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Accentuate the Positive, Eliminate the Negative

accentuate the positive

Image thanks to TehLonz

Warning: This is not a pep talk.
It’s going to be a hard slice of reality. Just thought you should know before we got into it, because a vague disclaimer is no one’s friend.
You won’t be good at everything you try.
There. I said it.
I know your parents may have told you that you can be anything you want to be as long as you work your hardest at it and believe.
They lied, but they had the best intentions.
And it’s frustrating.
You want to be in the NBA, but you’re too short to dunk. You want to be an abstract painter, but you’re color blind. You want to be a stand-up comic, but you’re not funny…not on-purpose funny, anyway.
And you end up feeling like a failure. But here’s the secret your parents may not have told you:
Failing is good. Here’s why…

Git While the Gittin’ is Good

We all have interests and hobbies that we like and we’d like to be better at, but what if we just can’t?
What if we can’t be better at the things we want to be better at?
For example, let’s say you love to sing, but you’re tone deaf. Would you rather be encouraged to continue, until you embarrass yourself on The Voice, or stopped way before it got that far, content to sing your songs in the privacy of the shower? How many vocal classes are you willing to take? Do you try to autotune your way around it? Do you try to join a choir?
Do you give up the ghost, or keep trudging through?
Step back and assess the situation. You may love singing, but you don’t have to be a performer. You may love music, but your voice might not be the right instrument.
And you can’t get any better at anything if you don’t accept there’s room for improvement.

Take Off the Blinders

When we really want something, or want to be something, we sometimes lose sight of the reality versus the ideal in our head.
We let emotions get in the way. Or we get our heads stuck in a truth that has long since moved on.
Need an example? Maybe you’ve seen or known an individual who has an antiquated sense of style, but a ferocious ego. Maybe they’re rocking a mullet, per se. And they think they’re all kinds of Patrick Swayze “Roadhouse” cool. That person found they’re “Thing,” and they found it in 1989. They’ve never let it go.
There’s a fear of trying new things, because trying new things means giving up old things. At least, that’s what they think.
There have been so many makeover episodes of Oprah that tell us this is not true.
We are not what we wear. We are not what we do for a living. We are not what we weigh.
So, who are we? That’s a good question.

Variety: The Spice of Life

The accepted clichéd definition of “crazy” is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results.
By this standard, I think there are a lot of crazy people out there. Not “Suspense movie” quality crazy; more of a day-to-day crazy.
We get into a routine of sleep, work, eat, sleep, and in the meantime, dream of change while complaining about the lack thereof.
But we never make room for change. We never stop the cycle.
Or if we do, we expect that one new thing to fix all the others, when in reality, that doesn’t always happen, not for everyone.
So, the answer might be in not trying one new thing; try several.
Take a different route to work. Take a class. Heck, teach yourself, just you and a book or a YouTube video.
It may take a while to find your niche. And it may take a few false starts.
We are all works in progress, and we’ll never be done growing.
Nothing’s perfect, and that’s fine. But don’t get hung up on one thing you think you’re supposed to be, while forgetting who you are.


  • Michael
    February 5, 2013

    This really hit home for me…ur right, I need to try more than one new thing!

    • Russell
      February 5, 2013

      Michael, it is kind of like playin’ baseball. If you don’t go up to bat and risk striking out you never get a chance to hit a home run. Every once and a while you have to get off the bench. Good luck. Let us know what you do.

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