What or where is the value of skateboarding? If you read this, you might think the value is endless failure: Sisyphus, skateboarders, and the value in endless failure from Psyche Ideas.
Perhaps. But like many activities, the value that comes from any activity is dependent on the participant.
I think one thing I got from thinking about this is putting “failure” in perspective. For skateboarders, failure is irrelevant (barring injury). They just try and try again. They may eventually succeed occasionally at what they are attempting. They may even master parts of skateboarding.
I think this is a meta-lesson we could all use. When it comes to learning things, failure should be accepted and its meaning diminished. Set up a learning environment where failure has little cost, and get on with learning.
That’s a lesson from skateboarding that I get.
In this good piece by James Clear, he talks about three ways we fail and how we can fix it. The three types of failure are:
.. a Failure of Tactics. These are HOW mistakes. They occur when you fail to build robust systems, forget to measure carefully, and get lazy with the details. A Failure of Tactics is a failure to execute on a good plan and a clear vision.
… Failure of Strategy. These are WHAT mistakes. They occur when you follow a strategy that fails to deliver the results you want. You can know why you do the things you do and you can know how to do the work, but still choose the wrong what to make it happen.
…Failure of Vision. These are WHY mistakes. They occur when you don’t set a clear direction for yourself, follow a vision that doesn’t fulfill you, or otherwise fail to understand why you do the things you do.
Really good piece. I recommend it as something you schedule yourself to read at least once a year to help you do better both at work and elsewhere.
In the piece he doesn’t focus on failure of opportunity, but it is huge. For people living in the right place and born into the right segment of society, success is much easier because opportunities abound. Sometimes you can change that (e.g. emigrate) and sometimes you cannot.
Despite that, read the piece and reflect on how you can address the things that cause you to fail.
Chances are you messed up at some point this week. It happens to everyone.
If you have a good attitude about it, that’s great. If you don’t, if you are beating yourself up for messing up, then read this.
I hope you feel better after reading that. Everyone makes mistakes. People trying really hard especially make mistakes. Give yourself a break. Then get back at it.
(Photo by Sarah Kilian on Unsplash)