I’m on my longboard and for the first time, I can slow my pace by cutting hard back and forth. The graceful symbols I draw as I coast down the hill are the very essence of flow. I feel powerful. I look beautiful. I’m a 40+ year old woman. I’m not “supposed” to be able to do this. People see what I do and ask in disbelief, “How do you do that?”
“How” is simple. I fell down.
You didn’t see the time I was cruising on my board, and saw the pothole. An error in my path finding, I couldn’t avoid it. It was going to stop my board. A heartbeat set aside for the recitation I learned from my falls in Roller Derby, and my long ago study of Judo. “Pads down first, let them take the blow. Tuck your head. Roll.” Now it’s time. Just like the plan, the pads take the brunt of it. The asphalt takes is cut, a little from my elbow, and a bruise to remember this moment by on my hip. I got back up.
In the pursuit of the hustle, people say you’re only as good as your last success.
But that’s not right. Successes are great experiences. But failures are our educators.
You are only as good as the last time you failed.
The last time you failed a test, didn’t get backing for a project, got shut down in a meeting, bombed a presentation… these are all parts of the success you will inevitably achieve. Just as long as you keep getting back up.
It’s easy to see the success of others, even your own success as that spotlight moment. But that’s the refrain of the song, pleasant, but meaningless on its own.
The failure isn’t when you weren’t successful. The failure is when you built the success.
What was the last thing you failed at? What was it in pursuit of? Right now it may hurt. You learned.
Now, we have work to do. Get up.