August 9, 2011 Was The Day I Turned Old
It wasn’t until a five year old elbowed me out of a Wal-Mart aisle that I realized I am getting old.
Her and her holographic Justin Bieber backpack and Dora The Explorer T-shirt—racing to grab the last Hannah Montana lunchbox.
Two things offended me about this situation.
One. Nobody told me Bieber was making backpacks. Cultural advisers—consider this your resignation.
Two. Another school year is starting without me…
I Did Battle With Bullet Points
What goes into a great day?
Luck? Hard work with serendipitous results? At what point am I going to stop and enjoy myself? In my time with God this week, He has specifically told me, “Stop moving!” Have I attempted to play out what that looks like? Am I obeying?
Simply put—no I haven’t. It was something I jotted down on a blank page, only to be replaced with a to-do list written on the back of it.
And another thing—why do I continue with such expectations? My list for the day consists of life not met by the day before, and to-do’s that won’t get done until tomorrow. There’s never contentment in drawing a line through the list, because it’s only greeted by something else I don’t have time to do. I’m finding it to be quite American—this desire to slave myself into fitting two days into one.
Instead of being content with myself and my battlefield of bullet points, for some reason I make the assessment it’s not enough, so I just work and work and work until the sun goes down, and feel unaccomplished because I know I could always be doing something. And when I’m not I don’t feel happy or satisfied. Ironically though, I am not usually happy when I am doing something, because it’s just on the mentality of trying to do something else.
I’m allowed to put away my Manhattan hustle for a second and take in my European tendencies of working to live. My twenty-something American-standardized rush for the sake of rushing habits are hindering what is beyond the borders of my laptop…
I Tried Living More Like Google
Perfect is an excuse to stay inside the lines.
It’s safe, and after a while, once you have been found out, it becomes a bit boring.
Perfect is a safety zone, in which we do based on what we’ve already seen. The truth is, perfection is usually based on what we’ve seen someone else do well—and then called it perfect.
Failing on the other hand is an entirely different performance. I enjoy failing like I enjoy dieting. But failing is pinnacle to any kind of growth in life. That’s what I’m finding in art, life, and relationships. Deliberately failing is out of the question, but genuinely falling short means only growth on the other side. It’s like approaching a woman; going up to a woman and sparking a conversation is a heroic act that very well could lead to rejection. But you don’t see the guy who went up to the girl regretting it; it’s always the guy who never did then is haunted by “what if?” But, love doesn’t see failure; it sees grace.
The boldness in life is the risk of doing something great.
Google and Yahoo are the same style of company on paper. They are both Internet browsing databases. Yahoo stays perfect within itself. They remain ahead in their own win/loss column, and you will very rarely hear Yahoo in the news. Whether good or bad. Google on the other hand fails all the time. And they openly admit it. How about the Google Catalog? Or Google Answers? Or the Google Voice Search which I am still trying to figure out… All well publicized, huge flops leaving some employees, I’m sure, hunched over their computer screens, hoping not to get called the Google Campus Principal’s office. But Google is still Google. I haven’t been on Yahoo for about five years, and I use Google anytime I can’t think for myself.
The light bulb. It took Thomas Edison 3,000 trials before creating the light bulb. When a young reporter inquired about the failures he said, “I didn’t fail 3,000 times. I merely found 3,000 ways how not to create a light bulb.”
To remain perfect is to sacrifice the greatness in yourself.
I need to hear this especially now, because when it comes time to putting my name on something (be it music, literature, a great love…) I need to learn to give myself a break more. Life is already inundated with things you’re supposed to be and do, that being my own worst critic only fuels a engine of insecurity.
Our view of succeeding shouldn’t be “Is this perfect?” It should instead be “What does this begin?” What does who you are as a person add to the rest of us? Who cares if it’s perfect… does it ignite and inspire? Does what you spark passion for other people build on their own dreams? Do you set people on fire with passion?
Laugh at mistakes. Fail early and often. Realize that life is more Google than Yahoo, and that even the best make mistakes. This life is meant to be enjoyed like delicate wine. Let’s slow down and be proud of who we are in this very moment. Cheers!