Post Format

Shovel

Although I’ve never seen it first hand, I believe that aboriginal people in Australia throw a stick that flies in a circle; a flat, obtuse angled piece of wood forcefully flung into the sky that returns to its sender. I wonder, amazed, at the instinctive and intuitive knowledge that a piece of wood shaped just so and thrown a specific way takes a trajectory that mathematicians use for a calculus proof. Human feats performed without confirmatory proof are still feats. Just because it took a ten thousand years to understand how a boomerang works doesn’t mean the boomerang is somehow magical. It just took human cognitive skills a ten thousand years to learn how to explain it. Sometimes HOW we do something is more mysterious than THAT we do something. We can DO it before we really have the ability to understand HOW we do it. And passing the skill from one to another requires pure trial and error. Even after we know HOW to do something, being able to actually DO it still means practice……and failure…..more failures that successes. How many attempts to throw a boomerang are required before the boomerang flies its elliptical journey? How many boomerangs get lost, never to return? Retrieval of each failed throw requires a hike far into the wildness. You must fetch your own stick if you want to try again.

You can’t WATCH a Webinar for boomerang throwing and then charge off and throw perfectly. A wise man, now the possessor of knowledge and understanding of how a particular feat is accomplished, hesitates out of awe and humility. They recognize the skill necessary for success. Only a fool rushes in. Only an idiot expects to possess mastery just by watching. Only a child pitches a fit when they fail.

There are things in this life I want to accomplish. There are skills I want to possess. Just because I am skilled in one thing, I cannot extrapolate that mastery to other things. I may be an expert at THIS and a novice at THAT. I cannot expect (of myself) to have mastery of THAT just because I have it with THIS. Like any good teacher, I must be understanding, forgiving and patient with myself and not expect so much, so fast and so perfectly. Success at new things means a messy pile of mistakes and failures. I must recognize that the mess is proof of effort and diligennce and faith in myself. I must hold steadfast in my faith that simply by applying my effort, repeatedly and with focus, I will eventually succeed. I’m not trying to get to the moon. I’m not hoping to sing on Broadway. I am rational and my goals are reasonable. I just need to adjust my expectations and allow for the process of learning. Success means I’ll have truck load of disappointment. It’s just the natural consequence of success. The expectation of success on a first try is equivalent to thinking I can get a hole-in-one, a grand slam or a perfect 10 from the Russian judge simply because I WANT IT.

Grow up! Stop whining! And get back at it. Keep trying. Plug away. Less talking and more doing. And forget the failed attempts. Ignore the fuck ups. It has nothing to do with ME, rather, the failures are PROOF positive of my tenacity, my resilience. Those failures are not an indictment that I AM A FAILURE. The are the mountain of proof that I earn what I get….and I stick with it until I get it. I am not endeavoring at some wicked task, like Sisyphus. I am not attempting to lick my elbow and turn into a boy. I’m not fooled by those PawPaw riddles, enticingly whispers to me by my devilish grandfather.

What I want is absolutely possible…..I just have to keep at it and I need to keep a shovel close at hand to dig out of the mountain of failure it will take to succeed.

Share

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.