How to succeed by making mistakes

You may recall my post from a few weeks ago that talked about changing your goal: define success as learning and you can always succeed.

In rock climber jargon,

“If I send, I send. My goal is to learn to climb better.”

*“sending” means completing a route without falling

That’s a fine sentiment when you’re talking in terms of a theoretical performance. It’s another thing entirely when the performance is real and doesn’t go as you intended. Last night, in the third lesson for Intentional 101, things didn’t go as I intended.

Three things to takeaway:

  1. I learned some valuable lessons about presenting a difficult, emotionally-charged subject. I’ll be better next time and so I have succeeded.
  2. The lessons couldn’t have been learned through better preparation. We love to hide by “getting ready” to do things. At some point you just have to “ship it” and see what happens.
  3. My audience was more than understanding: they put forth the effort to look past the performance and find the value in what I was trying to say. Why? Because they know how much I genuinely care. They know that my mission is to help. By being genuine (day in and day out), I bought a bit of grace. Underdeliver every week and they’ll leave. Make a mistake or two along the way and they’re more than happy to look past it.

All this is to say: be real. When you give more than you take – when you live transparently enough that people know you’re not putting on an act – the quality of the performance ceases to be the only thing you’re judged on.

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