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Fail and Fail Often

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The object isn’t to be perfect. The goal isn’t to hold back until you’ve created something beyond reproach. I believe the opposite is true. Our birthright is to fail and to fail often, but to fail in search of something bigger than we can imagine. To do anything else is to waste it all. -Seth Godin

Yesterday I posted about trying too hard to to find the perfect words, and this morning I found this terrific post by a marketing guru I’ve followed for years. He hints at what I feel each time I sit down to share something with the world – I know it won’t be perfect, but I want it to be worthy of your time, worthy of all the details that fell into place that allow me to be sitting here writing these words.

I’ve embraced the philosophy of failure in almost every aspect of my life – the idea that I’m bound to fail often if I’m really pushing myself, and that I should welcome it as a sign of progress – except with my writing. Which is perhaps why it’s taken me a decade to start a public writing project…

Profound simplicity for today ::The object isn’t to be perfect::


5 responses »

  1. J
    Your post inspired me to go out and get a couple of Godin’s books. While I’ve often heard of him, I’ve never actually read his stuff. I’m enjoying meatball Sundae now. If only things we’re that simple…


  2. His books are great, but the top-of-mind stuff that comes off his blog is (in my opinion) even better, and free. Hope you enjoy!

  3. One of my favorite quotations is “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent in doing nothing” said by George Bernard Shaw.
    I like the idea that it is better to do and to fail than to do nothing and remain the same. It is a comfort to think that my failures, as well as my successes, are building up a wealth of experience that will help me to navigate the future. And the best part is that even as I learn from my failures, others can learn from mine as well.

  4. Anthony Escobedo

    Progress, not perfection!!

    For the past few years, I have taught seniors that did not pass their TAKS exit level test, which is required for graduation. To generalize, these students are the ones that fall “through the cracks” and, to use this blog’s buzzword, their experiences at school leave them lacking joy.

    Not only I am tasked with (re)teaching them math, it is an exercise in restoring their self esteem and helping them find a peace of mind and joy in their academic selves. Which has led to the mantra PROGRESS, not PERFECTION!!! which has also helped me through plenty of my life’s struggles.

    If only their 25+ selves could teach their 18 yr old selves, then this job would be much easier.

  5. Tony,
    What a tough job! And yet I’m sure you’re exactly the guy to get them to listen. Love your mantra, “Progress not perfection” – reminds me of one I say often, “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of DONE!” Thanks for your comment.

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