“I make it a habit to have at least one project brewing at all times that has a non-zero chance of changing the planet, or making a billion dollars, or both. Creating Dilbert was just one out of several dozen projects of that nature. … The point is that it feels good to know it’s there. When that project doesn’t work, I’ll put another dream into the slot. ”
Ever try something and completely fail? How did you feel?
I’ve failed umpteen thousand times in my life but I didn’t always feel bad about them. Yes, sometimes I felt terrible. Yet, other times it was ok.
What makes some failures so devastating and others bearable? Obviously, the importance of the project weighs heavily. Timing can play a big role. How much I invested in the outcome certainly contributes as well.
All of these factors are worth considering, yet they are not all controllable. It would be nice if there was a sure-fire trick to mitigate the devastation of failure. I think there is.
In this past year of giving, I inadvertently started many, many giving projects. I signed up for a lot of roles with charitable organization or took responsibility for something in my neighborhood or home. At first, that seems like a recipe for disaster. However it had the opposite effect. It helped balance out the failures.
Inevitably, as one giving project was failing or falling short of my expectations another project was soaring. I didn’t really have time to dwell for too long on the feelings of failure that a broken project gave me before the next project started again.
It’s like an equalizer on your stereo. Each bar represents a range of sounds and at any given time there are some rising and some falling. Substitute the sound bars for project bars and you’ll see both highs and lows at any given time. Some projects are failing, some are succeeding. Then the next minute they’re reversed. There’s always an equilibrium.
If you put all your hopes and dreams in one project, you’re sure to be disappointed or even crushed. Keeping multiple projects helps put the failures in perspective and gives you more chances for success.
Failure doesn’t have to be devastating, especially if you’re succeeding at the same time.
Wrote a 5-star review for our local Thai Flavor restaurant in Beaverton. We’ve been going there for years, but didn’t even think of posting a review online until my wife suggested it tonight. If a restaurant treats you well and has great food, shout it out!