Success, failure,

Success and failure are relative to each other. Neither can exist without the other, so if you create one, you automatically court the other. If success is what you’re after, best forget it so that you can get on with it.

I love writing like this. I often do it early in the morning, as I am now. I set myself a target time for publication, but I have nothing more to guide me, as far as I know.

By ‘as far as I know’ I mean that I sometimes have a title in mind, but nothing else. That’s where it starts, and it has to be expanded on and developed. I do this by writing, even though I don’t know WHAT I’ll be writing until it emerges on the page.

I know from experience that I can do this by speaking as well. In that case, I’m at my best when I don’t know exactly what I’m going to say. I have a title, or theme, and an audience. The rest flows from there. I’d say it’s easier with an audience, because – whether they know it or not – they co-create what’s happening to some extent.

Today, three paragraphs in, I still don’t know what the point of this post is. But maybe that is the point. Stepping into the unknown only has risk associated with it if that’s how you choose to frame it. For example, in order to know what ‘success’ looks like in any particular context (in this case blogging), I also know what will constitute ‘failure’. You might say that if I fear failure (as many people do), that will push me towards success, but it might also frighten me into judging my effort(s) as inadequate.

Neither success nor failure

How I get round this success and failure dichotomy is by avoiding not just failure, but success too. In my thinking, I just don’t go there. ‘Getting it right’ creates the possibility that I can get it wrong. By removing ideas about success/failure, right/wrong etc, I also remove a huge obstacle to progress. The result is that pretty soon I have written over 300 words (which Google approves of in a post, I’m told), and I’m thinking about wrapping it up.

Success or failure is only partly in your hands. Any project starts with the first step, as does creativity. Inspiration is OK in it’s place, but it is not enough to get the job done.

I’m a psychologist, coach, and therapist. All my work is aimed at enabling people to improve personal aspects of their lives and work.


One Comment

  1. curlydogs11 December 27, 2016 at 1:09 am

    I have no expectations of what you write Barry. I have to say that probably 99% of the time your posts speak to me. I no longer have expectations of myself – I am just who I am, finally living life with an open heart and mind, exposing my vulnerabilities and accepting that some will like me for who I am, and some will not. And that’s ok, because I like me this way, if I succeed or fail…that’s just life! As always, thank you for opening my mind to possibilities.

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