I read an interview a few months ago that Rolling Stone did with Louis C.K. and what he said about failure popped out at me.
Do you think you needed all those years and failures to become great?
“Yeah, all the tools I have come from those years. There’s nothing elusive or ethereal about it; it’s very practical and directly related. I learned how to avoid a huge amount of pitfalls by walking into them and surviving. Then two things happen as you go along. The first thing that happened if your best gets better, but what matters is when your worst gets better. You can’t always be crackling with energy. Sometimes you have to go up there, and the thing didn’t happen, but you’ve got to put together an amazing show anyway, so your worst show has to be above everybody’s best – that’s what you really want. So your worst, that comes with time, that comes with experience.”–Louis C.K.
He goes on to say another amazing thing about failure.
“It’s understandable for people to want all of their favorite things to happen, but the crazy thing is to think that they can avoid all of the hard things. To want everything that you ever dreamed of, to the exclusion of anything hard, that feels common to me now in a way that is hurting people. They’re ignoring how much good there is in being present for the hardest parts of your life. I wouldn’t trade those years for anything. I loved all that time; it was hard and I suffered. Times where you’re like, “ I think it’s over, and I’m in too deep to start anything else.” There are really scary moments in a showbiz career, but it’s so great that they got to happen. It’s a very unforgiving field; it doesn’t say goodbye nicely, and there is no one there to keep you going – it’s all you. But if you survived that time, that’s always there.”
I personally love what Louie says about failure in this interview and if you aren’t watching his show Louie on FX you need finish reading this, ask your grandmother if you can have her log in for her Netflix and give it a try. Some parts of the story really can get to you because for me it’s the things that I wish I could say but I don’t end up doing it.
Louie gets failure and not in the way I wanted to start this article about how we all need to do a self-evaluation on our own failures to see where we can grow and learn from them.
Instead for me it’s looking at those failures and sitting with them most of my problems let’s say work related to a miscommunication that in the end turns the project into a Failure. My initial reaction usually is how can I fix this or after a long list of failures that keep coming up that they suck and I should get out of what I’m doing very quickly and quietly. I like to pretend that I take on failure well and see it as a silver lining when it happens but when you have been working on a project for months or you happen to make a special tweak to that one bit of video that you think really brings out something and it ends up not even being needed and the client isn’t happy and BOOM YOU FAILED!
So where can we move from here? After you have failed? I have a few ideas but I would like to get traffic and engagement from the two people who commented on my last posts telling me to write for these days. I’m working on it. Let’s see what you got and “BLOG IT OUT”