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Sunday, August 1, 2021

Risky Messy Success

 When I was learning English a long time ago, I was told that there were two types of people.  One that thought everything out in their head and then wrote and the other that wrote and then figured it out as they wrote.  I concluded that I was a think and then write person, and a lot of time that has been true.  I spend HOURS or DAYS thinking till I come to conclusions that I then write out in a blog or a post.  However, sometimes, I need to just talk things out to someone else to process, and I have learned the value of that over time and have become more inclined to do it in my later years.

Why?

Life has taught me that I often don't have all the information but still need to move forward.  Indeed, the last year has been an example of that.  I didn't know what the future held, but I knew that I had to go forward from where I was.  So... I went.

It hasn't been easy.  It has been messy.  I've made mistakes, and I am sure I will continue to do so.  However, I went.

Winston Churchill said, "The maxim 'nothing avails but perfection' may be spelled 'paralysis.'"  A lot of times, we want to figure out the best way but have to pay bills, process what we know, and more.  Indeed, the last year has taught me that you often can't KNOW the next step UNTIL you have taken the first one. That involves risk, and you may be making a wrong choice, but that is often the only way you can progress.  A baseball quote on that says, "you can't still second base and keep your feet on first." (Fredrick Wilcox)

And... so we go.  We win some and lose some, but we always learn something and try again and again.  It may feel like failing, but it is actually the way EVERYONE gets to success.  I have a whole collection of quotes that speak to this, and I plan to include them in a future book.  Just one example from my military past.  I was in artillery.  Do you know how that works?  We hear on the news that our troops shot this position, and we think... wow, that's a good shot.  However, artillery doesn't work that way.  They take their best guess based on past experience with the gun.  However, wind and the elevation and more make that not always accurate.  So, it is common PROCEDURE to take that shot, hear back from forward observers how it landed and make adjustments for the next shot.  Soldiers set the sights on their gun in the same way... shoot, adjust, shoot.

Success REQUIRES mistakes, because you CAN'T just sit there till you know everything to act.  You have to act, LEARN from your mistakes instead of denying them, and try again.  If that doesn't work, you try again in a different way, different starting materials, different crowd, different time, etc till you find one that DOES work.  Finding the way that works is messy and risky, but the alternative is assured paralysis.

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