The Guru of Failure
Since my tweet about the Zen of Failure is showing some real legs on Twitter, and my blog posts about failure keep getting visitors, I’m growing concerned. Do I really want to gain a rep as the Guru of Failure?
“Oh yeah, Dale Sproule, that failure guy.”
I need to remember that in the end, it’s about finding success through failure. My failures are a big part of the credentials I bring to the table. How could I speak authoritatively about failure if I hadn’t frequently come away from endeavors battered and pummeled, bloodied and demoralized, crushed and spindled and broke.” Nobody is interested in my List of Woes – nor should they be. Because the useful and interesting part of this whole exercise is the climbing-back-up part. The part where you take what you learned from the failure and use it to beat your oppressors about the head and shoulders until they cry out, “Okay, fine. You may sit at our table.” And they put you at the far end, on one of the kids chairs, with a cushion. But its a big fluffy cushion so you’re even more comfortable than they are. Okay metaphor, time to die.
That’s one of my failings – milking metaphors until they’re dry enough to float away on the hay-scented breeze in the farmyard of life. But the eye-rolling reaction to those metaphors is also their strength. If used to ridiculous enough excess, they can become funny. Groans can turn to belly-laughs.
They don’t always, point taken.
Another lesson I learned involves the subjectiveness of humour. One person’s funny is another person’s definition of “lame.” There’s no one correct way to do it. So even if you didn’t so much as smile at my silly metaphors, I know with equal certainty that someone else did. If I got 12 smiles, 187 eyes glazed over, 2 LOLs and a fart-that-may-or-may-not have been aimed in my direction, that’s a good payback. Fourteen positive reactions and helping someone with their gastric distress. Fuck ye-ah!
At any rate, I'm no doubt panicking prematurely. A few hundred retweets on twitter is hardly reputation making!
So, please do, go ahead and brand me the failure guy. I’ll embrace it, even while doing my best to make it ironic.