Grown ups told us that if we just work harder we would succeed. Or to try to be better. Not true. We only need to work and evolve; success or failure is a side effect. And frankly, I find failure to be fertile grounds for creativity and productivity.
For some, work is a panic-filled roller coaster ride, dodging failure before the clock runs out.
God’s clock has no numbers.
The outcome of our efforts is not up to us. That said, failing is rough. Firing our agents is rough. Realizing we enlisted the wrong people is rough. Scrapping hard work is rough. Closing a business is rough. Starting over is rough.
But it’s also the only way we are going to level up.
Eat the fish and spit out the bones. Some things just don’t work. Some dreams die. Some goals do not end in achievement. The war is over and we lost. It doesn’t mean that our aspirations end. We don’t have to wait to take action until we feel recovered. We bounce back by doing, not by thinking about doing.
When things go South and we look at our efforts, we notice that it takes the same amount labor as success.
But with failure, we get something special. We learn things about ourselves.We absorb the lessons of the journey more fully. There is no happiness haze, no victory goggles, and no sense of completion settling in and bringing comfort. We have to stare our shortcomings in the face and cozy up to them and bring in the healing powers that change who we are.
I think we are transformed by failure; success diverts transformation from us.
When we achieve success, we have a deep, fleeting, happiness. The lessons we learned along the way are out-shined by the feeling of accomplishment. However,
feelings last 90 seconds
…unless we attach a story to them. Therefore, success is fleeting.
On the other hand, the more we fail, the better people we can become. We can change, do things differently, and collaborate with fast-learners and people who are inclined to evolving, which leads to excellence. Without championing workaholism, I believe that the more we do and risk, the more we fail and learn. The side effect of doing and growing is success. Success itself is actually not a tangible endpoint. Evolution is.
People who are exhausted with chasing achievement highs have described success as a moving target. Now we know why.
Success can’t be a goal because it is in fact, a side effect.
And because success is a feeling, it is guaranteed to fade.
If failure is the underbelly of learning, how can we close our file on a job or project?
- Acceptance: It is statistically impossible to succeed every time.
- Examination: Take in the new information. Evolve. Level up. Clean house.
- Renewal: Start fresh with this renewed perspective and keep the focus on the new job.
This year we closed our file on a web series and a pilot, and have been in scouting locations for our feature film, The Opposite of Everything. We are travelling to Palm Springs and Birmingham for Airport Douchery this month, and are developing a pilot for a multi-camera comedy filmed in front of a live studio audience for network television. It’s a never-ending cycle of renewal and commitment and there’s always room for change, renewal, and raising the bar.