Let me get this out of the way: I have a lot of personal failure. In some ways, I have a lot of personal success as well, but if I am writing about failure then I am going to write about the failure part to start with and not so much the success. In fact, a common self-improvement activity is to dwell on your successes in life and count your blessings (a cliche phase, yes, but that’s really what’s being ask of you in a lot of self-help). Without going into great detail about my personal failures, I will say that there are enough to bother me and force me to think about them out loud in words that I see in front of me. In front of a possible audience.
List Of Personal Failings
•Inability to take large risk
•Inability to stay consistent on creative personal projects
•Inability to stay consistent on personal productivity projects
•Inability to improve my financial life
•Inability to decide what I should be doing for a living that I can live with and be happy with
•Inability to use my time in less selfish and useless ways
•Inability to focus
•Inability to have non-exciting long-term projects and devote time to them
These are just off the top of my head failings. And the reason I am writing them down is to look at them and think about them. Are they really failings and failures? Are they really things I want to improve? Which ones are important to me? Moreover, which ones are important to me personally on a personal fulfillment level and which ones are important on a responsible adult and responsible parent level? Which ones are worthwhile to improve? Which ones are OK to live with?
Writing about failure and examining my own is to serve one of two purposes: (1)Improve on the failure and make changes. (2)Accept the failures and failings of my personality and find ways to live with them that don’t hurt other people or myself. These two things are really the driving forces behind thinking all of this through. As much as we live in a time of accomplishment and achievement, failure defines a lot of us. I think I have defined a lot of my own life by dwelling on the failures of my life. It’s disheartening, and not to beat a dead horse, but I am writing about it to get over it by examining it and not dwelling on how those failures and failings define me. Instead, I want to examine the failures and failings and benefit from them in a way I feel OK with. But (2) is important. I can’t let failure define the lives of my family, though. And I can’t let acceptance of failure be such that it basically just becomes me saying “Yeah, I’m a failure. I’m not even gonna TRY to do things.” Being a parent very much eliminates that option if I don’t also want to be a rotten human being.
Then what in the world am I doing here? Perhaps I am setting out to define my own failure and use it to make something else that I can live with that is fulfilling and not soul-crushing. In other words, maybe I’m here writing these to start defining the terms of my own failures. If I need to change some of my failings, and to look at some of my big life failures privately and write about them in private, then that’s what I’m doing. What I really am doing with this is turning around to face these things in my life and staring them down. I’m trying to get out of my own personal failure cycle. Jump off the treadmill and hurt myself a little while I still can before it’s too late and jumping off killing me.