Fail Early and Often

[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ admin_label=”section” _builder_version=”3.0.47″][et_pb_row admin_label=”Row” _builder_version=”3.0.48″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”][et_pb_column type=”2_3″ _builder_version=”3.0.47″ parallax=”off” parallax_method=”on”][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” _builder_version=”3.19.12″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”]

I’m sitting on a row of raised seats in a small hallway looking through a large, glassless window at a group of kids kicking and punching into the air. 

“Repeat after me!” a booming voice demands. 

“Failure!” it says. A chorus follows: “Failure!”

“Is my friend!” and the chorus repeats: “Is my friend!” 

I often think about that karate class my son took from the time he was five until he was seven. I find myself repeating the sensei’s words about failure to myself. I don’t kick or punch or break any boards, I just whisper the words in my head when I need the reminder.

His point was that failure can teach us, help us grow. That is, if we don’t snuggle up to it like a warm familiar blanket or pretend it’s a fictional character we can will away. 

Matisse said “Creativity takes courage.” I’ve searched, with no luck, for the context of this often-used quote. I imagine he meant it takes courage to put ourselves in front of others, but also to fail. Creating things means I inevitably fall short or flat. And by doing so I almost always learn something (eventually). 

It isn’t just about painting either. I’m listening to what failure has to tell me about being a parent, a wife, a friend. “Well that didn’t work” I say to myself often. “What might next time?” 

I used to be so afraid of failure that I hid away from it. The irony is that by avoiding it, I was evading success too. They are opposite sides of the same coin. We have to go through one to get to the other. 

Accepting my own inherent, undeniable, inescapable imperfection is the heart of my courage and the catalyst for my growth. So I’m planning to continue to fail early and often. I’m planning to keep going back to the easel, the dinner table, the loved one, the hard conversation, the running track, the parent/teacher meeting. I’m planning to remember, as the wise sensei once instructed my then five year old, that failure is my friend– the wise and old type that helps me to see things I hadn’t seen before. 

 

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_3″ _builder_version=”3.0.47″ parallax=”off” parallax_method=”on”][et_pb_sidebar area=”sidebar-1″ admin_label=”Sidebar” _builder_version=”3.0.74″ remove_border=”off”][/et_pb_sidebar][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ specialty=”on” admin_label=”Section” _builder_version=”3.0.47″][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ admin_label=”Section” _builder_version=”3.0.47″][et_pb_row admin_label=”Row” _builder_version=”3.0.48″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Picture of Denise Hopkins

Denise Hopkins

October 16, 2020

Share Post

Leave a Reply

blog

Related Blog Posts

Day 31. If you want to go far…

  “If You Want to go Far” 24×30 inches, oil on canvas I started this month with a bike, and...

View Post
Day 30. Reteach a thing its loveliness.

“The Bud Stands for All Things” 24×24 inches, oil on paper I discovered this poem last week by Galway Kinnell...

View Post
Day 29. Intuition

“Follow Your Intuition” 9×12 inches, oil on paper My art studio is a 300 square foot storage room underneath our...

View Post

Privacy Policy

This following document sets forth the Privacy Policy for this website. We are bound by the Privacy Act 1988 (Crh), which sets out a number of principles concerning the privacy of individuals using this website.

Collection of your personal information

We collect Non-Personally Identifiable Information from visitors to this Website. Non-Personally Identifiable Information is information that cannot by itself be used to identify a particular person or entity, and may include your IP host address, pages viewed, browser type, Internet browsing and usage habits, advertisements that you click on, Internet Service Provider, domain name, the time/date of your visit to this Website, the referring URL and your computer’s operating system.

Free offers & opt-ins

Participation in providing your email address in return for an offer from this site is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose your information. You may unsubscribe at any time so that you will not receive future emails.

Sharing of your personal information

Your personal information that we collect as a result of you purchasing our products & services, will NOT be shared with any third party, nor will it be used for unsolicited email marketing or spam. We may send you occasional marketing material in relation to our design services. What Information Do We Collect? If you choose to correspond with us through email, we may retain the content of your email messages together with your email address and our responses.