We've seen the quote on various memes a thousand times by now, yet whenever you DO go from one failure to another, the last thing you feel like is a success. 'Loser' seems more likely. And if you don't already feel like a loser, there's plenty of haters out there that will do their best to make you feel like one!
The first step to success is getting rid of all the negative Mo-fos in your life!
I'm a pretty confident geezer, but despite being more comfortable in my own skin than I've ever been, and in-spite of all my many years of life experience and all the things I've learned, I STILL feel like a rank amateur. Sometimes.
Because I want to be a master of life!!
To be good at every thing I do, socially and professionally!!
To 'want' is not enough. We must Do.. and that's when most of us get in trouble...
"Once bitten, twice shy"
It's hard to be bad at something and then want to do it again. Instead, we often go from one failure to another failure (at something else), until we find that thing we're good at and then carry on doing that for the rest of our lives!
Here's a story that most people in London can probably relate to:
'I tried talking to a stranger once. NEVER AGAIN!!'
If you're good at chatting up girls in bars, then all you want to do is 'rinse and repeat' that formula- similarly, if you're bad at it, hitting up a bar to chat-up chicks is probably the last thing on your mind.
We are emboldened by success and put off by failure.
It's just the way we work.
So what's the point of all this pontification?
Welllll... when you actually DO meet those poor fools that go from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm, you must applaud them.
That isn't a suggestion folks, that's an order: APPLAUD THEM!!
Because theirs is a journey that most of us never have the courage to make, let alone the fortitude to survive!!
That's where I come in.
Like you, there are many times when I've tried something new, felt humiliated at my inability to master it straight away, and shied away from ever trying that again!
But there are also many things in which I do go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm, and when I meet someone who went through those same struggles, faced the same doubts and ridicule and made it to the other side, the advice is always the same: 'Persevere'.
This is the third iteration of this blog, and my 4th blog overall.
The previous incarnations were heavily criticised and could be deemed 'failures', yet here I am, still writing.
The same is true of my film career. Here I am, not yet in the big leagues, but still moving forward as best I can, when the sensible thing to do is quit and try something new; something easier to master.. like admin work or data entry (I literally was a master at stuffing envelopes though! Just ask around).
That said, life is short, and you just don't have the time to master everything you'd like to master!
Know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em.
If you're passionate about something... you don't need me to tell you what you should be doing. Just do it.
Listen, I'm not here to lecture you (says the guy after delivering a lecture!), but just to share the lessons of life we all need reminding of every now and then..
Whatever it is you want to do, don't be put off by failure. I'm telling you as much as I'm telling myself!!
Years ago, I found myself in a foreign country for a couple of days before the rest of my posse arrived. I went out partying by myself for the first time in my life. EVER!
I totally rose to the occasion, chatted to loads of people and had a great time!
The next time I found myself in a foreign country by myself, I was emboldened by my previous success.. 'I am gonna OWN this town!!' I thought..
And you know what happened?
None of the crazy fools I met wanted to know me!! (I know!! It's So INSANE it belies belief!!)
I was shunned and made to feel a fool (by other fools no less!!).
I went out three nights in a row, and each night was worse than the last.
You'd think I was out in Ealing or something.. but I wasn't!!
Upon reflection, it was nothing to do with the place. It was me.
Each night, my enthusiasm waned and got less and less.
Going from failure to failure is not worthy of merit, but maintaining enthusiasm is!!
That's the secret to success: Enthusiasm!
I'd much rather work with someone who may be a little rough around the edges, but is full of enthusiasm, than someone who is highly polished but clearly doesn't want to be there!
I LOVE going out to bars and clubs; an appetite that has long since diminished in my friends.
But despite wanting to be out on the tiles every weekend, I mostly end up doing other things...
I have NEVER been out by myself since those nights I crashed and burned in that foreign country; ruled by the memories of my previous failures and the fear of failing again.
Am I going let that stop me from living the life I want to live?
Not any more!!
I will repleNish my enthusiasm and keep it high.. somehow!!
Talking about fear of failure and going from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm, I'm guilty of not following that same advice in writing this very blog!
I've written and deleted the final paragraphs of this blog at least three times so far. Why? Because I end up getting too personal about my own life, and from the previous blogs I've written, I know that is NEVER a good idea!!
People jump to conclusions, think they know me and then think they have the right to judge me and comment on my life.
As every slut with a tattoo that says 'Only God Can Judge Me' knows.. Only God can judge me!
And as every atheist will tell you, God doesn't exist.
So in the end, the best advice is..
Live, Learn.. and whatever you do, do it with Enthusiasm!
If you fail, dust yourself off, learn, be MORE enthusiastic, and do it again!!
..and so on and so forth.
Next time, no pontification or advice.. and probably no blog either!!
See you in two ;)