tisdag 14 oktober 2014

Own your failures

I have written about efficiency, about the 1/50-rule, and about adding good enough skills in spades by spending just 20-100 hours on each. It's easy on paper, but how did it work out in practice this year?

Already knowing the answer, I proceeded to take stock of my progress. Here are the results:
(FYI: Financial analysts use that expression all the time. It always cracks me up, since in Sweden it sounds like something that might happen in a U.S. prison if you drop the soap in the shower)

I failed!

There is no question about it. I failed on numerous accounts, including:
  • Portuguese. I stopped doing my Portuguese lessons on DuoLingo. I had 604 words and 1728 points and had graduatet to level 9. In fact I had almost caught up with French. I even translated an article... There is no way around this failure, I simply stopped for no other reason than "I didn't feel like it anymore"
  • French. I quit my French lessons as well. That on the other hand was a calculated failure. I traded the daily lessons for reading The Count of Monte Cristo in French. Yes, the unabridged version which runs some 2200 pages or so. I'm almost done, with around just 200 pages left.
  • Handstands: Okay, I did hurt my right wrist a couple of weeks ago. Maybe my handstands were even a culprit. The real reason I didn't learn handstands this summer is pure laziness. Sure, I can dress it in terms like prioritizing, but I always have 10 minutes over for handstands if I want to.
  • Blogging seriously - I'm getting there, albeit slowly. Actually, starting Improve should count as a success, an accomplishment. It's just that I want it to be professional, on its own domain, and with a thought through strategy
  • Company - I bought an empty company last summer and named it Fimbulvetr (a cool mythological name for the winter that precedes the end of the world). The failure is that I haven't done one single thing with it, not even the tax returns or an annual report. This is an open wound in my mind.
  • Split - I did some split stretching in January and February. I all but got completely down crotch-to-the-ground and then just stopped stretching. I took it up again this week and maybe, just maybe, I'll crown the year with an epic split. So far, however, a failure. On the other hand I regularly did a lot of healthy mobility exercises, inspired by dr. Kelly Starrett.
  • Strength - I didn't get stronger this year. Instead I lost 7 kilograms = 15.5 lbs by being to strict about my fasting, as well as standing up at the office.
  • Coding - I've actually done a fair amount of coding and studying coding. The failure is that I kind of stopped after the summer. This was a win up until July; more or less until I started this blog.
  • Brain architecture - I do know a lot more about the brain now, but more about its functionality than its architecture. Good enough?
  • Composing, playing the piano, painting, photography - all failures
  • Surfing - failure; I never even got to a beach...

I did have some clean wins as well:
  • Cilantro. I progressed from comparing cilantro to spraying eau de cologne on the food... to loving it.
  • Vegetarian. I became a vegetarian two weeks ago. Since then I haven't had any land-living meat at all (okay, yesterday we raided the sub zero and had some meat bought before turning vegetarian - remember this is about the animals, not my health)
  • I retired
This 42 year old dog apparently hasn't stopped learning new tricks just yet.

Talking about old and impressive men, that are still alive and kicking (and doing the split), here is the amazing Camille François Van Varenberg admitting to failure in a beer commercial (see just 0:15-0:35 if pressed on time, but I bet you'll find the entire 2:45 enjoyable. Then move on to the 2014 versions):

Cock In A Sock gate

I recreated the Van Damme Coors Light commercial on a snowboard trip this spring, during what is also known as "cock-in-a-sock gate" (Skiing or snowboarding naked, wearing just a sock around the ****, is not appreciated by everybody I learned). FYI: it was supposed to be for a good cause; testicular cancer.

Cock In A Sock For Cancer
March 29, 2014
-The Retarded HF manager

Failure just means there is room for improvement

Summary: OK, I failed. So what? Maybe I found something more important or interesting to do. I don't feel I have lost out on anything and I don't experience slipping behind, so I must have done something right.

The process of listing wins and losses leads to accountability, which increases the likelihood of improving. The failures are no reason to feel bad or to give up; they are just a reality check and stepping stones in your process of improving.

Now get on with it and write your own
list of failures for 2014 and remedies for 2015

9 kommentarer:

  1. As an outsider, I feel your biggest bang for the buck will come from developing the blog plus going into a serious business venture. The rest is more hobby-level stuff.

    1. Thanks. True. On the other hand, I'm not primarily after money. However, both Fimbulvetr and Sprezzaturian are greater challenges and that might just be what I need to grow as a person.

    2. Having a profit motive can be good since it forces you to create something of value and to manage resources well. You already knew that, just stating it for the readers.

  2. Hi Micke, I think you're doing pretty well with your blog. Keep it going!

  3. I really Like your blog too - the honesty you display is the biggest draw. I tried vegetarianism for a while too but the predominance of soy in the diet (Estrogen mimicker) put me off. I still like eating vegetarian from time to time. This cook book has some really nice dishes.

    1. Thanks. Re: vegetarianism, I'll stick to fish, fungae, milk and cheese as protein sources rather than soy.

    2. ... and crustaceans, insects, leghemoglobin and, in the future, crown/cloned meat.

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