Monday, October 11, 2010

Failure, Fun & What's the next step?

It's been a great weekend. Steve and I spent the better part of it talking/thinking/planning/hoping/scheming/praying about new possibilities & adventures. I'm a total sucker for this kind of big-vision stuff, but I've noticed that it's only fun for me if, at the end of the conversation, I have some sense of what the next step is. I might or might not take that step...but to feel like an idea is anything more than a pipe dream, there has to be a tangible next thing that can be done.

For instance, earlier this year, some friends and I were dreaming about building a cultural center here in Boston (like the 92nd St. Y in Manhattan, only with more Red Sox paraphernalia). I even met with some folks involved in various artistic non-profits in our city to get the lay of the land. But after that, the next step was: Raise $5 million dollars so we could afford a space. Um...okay... Now, one high-faith friend put out a request for funding, but after that we sort of lost steam.

HERE'S the cool thing, though, which I discovered last week in a post by the awesome writer/runner/blogger Kristin Armstrong: Research has shown that one of the benchmarks for a motivated and challenged life is when you're failing to meet your goals approximately half the time. In which case, I AM A SUPERHERO!!! :) Seriously...on these terms, I'm living the dream...

It makes sense, right? It means you're taking risks and exploring possibilities, and 50% the time you're arriving somewhere near the place you set out for. Those are pretty great odds, statistically speaking (higher than MLB batting averages, for example). And constant success (aside from being unattainable) would be as dull as unrelenting failure. It's the balance that keeps us motivated and challenged, so we circle back to conversations like the ones Steve and I have been in all weekend.

Okay, that's WAY more than Kristin drew from this little tidbit of encouragement, but I'll take it. Here's to trying stuff! Viva la fail!

And now, as I talk/think/plan/hope/scheme/pray about new things to try, I keep the "What's the next step?" question more toward the front...turns out it's best when "Raise $5 million" isn't first or second on the list :)

How's your failure rate this year?


larramiefg said...

Sounds good to me and, with hard work combined with faith, anything is possible!

Sarakastic said...

Ha, I really love this concept. Viva la fail! Suddenly I'm a lot better at life than I originally though.

heidikins said...

The first half of my year was a terrific fail. The second half is shaping up nicely into a not-so-much-of-a-fail. :)

Excellent post.


Stacy said...

That's a great reminder. There's so much I don't do out of fear of failure.

jennifer said...

I too am at a place of big dreaming and trying to find a logical first step that does not involved five million dollars. It's nice to know I'm not alone.

Cheers to big dreams and the faint idea that they actually might come true.


Marie said...

501c3 nonprofits can buy unused state buildings for very, very cheap if you can find one. that's how the new england shelter for homeless veterans got their space in boston. anyway good luck with your project!

Toiah Gordon said...

I am at a different place. My dream is stuck in outer space somewhere... I need to think of something to try in order to fail!

Kitty Kat said...

Hey lady, I just re-read your book again. Was going through a bit of a drought and it helped me. About your question..."I have failed so many times. And that is what makes me a success." - Micheal Jordan. Lately, I have failed at building a prayer team. I need to put it in Jesus' hands. Think big! Bigger! :)