This is one of the posts when I wish we could go out to coffee, you and me.
I'd grab a couple of coffees with extra cream and some vanilla sprinkles, or maybe we'd splurge on a pumpkin spice latte and a maple scone. We'd find a table outside, if the weather permits, sit at a table and talk for a good hour.
I've been thinking so much about failure and not in the bad way but in the good, growthful way.
Perhaps the tragedy in life is not that we failed many times over. Perhaps the tragedy in life is that we didn't fail enough.
Because if you and I haven't failed, maybe, maybe we haven't tried. We're just playing a low risk/no risk game. And I'm not saying what we failed at is good, I'm saying it can lead to good things- the relationship fail, the business fail, the creative fail.
Consider this: the crisis you've gone through or are currently going through could be the best thing that ever happened to you.
Yes, it really could be. Why is a crisis a good thing?
Because a crisis forces us to look at things as they really are, to make the decision to innovate and get scrappy and push through until we get what we are after.
Or maybe when to know when to let something go.
Why a Crisis is a Good Thing
If you are going through an especially difficult time, I encourage you to leverage the hard time for your greater good. This season is happening here and now- what will you take away from it? Will you allow failure -yours or someone else's- to define you? Or will you allow the fire to burn away the fluff and un-essentials and form you into a stronger, more innovative artist and creative?
If our reaction to a crisis is to become more risk averse, we are at risk of becoming a nation of safety-obsessive, guarded, suspicious, stingy minded, and dare I say it, boring, people.
We worry about too many things.
We allow worry to turn into fear and fear to turn into jaded cynicism.
People are desperate for certainty in a world where the only thing certain is uncertainty.
When we become a culture who wants no risk, we invite other people to come in and control things for us. We can already see that happening to some extent as our government gets bigger and forces itself into more aspects of our lives and businesses.
As a creative, you will die if you allow and desire the motivating factors of your life to be safety and security.
To be an artist is to take risks, to embrace uncertainty.
The irony in this argument is this: however you live your life, safety obsessed or chasing the dream- it's all hard work.
We can work hard in our safe environments and do what several friends are- get "secure" government jobs, live obsessing about safety, stay indoors to not get hurt- and it's hard.
Or we can do the hard work, live a life of adventure, and risk being wildly influential and effective beyond our wildest dreams. This hard.
Which do you want?
Just because you are an artist, doesn't mean you will be poor. In fact, many authors and artists are proving just the opposite.
How does this make you feel? Are you willing to say your current crisis as the gateway to innovation and growth? What would help you chase after the dreams in your heart and gut?
Listen, I get fired up about this because I've been there. I've wanted to just "get through" a season of hardship and failure, not realizing it was the ideal time to learn and grow seeds of knowledge and wisdom that don't come in times of planting and harvest. I'm starting to shift my thinking in the area of safety, risk and becoming the creative artisan woman I want to be.
How about you?
My coffee needs a refill, you?
P.S. If you live around the greater Sacramento area, I really would love to meet you for coffee Send me a message via Twitter @melissauclair or email me: melissaauclair(at)gmail.com