Why do we try to be everything to everyone?
As I sit here basking in the nostalgia of Everclear’s “So Much For The Afterglow” – one of the first albums I ever bought on my own, I am finding myself lost in the simpleness of imperfection. I don’t think the social code of modern times really caters towards imperfection. When I say this I really mean folks should be okay with making mistakes. It’s part of our code in how we learn for the better.
One of my heroes in the business and philanthropy world and frankly one of my most favourite human beings – Mr. W Brett Wilson keeps this mantra. In fact his book “Redefining Success: And Still Making Mistakes” takes this theory to the next level. You should read it! I really admire that man for everything he has been through, good and bad and his ability to not expect a certain outcome or result. He is clearly comfortable in his element and therefore has found incredible amounts of success, first in his professional life albeit with the sacrifice of his personal life and heath. Thankfully, he figured it out and has since got everything back on track. Not to spoil the book or anything, I’m just a really big fan of perseverance…. and apparently tangents…
Essentially what I am getting at is that we as humans are meant to make mistakes and be imperfect. It’s a uniqueness that we all have and should embrace. However cliche it may seem, we need to fail in order to find true success. You may have heard it before, but you don’t really know what it is like to win, until you have lost. And that is true heart.
The heart of a champion is one that has seen defeat. Some times repeated defeat. The difference in the heart of a champion is that it knows no rest. It will kick and kick and pump and pump and try again. Backwards or not. Against all odds. The heart will persevere.
How do we apply this positively to our lives now, though? Well in a world so caught up in social standards, I can understand where this becomes puzzling. I too, struggle at times with just being okay with the outcome. There’s so much pressure to climb the corporate ladder. Achieve the greatest amount of success. Provide for yourself and your family. But don’t do it that way! You need to do things this way. In the right order.
You know what? I am running on a theory I’ve had in my entire sports career. The more we build up the pressure to win, the pressure on having a perfect game, making the perfect play, perfecting our routine….. The more we fixate on that perfectly perfect rationale…. the more we lose sight of the actual outcome. We get pigeon-holed and subsequently stuck in the fear of losing and we ultimately choke. Look at any underdog. Why do you think the power of the people back the underdog in most cases? Everyone loves a good underdog story. Heck, I’m one of them! Even my story is one of them! If you’re reading this, you are likely just like me in that regard. But why?
There’s a good chance that the ones without the fear of losing will out perform the favourites. There’s nothing to lose, right? Just go out and have fun. Why doesn’t the same theory apply in all aspects of life?
I think for the sake of being cool with oneself in a given situation, knowledge of the proposed outcome limits our ability to succeed. I say just role with it. We are only in control of how we handle experiences at the end of the day anyways, right? Being okay with imperfection will slowly build character, integrity and a long withstanding respect. Example – I think it says a lot about the professional athlete that bifs as they step out on to the ice and has enough wit and humility to shake it off and understand that they alike the rest of us will make mistakes. Sometimes juvenile and silly mistakes. To me, that just adds to the appeal and is something I stand deeply for in truly understanding myself and being okay with where I am at as me. I want to strive for that. That to me is perpetually learning. That to me is unbound success. No comparisons. No judgement. Just continuing down my path, one step (or stride!) at a time.
Thank you for listening.