I wasn’t going to write about failure today, but I’m failing at so many levels right now I think it’s fitting.
Every entrepreneur knows failure. If you haven’t failed is because you haven’t tried, right? Most entrepreneurs talk about failure in term of their professional failures.
Those are easy. They hurt, of course, but they’re easy to get over with. In most cases it’s about your ego, the image you have of yourself, or what you want people to think of you.
The ones that hurt the most for me are the personal ones. I do a lot of things to work out failure. Meditation, running, walking, reading, all the way to doing calligraphy or martial arts.
And then one day, the shit hits the fan, and the balls get spread all over the table.
Every time I sit down to meditate I always think… shit, my mind is a mess right now. I should do this more often. And I do. For a while. Then something big happens, and my mind just runs wild for a while. I always picture it like a snooker game. Meditating brings all the balls to the center. Nice and tight. And then one day, the shit hits the fan, and the balls get spread all over the table.
I’ve been told it’s usual. It happens to everyone. You just need to keep doing it, which is why I keep doing it. With time, I’m getting better. Now I don’t get rattled that much. Even during work, or impending disaster. Barely. I do see improvement, but the whole process is a walk of failure. Over and over.
I can tell you, it fucking hurts. It hurts to see all the personal effort you’re investing into fixing your mind go to shit in the blink of an eye. You’ve been advising a friend about how to do this or that better, and a week later you’re failing at that yourself. I don’t mind it. But it’s painful.
It takes balls to keep trying. It takes courage to stand up again when you’re down. To stand up again when you positively know you’ll fail again.
Despite all this, I’m a believer in The Way. Working with your mind or body takes time. You won’t fix you life in an instant. Quick and cheap doesn’t exist. That’s why I keep doing it. I get better every day. I stand up from the mud faster each time.
Most people think that being brave and strong is about how much you can take. I would argue that strength and bravery are about learning to fall and stand up again, over and over and over again. It takes balls to keep trying. It takes courage to stand up again when you’re down. To stand up again when you positively know you’ll fail again.
No one said it was easy. It’s not. But it’s rewarding. As I always tell our Aikido students, you know when you start your Way, but the walk is infinite. It never ends. You’ll die and will still be walking.
Embrace failure and keep on pushing. It will get better.