present, for a 100 m race. I excitedly jumped up to participate. With adrenaline pumping, I impatiently strolled as casually as I could, to the starting line.
At the very outset, I was elbowed behind by fathers fitter, younger and more agile than me. I vowed to get ahead of them all and demonstrate my caliber.
The signal was given and I gave myself an explosive start . . . and there was a minor explosion inside my hamstring muscle. I continued to splimt (Limp and Sprint) and almost got stampeded as there were more runners than the track could accommodate and I could no longer balance myself. I began falling. In that moment, I gave up winning; dropped my speed; controlled my fall; and remained content to just complete the “race”.
Feeling sheepish and foolish, I put my tail between my legs and went back to the Shamiana and sought to dissolve into the shade, behind the chairs and the crowd.
I rued the fact, that this was the second time in my life that I had injured my hamstring muscle. I am a Coach, I yelled to myself silently. And I haven’t learnt.
Why? Because it was just was not important enough for me.
. . .
I knew warming up suddenly for an event was not workable. That didn’t stop me. I knew I had to be physically fit by exercising/jogging much prior to that event. What I thought I knew was what I knew mentally. I did not know it physically. Physical learning comes when you do something. It doesn’t come from reading, talking or even writing about it (Ouch!). That’s how I learnt and developed mastery in cycling, typing or sports.
How often do I throw myself into a field not meant for me or for which I have not readied my self. Or play at a level, far beyond what I am capable of. I obviously don’t like to start at the bottom and work my way up. I yearn to start at the top; or nearly at the top. So forget about playing the game; it takes eons to get started – properly; because I am taking eons to learn what life is repeatedly teaching me.
. . .
What happens when I reach the limits of my capability? My instincts take over, including those that have been meticulously developed with hard, disciplined, calibrated and passionate physical learning.
How do I make the transition from complacent, mental knowing to hard, disciplined, consistent, physical learning by simply doing it or by writing about my fallacies and putting my reputation and integrity on the line. Maybe then the concerned matter gets due importance in my priorities? Maybe!
There are two kinds of failures: Those that put you out of the game – permanently; and those that enable your learning. That’s what Roger Hamilton calls FAILING FORWARD. Successful Entrepreneurs, he writes, calibrate risk differently by intuitively or otherwise, distinguishing between these two kinds of failures and avoiding those risks that can put them out of the game permanently!
You can rant about your failures below!