Ch01.B25 If at first you don't succeed…
Hello reader, how are you today?
Achieving your goals and trying new things?
Or stuck in that place of knowing what you want but not being sure how to get there?
If you’re anything like me, it’s a little bit of column A and a little bit of column B. So how do we get ourselves securely on the A train?
There’s that old adage “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” All well and good, but there’s no point doing exactly the same thing over and over and expecting different results. That’s insanity, right?
Let’s start by letting ourselves off the hook a little.
Experience teaches us to expect certain outcomes from certain actions. Well, let’s try being less attached to those outcomes. I don’t mean not taking responsibility, or refusing to heed lessons learnt, but rather making decisions and setting goals knowing that whatever the outcome is, it’s OK.
Giving up on the idea of “control” can be difficult. We all have habitual methods of “handling” particular situations. I love the idea (and I’m misquoting someone here) that “to be something you’ve never been before, you need to do something you’ve never done before”.
The next time you are faced with a challenge, try doing the opposite of what you would normally do. If you always jump in and act, then sit back and listen. If you normally let fear stop you from something, let it be your guide and face it head on.
Who knows what you’ll discover?
Of course, it’s always easier to change behaviours, be brave and face our fears if we can come at them from a place of openness and inspiration. And the more we diversify our interests, actively experience new things and surround ourselves with like-minded people, the easier it is to feel like that.
In an effort to do something new, I recently attended a great screenwriting class, Experiencing the TV Writers’ Room with Chelsea Cassio. Not only inspiring and informative, it was also a fantastic insight into the range of different ideas a group of writers can come up with. Especially since they’re all starting with the same information and storytelling building blocks.
Next on my list was a ‘life drawing’ class run by the National Academy of Technology, but instead of the models being nude they were dressed in character. Definitely a new experience and hopefully a bit of fun, and not having done any proper drawing for some time, I went in with little attachment to ‘the outcome’ of my endeavours.
But I did learn something useful which I think I can apply to everything I do.
One of the organisers of the event suggested we spend as much time with our attention on the model as on the page. The trap of course can be to become too focussed on the picture you are drawing rather than the source of inspiration. Which is true of life as well. If we are too focussed on our goal without paying attention to our lives, then all we are is the person living in the next moment. Obsessed with what we are about to create rather than looking around and taking life in.
I came out of the class feeling like I’d been meditating for the last two hours, as if I’d played a game using a completely different muscle, and I was full of new ideas.
My advice? Next time, if at first you don’t succeed.. try something new.