Fail Your Way to Success

Looked at the right way, failure can often be a path to success.

Wait… what?

Steady on dear reader. If the title of this collection of literary effluvia seems to you to be the senseless wanderings of a tragically disordered mind I must beg your indulgence for the briefest of instants.

I promise you, all will be made clear shortly.

But first, a little story.

Some years ago, the cephalic Cuisinart that I call my brain latched itself onto the idea of trying stand up comedy.

After a couple of relatively successful amateur nights at a comedy club in Toronto, I tried my hand at stand up once again, this time in the Yuk Yuk’s comedy club in my hometown of St. John’s, Newfoundland. I got on stage with what I thought was solid material and gave it my all…

To resounding silence.

Nothing. A tumbleweed rolled by.

Apparently, despite the fact that I sounded amplified through the mic, no one else could hear me properly. So from the audience’s perspective, I spent six minutes mumbling at them.

Embarrassment. Humiliation. An uncontrollable desire to join the Foreign Legion. I had experienced the one thing that every comic dreads – bombing.

I spoke to the MC of the evening, a frighteningly talented mountain of a man named Griff. He was encouraging and offered me a powerful chunk of intel:

“Man, you did it – you bombed. You also had the balls to stand up there and do something that most of the folks in that audience would never even consider. Here’s the good news: Now that you know what bombing’s like, it won’t be so bad if it happens again. And you’ve got the impetus to work harder and get better.”

“You also need to work on your man-voice,” he boomed at me in a stentorian tonality that could have atomized concrete.

Ladies gentlemen and assorted lifeforms I say unto you, failure is not only normal, it’s essential.

It shows that you’re willing to try new things.

It helps you refine your processes.

It gauges how badly you want success.

Let me leave you with a final thought about failure to rattle about in your cranial cavity. Specifically, a line from author Douglas Adams, who once made a rather astute observation about the importance of failure along the road to success:

“Flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.”

Just take a moment and ponder that…

Such a potent noggin-scratching tidbit leaves me with one question:

Are you ready to fly?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *