Free Failing

“I have this image of a whole wave of stories getting posted about fear and failure that are full of humility and the messiness of real life. ” – Yuvi Zalkow

My friend Yuvi Zalkow has a book out – released today – entitled A Brilliant Novel in the Works. To celebrate the launch, he asked on his blog if readers would be willing to take on a challenge to help him promote it – and promote failure and fear in the process.

What he asked of anyone willing to take on the challenge was to blog about fear and/or failure they’d experienced.

Since I have a treasure trove of them, I thought I’d share some.

Get comfortable, folks.

The Book

Not Yuvi’s, but mine.

I’m failing to put the finishing touches on it. I’m tied up in its length, its depth, and several other things in between. It should be done by now. Heck, there should have been some more updates to the newsletter by now as well.

But there hasn’t.

Since this is a week where a book about a book in the works is hitting shelves, I find it fitting that I make every effort to make sure my book does the same…and soon. So I’ve given some thought as to how I’m going to proceed (it means some changes here at the blog in terms of posting frequency, for example), and I’m going to push through and have it done sooner rather than later.

(Newsletter subscribers: expect an update by week’s end in your inbox.)

The Blog

I haven’t posted in over a week. Talk about taking some steps back…and not the right kind of steps. The juice just hasn’t been there (even though I gave myself some great content fodder by taking on a search for a new email app). Perhaps it’s a case of burnout. Perhaps it’s a case of a lack of willpower and discipline paying a visit. Regardless, whatever “it” is has caused more than just procrastination.

It has caused stagnation.

I’m steeling my resolve to get that book of mine done – and I’m going to make sure that the blog happens regularly going forward. I set the bar too high considering all of my responsibilities (both in work and in life) – even a productivityist falls down on this front every once in a while. So while it may mean less blogging (Michael Hyatt wrote a great piece about this which inspired me a great deal), it will mean better blogging.

After all, I’d rather succeed with less than fail with more.

The Reputation

I’ve failed to live up to my end of the bargain in some aspects of my work life. And while that hasn’t caused me to burn (many) bridges, I have given those who I admire and respect pause when it comes to dealing with me in the future (in a work relationship or otherwise).

I may not be able to make up for those failures, but I can strive to ensure they don’t happen down the line – and try to repair the damage those failures have caused.

The Family

All of these things has led to a very cranky Mike Vardy, and my wife and kids have bore the brunt of that crankiness. I lost sight of why I do what I do in the first place and that was perhaps the biggest failure of all. There have been times where my family hasn’t wanted to be around me, and that’s just no good.

In order to keep failure at bay in this area, I need to set myself up for success in all areas. And I need to keep my eyes on those areas as well. If I take my eye off the ball, I’m more likely to drop it.

In Brightest Day…

I wear this Green Lantern ring my daughter gave me every time I write. I haven’t been wearing it enough lately. I think at first it was because of burnout, which was soon followed by shame and then a lack of unworthiness. I wasn’t exactly embodying the ways of the Green Lantern Corps, after all.

Today I watched the live-action feature film version of Green Lantern (speaking of failures). But despite its flaws, I could really relate to the character of Hal Jordan. He felt unworthy to wield the ring. He felt doubt in his own ability. Even as the film came to its climax, the fear almost consumed him because he was “ring-less” when he took it on full force.

But then help arrived in the form of a friend, allowing him to grab the ring once again and triumph in the face of fear. And after that, sapped of his strength, he needed the support of his fellow GL Corps members to pull him from impending doom.

While I’m not saying that Yuvi is as attractive as Blake Lively (having seen both on the Internet “pantsless”), I will say that the timing of his book’s release and this challenge couldn’t have come at a better time for me.

Yuvi threw me my ring.

And there will be others there to help me as well when I’m sapped of my strength after facing fear…and defeating it.

If you want to buy Yuvi’s new book via Amazon direct from here, that’d be swell. After all, I’ll get a bit of money if you do that.

Failing that, get your hands on the book (as well as more information about it here).

Photo credit: Chris Griffith (CC BY 2.0)