Imperfect Action

by David Garten

The other day I came across this quote on a friend's FaceBook page that is attributed to Jon Sinclair:  “failure is a bruise, not a tattoo.” It totally resonated with me and got me wondering about how much of what holds us back from trying things is the fear of failing? I’m sure I could write a book about the power of fear (oops, already been done) and how it can cripple people.   

My question is this: who are we afraid of seeing us fail? Other people? Ourselves?  By the way, I don't have an answer to this question (remember our website is a question "ask what matters ?").   Is the fear of public embarrassment greater than internalized shame?  Damn, where DID I put Brene Brown’s cell number?  She’s great and I’m sure she could help me with this quandary.

Regardless of what the driver is, why not take the risk and see what happens.  One of my favorite quotes is Wayne Gretzky’s “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” That pretty much sums it up; your score has nowhere else to go but up!

Paul and I are always talking about imperfect action.  You can spend your whole life striving for perfection- holding back and waiting for the perfect moment, the perfect words, or the perfect outfit.  Or you can ACT and see what happens.  If you act and you fail, you can always adjust, and God forbid what if you actually succeeded?  So which do you choose, the risk of a “failure bruise” or a tattoo that reads “stagnant?”


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