Struck out

Some days just don’t have you in them.

We wake up feeling terrible.

We drag ourselves away from the soft, warm sheets and out to the cold, hard day.

We take a swing and miss.

And we miss again.

And we miss again.

And just when it seems like another miss might mean the end of it all…

It’s time to go back to bed.

You can’t hit a home run every time you play.

But that doesn’t make you any less of a big hitter.

 

 

 

Fail at what you love

Jim Carrey is the guy who wrote a $10 million cheque to himself and it became true.

Some people think he’s weird because he’d go to work with Limburger cheese in his pockets and hug everyone.

But that’s what you get when you hire a method actor.

Other people think Jim is strange because he’s not materialistic and he told Oprah how to manifest 10 million dollars.

But if you want to ‘manifest’ things you have to accept that you don’t need or want them to be happy.

Jim also talks about doing what you love.

He says: you can fail at what you love, and that hurts pretty bad.

But when you fail at what you don’t love — when you compromised and things still didn’t pan out — that’s crushing.

You can fail at what you love, or you can fail at what you don’t love.

There really isn’t a choice.

Get up

Our world can descend into chaos pretty quickly if we’re not careful.

When we make a mistake or get something wrong or get betrayed, we trip and fall. We ‘fail.’

But the world has tarnished the word ‘failure’ and made it seem like something to avoid.

Having failed many times before, I can confirm that it’s impossible to avoid failure.

And the most successful people on the planet — whether they’re artists or entrepreneurs or athletes or scientists — know they’re going to fail.

They will even seek it out.

The secret to their success isn’t the ability to avoid failure. Success is your ability to bounce back, get on your feet, and start over knowing you’re going to fall again.

Even if you ‘fail’ by the afternoon EVERY day and get back on the next morning, you’d still be doing — still be ‘winning’ — half the time.

That’s all success is, really.

‘Winners’ are just people who started and failed and got back up again more times than anyone else.

So, up you get.

 

 

 

Give yourself a ‘D’

Elizabeth Gilbert — author of “Eat, Pray, Love” has a great story about creativity.

She talks about how dozens of people asked if she was worried she would never write something as big as EPL again.

And then she starts thinking, What if they’re right?

Those doubts lead to her throwing the next book straight in the bin, never to be read.

To publish another book, Elizabeth tells us how she had to come to terms with the fact that whatever she wrote would never be as successful as Eat Pray Love.

Seth Godin calls this, ‘Giving yourself a D’ so you can move on and make something better. It’s not a Fail but it’s definitely not great. 

When I heard this for the 47th time it was like a weight had been lifted.

I was finally free to do some writing. There’s no way I can publish every day without most of it being below average. And none of it will be perfect.

The thinking is that if I write enough, somewhere along the way there might just be something that blows your fuckin’ mind.

But I’m not making any promises; except to show up every day and write.

Even robots make mistakes

It’s impossible to ignore the rise of robots.

They’ve gone from ‘awkward factory joke’ to ‘overlords-in-training’ in a handful of years. And it turns out the breakthrough was teaching them how to make mistakes.

Our brains learn through trial and error. For many years, when a robot produced an error it would simply stop, shake, make weird noises, give up, and perhaps leak a little fluid — like many people.

Teaching robots how to accept and learn from errors instead of grinding to a halt completely changed the game. It even makes them more likable.

And robots are happy to make 1,000 mistakes an hour because they don’t have egos (yet), so you can bet they’re learning fast. Really fast. Here they are, practicing a dance to celebrate their global takeover. 

It would be deeply ironic if we wiped ourselves out by teaching robots to do the very thing we haven’t yet mastered: learning from our mistakes.

 

Why life gives you lemons

That saying about making lemonade was written by a bloke called Elbert Hubbard in 1915, shortly before a German U-Boat sank him.

As his boat sank, he calmly remarked, “Well, Jack, they have got us. They are a damn sight worse than I ever thought they were.”

He then locked himself in his cabin with his wife and waited to drown.

I’m not sure if I would call that making lemonade.

Elbert had written that famous phrase in the obituary of his friend, a famous entertainer called Marshall P. Wilder:

“He picked up the lemons that Fate had sent him and started a lemonade stand.”

And he was right: Marshall was born with achondroplasia when many people regarded it as a severe disability.

And Marshall would have told you that life gives us lemons because life is usually pretty sweet. It just wouldn’t taste any good without some bitterness.

Just like good lemonade, we need that bitter tang. It might overwhelm the sweet at first, but it always balances out in the end.

Remember, when life throws you a lemon, it’s all part of the recipe.

And you’re definitely sweet enough to take it. 😉