Friday, May 04, 2007

You are going to fail.

What if you know you are going to fail. 0%. Will you do it anyway?

There is a part of me that I just want to go and do it and find out. Even if this means failing.

Maybe this is coming from racing. The first triathlon, the first marathon, the first open water swim, the first half ironman. Over and over. The question is...can I do it? What if I fail?

My buddies and I were having a discussion about a friend going head over heels over a girl. We were discussing if you went after someone, you had to do it 100%. He said he was 80% or so..I think he just didn't want to admit he was going 100%.

Is there anything wrong with admitting that you did everything and you still blow up? Or is it more self satisfying to say that 'oh I did 80% and it didn't work'.

From a negative point of view, there are two choices:

i) You either drop 100%, blow up and get hurt.
ii) You either give 80%, get hurt and say..well at least I tried 80%.

Does option (ii) more satisfying than (i)? As human, we don't want to blow up..that's given. Even I don't want to get hurt willingly.

I look at my life. More often than not, I should have been more bold than less.

'I should have asked that girl out in highschool.'
'I should have applied for that job.'
'I should have rode up those hills and not head back to my car.'

Joe Friel said, 'Don't train too hard often. If you do, go really hard.' (taken from Triathlete Bible.)

As a Christian, do you know who went all the way? Jesus.

He knew off the bat He will be died by the people He want to save.
He knew He would be denied by his Disciples, who supposedly to be closest to Him.
He knew there is no way He can deny His death on the cross...

and yet..what did He do? He went and did it. No ifs, no maybe. No shortcuts. No easy way out. And I am forever grateful for it. Amen...

This quote is from A Runner's Tale's blog:
Excellence can be attained if you care more than others think is wise, risk more than others think safe, dream more than others think is practical, and expect more than others think is possible. " - Author Unknown


Wrenched Photography said...

How would you know your gonna fail in the first place? Always go into something with 100%. And if you go down, by golly go down in style!

Robin said...

GREAT POST, CLIFF. I like your comments, plus the quote at the end. It all really makes me think, esp. as I go out yet again on my Sat. morning ride tomorrow morning, being the slowest in my group of riders and every Saturday trying new things -- whether it's hills, riding faster, learning paceline. I never know if I will succeed. But I know I need to try 100%.

Just left with one question:
Uh, what about the yams?

Spokane Al said...

We never really know what we are capable of unless we try. Your post was spot on generates much thought.

Michael said...

Hi Cliff,

Great read today, I enjoyed it! Your discussion reminds me of something Havelock Ellis said, "It is on our failures that we base a new and different and better success." Admitting to 80% (in my opinion), is setting yourself up for failure, building your excuses. 100%... now that takes stones; at least you can say you gave it your best and walk away without doubts.

All the best in your journey toward Lake Placid, I’ll be living vicariously through you this time around.

JC said...

Your post reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from Robert Kennedy. "Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly." I say go full throttle. I'd always like to say at the end I did everything I could and if it didn't work, I knew it wasn't for a lack of effort and dedication.

Of course I also often wind up succeeding and then having that "ohmygod, what did i get myself into??" moments. Those are fun.

Habeela said...

Love the quote! Yes, we all need to be a little bolder and braver.

Unknown said...

" Don't be discouraged by a failure. It can be a positive experience. Failure is, in a sense, the highway to success, inasmuch as every discovery of what is false leads us to seek earnestly after what is true, and every fresh experience points out some form of error which we shall afterwards carefully avoid. " - John Keats

Pat said...

I read somewhere that success and failure are in fact the same thing. It's got little to do with the result and everything to do with attitude. That being said, I've always struggled with believing that truth.

Anonymous said...

In my mind success and failure are a continuum. Rarely is either total and complete. And that's as it should be.

Darren said...

A most excellent quote, Cliff.
It's funny, we (society) often revere the people that attain so much, yet when we see someone trying to 'elevate' oneself, they're often 'put down', seen as 'crazy' or 'addicted'.
To me, it's about being 'addicted' and striking a balance. Although I think that's a bit like hitting a moving target. :)
Plus, I sorta like being a bit of a wingnut. Cheers

Dawn - Pink Chick Tris said...

Gotta give 100%. If you fail, then you know you at least gave it your all.

If you only give 80% and fail you will always wonder what would be had I given it my all.

That said, don't think of the failures as failing think of them as stepping stones to your success.

Great post!

ShirleyPerly said...

Very interesting post. Until I began training in the martial arts, I didn't even bother trying a lot of things that I wasn't already good at because of the fear of failure. Now I'm the opposite and actually seek out challenges that I might possibly fail in. I think it makes life a whole lot more interesting.