If you’re doing your best, you won’t have any time to worry about failure.
– H. Jackson Brown
Oh, what a day, is all I can say. I was there, in this quote, drowning in the worry of failing…but then I wasn’t.
I’ve found that 90% of the time I’m good with where I’m at—continuous effort and continuous progress. Then there’s the other 10%, where the navigating of life is similar to that of a perilous sea where ebony clouds of doom are all that are seen on the horizon.
I was in some of that 10% today. I got caught in trying to figure out the future of my writing: is it worth my time? my effort? is it worth anything at all? and so on. Yes, the windows of my mind needed to be wrenched open, let the bats fly free.
On the other hand, there was my action, countering my negative, doubtful ramblings.
I wrote a lot.
I put together a piece for submission. I worked on the beginnings of a second book, that simply developed unexpectedly. I worked on a piece for my blog, a short story that keeps growing and taking shape, which was fun. I read the book I’m reading.
Then, like a sneaky snake slithering out from the dark crevasses of my mind, my brain would begin to ramble incoherently with unlovely comments such as: this is lame and what’s the point and why do I keep trying?
You get the picture; all of those divisive remarks seems so lame now, but at the time they were real and needed to be considered with the utmost seriousness that utter truth demands. (Utter truth? Pah!)
As my mind was warbling, I went outside and loaded sand into a wheelbarrow and wheeled it to the back of my house and unloaded it. I worked on spreading the sand out for the brick patio my husband and I are building.
I did this over and over again. I sweated and cursed the universe and the sand and the sun, until I sweated all the babble out of my head.
Then I went back inside and wrote.
Then I made a snack and found my special seat inside, where I can see the mountains through the window and I’m right next to my big beautiful bookcase that is overflowing with books, and I read.
Then after all that productivity and pushing through with doing the best that I could, I met friends for dinner. We chatted and laughed and told our current life stories of where we were at and what we were doing.
I didn’t bring up my delimna of the day, considering how much time I had already spent on it, but I paused and took in what my friends offered me. I focused on the good, the funny, and listened to them, and I eased into feeling better.
“If you’re doing your best, you won’t have any time to worry about failure.” For sure, and yet I’m not always willing to do my best, and,really, cultivating my best includes moments of downright foul-mouthed cursing and devastating defeat, at least the feeling of said defeat.
I have to use every ounce of will power I have, along with whatever grace I get from others and the universe, to walk the path, to make progress, to honor my passion, my soul.
While with friends, I was reminded that there is no need to worry if I honestly show up with the best I have. That day-t0-day-best will vary each day, but it need not matter. As the quote says, “you won’t have time to worry about failure.”
Even this piece got written today, without provocation or plan. The benefit of showing up—sometimes things get written.
What are you working on? What are your passions? What are you “doing your best” on today? It would be great to hear from you. Let us know in the comments below.