“What Are You Failing At?” is a series of short conversations with people from a variety of different backgrounds on what they’re currently failing at and what strategies they’re currently employing to cope with and/or conquer those failures. The aim of the show is to highlight the fact that vulnerability is an inherent part of the human condition while affirming the strength and wisdom that comes from honestly, openly, and sometimes humorously revealing our not-so successful side. The style of the podcast will be casual and conversational (no need to be pretty or pretentious when vulnerability is the main theme) and my goal is to keep each episode under 10 minutes.
You can listen to our conversation in three ways:
1) Listen right here on the blog by clicking the play button below
2) Listen via my channel on Podomatic by clicking here.
3) Listen via the YouTube clip embedded below.
“The time is ripe for looking back over the day, the week, the year, and trying to figure out where we have come from and where we are going to, for sifting through the things we have done and the things we have left undone for a clue to who we are and who, for better or worse, we are becoming. But again and again we avoid the long thoughts….We cling to the present out of wariness of the past. And why not, after all? We get confused. We need such escape as we can find. But there is a deeper need yet, I think, and that is the need—not all the time, surely, but from time to time—to enter that still room within us all where the past lives on as a part of the present, where the dead are alive again, where we are most alive ourselves to turnings and to where our journeys have brought us. The name of the room is Remember—the room where with patience, with charity, with quietness of heart, we remember consciously to remember the lives we have lived.” ― Frederick Buechner, A Room Called Remember
Ease, you are my love. But difficulty, you are my teacher.
Be patient, my love. I shall return to you in due season.
Come now, my teacher. Let us proceed towards the next stage of my evolution.
The purpose of the weekend isn’t so we can forget about how much we hate our jobs on Monday through Friday. Free time is for having fun, yes, but what is more fun than taking advantage of opportunities to create a lifestyle that doesn’t require us to wait until Friday night to have fun? Instead of making “Thank God it’s Friday” our mantra, we should be saying “I can’t believe I’m experiencing this much meaning and fulfillment on a Monday.”
It really breaks my heart to see us live in misery for 5 days a week while we look at our free time as nothing more than a chance to drown away our sorrows and rest up for the next week-long train ride through hell.
Time is our greatest asset. Time is where our power to create a new reality lies. Why do we give it away so freely to the things that don’t improve our ability to live more freely? Is it because we believe this is all we have the right to hope for? Is it because we believe that 2 days of fun and enthusiasm are all we deserve? The Psalmist wrote “teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.” What if we treated our dreams and creative potential with the same respect we offer to our jobs? What if we treated the possibility of leading a purpose-driven, passion-filled life with the same level of commitment we offer to our places of employment? What if we saw ourselves as having a duty to our destiny that’s no less important than the duty we feel towards paying our bills?
I met an executive producer who told me that 20 years ago he stopped watching so much TV because he decided that he wanted to become the guy who decided what other people would watch on TV. What are we willing to give up in order to give ourselves a chance to see just how powerful, influential, and inspired we can be? This isn’t about not watching TV or not going to the bar on Fridays or not sleeping in on Saturdays. It’s about remembering to make space for something that’s far more exciting than any TV show or party: your ability to be the predominant creative force in your own life.
Please don’t let another weekend get away from you without giving some time to that idea.
I am blessed to have had adults in my life who saw my dreams and creative impulses as something other than objects to be feared.
I am grateful for those mentors and teachers who taught me to own my eccentricities and curiosities rather than seek deliverance from them.
I often wonder how much of our glorification of the known, the familiar, and the so-called “safe” path, is a projection of the tension and unresolved anxiety we feel from our own ignored callings, our own stifled longings, our own youthful doubts never conquered or outgrown?
To those who are younger than me, I pass along to you what was graciously entrusted in me:
You have the whole world before you. And there is much you can learn from those of us who have been around for more years than you. But none of us can know the secret of your being. None of us can know the path that wears your name. Delve deeply and daringly into the treasures of your soul. We can give you advice on how to navigate the terrain, but the capacity to descend into the heart and discover the meaning of your own existence is yours alone.
For what it’s worth, that’s my two cents.
“Dignity/ˈdignitē/ noun…The moment you live your dreams, not because of what it will prove or get you, but because that is all you want to do…” ― Shannon L. Alder
There is a saying, “Don’t kiss @#$. Kick @#$.”
The fleeting pleasure of receiving “brownie points” from people you admire can never compare to the sense of peace, purpose, and power that stems from doing the work your nature demands of you with the respect that you know it deserves.
To hell with pursuing a mere pat on the head.
Choose a life well lived and a work well done according to your own standards instead.
Erica Jong wrote, “Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark place where it leads.”
In entrepreneurship, the “dark place” is sometimes called “the dip.” In spirituality, it’s often referred to as “the dark night of the soul.”
Whatever label we may use, the experience is universal: the process of actualizing our potential is inseparable from the pain of exorcising our demons. In order to discover what we’re truly capable of, we must be willing to enter and embrace the dark realm of questions we cannot easily answer, phenomena we cannot easily explain, and challenges we cannot easily resolve.
The spotlight is what summons us. The darkness is what shapes us.
In order to stand in the spotlight, we have to be willing to walk through the darkness.
And by “spotlight,” I don’t mean “fame.” I mean “the brilliantly shining light of self-awareness that nothing can extinguish.”