Today while working with community advocates, a colleague and I reminded them to be transparent. Of course it’s important to document successes we told them. But it’s also important to track things that don’t work. It’s part of the story and more importantly, it’s part of the learning. Albert Einstein once said,
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Failing is not something most of us covet. Spending hours on a project to discover it simply won’t work is frustrating. Yet, I find it’s easier to redeem work-related mishaps (“hey…at least I tried something new”) than personal regrets or failures. I want “do-overs” for certain decisions. I long for the “undo” button some days.
I’m coming to a place, though, where I recognize the importance of cutting loose of certain anchors. Perfection isn’t always possible; hindsight is 20/20. And for every thing I can dredge up that I wish I’d done differently, I can also tell you something I learned from those experiences. I know myself better, I’m more empathetic to others, I worry less, I trust more.
Why do we (or is it just me) tend to think we should have seen that, known that, predicted that and made better decisions, more money, caused less pain? Who ever set our bar that high? Life isn’t meant to be aced after all, but savored.