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  • Courtney Green

On trying...

“Courage doesn't always roar...sometimes it's the quiet voice at the end of the day whispering, 'I will try again tomorrow.'”

~Mary Anne Radmacher

I don't fully agree with this statement.

It needs a few qualifiers to be truly applicable. Yes, do something! Something that makes you uncomfortable. Something that moves you closer to the person you want to be. It doesn't have to be world-changing or even life-changing, just something.

And when you do it, do it ALL OUT! With the best effort and skill you can give it based on you, and your available resources up until this moment of your life.

No one can ask more of you than that (not even you!), and your effort and skill will always be different than the person next to you, because they have had their own life's journey up until this moment as well!

And then...

Fail. Be it subtle or spectacular, fail.

Remember the lesson from the "On failing..." post?

"If we actually step out and act (fail early) and that process is repeated frequently (fail often),

with lessons reflected upon and applied (fail forward) we will win."

(The idea that failure is actually our best path to winning still wreaks havoc on my perfectionistic psyche in the best possible way. Definitely a work in progress over here!)

So when that quiet, courageous voice whispers at the end of a full day of all-out-action and spectacular-failures to "try again tomorrow"...

...what kind of effort will we give tomorrow?

That is the qualifier that the initial quote requires. It's not just trying that moves us forward on the path to winning. Quality of effort matters!

  • Did you take time to think through what went wrong?

  • Can you write it down in a clear way?

  • Can you list 2-3 possible ways that you could have gone about it better?

  • Did you write those down also?

  • Choose one of them to act upon next time the situation presents itself.

  • Then make like Elsa and let it go. Tomorrow really is a new day.

Some of our more spectacular failures will require time, gut-level honesty, tears, soul-searching, and forgiveness-asking.

Subtle ones will obviously not require quite as much. Maybe those are as simple as: I will make my lunch the night before. Or: when I get to the studio, I will take a deep breath before getting out of the car to leave stress behind, prepare my mind to focus and really work to my full capacity.

I see Ms. Radmacher's quote, and I raise her Yoda's: "Do or do not. There is no try."

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