Failure is normal; mistakes are necessary

You have to recognize failure and mistakes when you see them. The words failure and mistake connote a judgment about a situation. But if you are going to do anything, you must risk failure and error.

I recall one highly successful man tell me that ‘all his attempts to get income after his formal retirement had been “complete failures”‘. He almost said it with glee. He was ready to accept success because he knew what failure consisted of, and would name it as such. No sweat.

I have a very difficult piece of equipment that I take off and re-attach to my tractor every spring. It is a backhoe. It requires the following: the perfect placement of a set of bars protruding from the backhoe under the tractor, so that the cross bar catches the holding brackets of the tractor; the attachment of the hydraulics, which frequently are under a pressure that prevents them from attaching; manipulating the height of the attachment bar with the hydraulics, and by the time spring comes around one has forgotten the knack of moving the whole device just so; never forgetting to move the whole tractor less than a few inches so that the hydraulic tubes are not ripped out of their sources, before the backhoe is successfully attached; and probably a few other nested subproblems.

It used to take me about an hour of cursing and swearing because I used to think that this job should be easy. When I at last accepted that the job would take forty five minutes even if everything went smoothly, frustration disappeared. I have not cursed on that job for over five years. It takes the time it takes.

I have been watching a lot of Andrew Camarata videos on youtube, and the thing I notice os that he makes mistakes, owns them, and moves on to get around or remedy the situation. Failure is normal; mistakes are necessary. I have been so much less frustrated by this realization. I wish I had learned it ages ago.

Andrew Camarata videos are the best illustration of the American working spirit I have yet seen. Watch them and learn. I have.

Tricky tricky

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