Thursday, September 19, 2013

Even the best fail

I’m sure there are people who play taiko that you really admire, if not outright idolize.  Or maybe you don’t play taiko but do something else where you have that same admiration.

We usually only get to see the best of a performer, whether it’s a polished piece or a dazzling solo or a video of a well-rehearsed performance.  But rest assured, before they got to that point, they failed.  A lot.

Oh, I’m sure there are some prodigies out there that failed way less than others, but I bet they’ve still failed plenty.  Is that a judgment?  Hardly.  I’m simply pointing out that even the best of us have failed more often than they’d like.  And the thing to take away from this is that they are as good as they are BECAUSE they have failed as much as they did.

Whether they tried a new solo and got off, whether they kept dropping their bachi in a difficult song, whether they had a collaboration that clashed, whether they wrote a piece that fell apart, or even if they just messed up doing drills, they failed.  It obviously didn’t stop them, did it?  They’re as good as they are because they learned from those failures.

It’s not that a person has to be the best there is to be admired, either.  Someone who tries out for a group and doesn’t make it in but makes something of that experience can turn a fail into a catalyst for growth.  Hell, I didn’t make it in to SJT on my first try, and now I’m in my 21st year with them.  Someone who never gets new things but works on it later so they’re not holding the group back is turning a fail into motivation.

It’s not enough to learn from your mistakes.   You have to be okay with making them sometimes.  You can’t fear failure to the point where you keep yourself from situations where they *might* happen.  Show me the person that you admire that has never failed in the past and doesn’t make mistakes now, and I’ll wait for you to wake up, because you’re dreaming!

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