Wednesday, October 26, 2011

How To Fail (and Endure)

To the Best of Our Knowledge podcast episode for this week discusses failure.  Several timely interviews, including Tom Friedman on How the U.S. Fell Behind, Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck on the Psychology of Failure and Success,  and Alison Weir on Mary Boleyn:  Was She a Failure?.

But the piece that really resonates with me is an interview with Marc Maron, stand-up comic and host of the WTF Podcast.  Maron has endured his share of failures, and speaks very openly about his struggles.  His conversations with comics and others in his garage often touch on actual and perceived failures, and how to endure, survive, and even thrive in the face of disappointment and challenge.  I recommend highly his talks with Robin Williams (premium content) and Todd Hanson.

Maron's closing words in the TTBOK interview:

"You have to fight through that pride and through that sense of failure.  You have to somehow manage to get past that cycle of self-criticism and self-abuse for whatever you think went wrong in your life and put it aside and try to do what's in front of you and do whatever you have to do to live your life and get back up on some sort of level ground.

I know it is hard for people right now . . . it is happening to a lot of people and we all had expectations of how our life was going to turn out or how we wanted it to turn out or what we were entitled to.  But a lot of that isn't happening for a lot of people and it's really not their fault.  And you just have to adapt to what's going on right now, for you and for the country, and just realize that you can be disappointed, but what's important is that you are alive, you are healthy, you've got people that love you and depend on you, and you can't ruin all that because you think you've failed, because that's the stuff that is going to get you through this.

Don't forget just how much we are all Blessed.