How to Avoid Failure

Should We Ever Be Afraid to Fail?

I’ve often been asked how I’ve managed to leap into so many interesting adventures?

Of course crazy does come to mind and strangely enough there is also that archaic belief floating about that opines, “Jack of all Trades Master of None.” Perhaps when one’s lifespan was thirty years old that may have been the case, but I must disagree human beings are only capable of excelling in one profession, skill or area of their lives.

About to embark on that tenuous journey into the land of pitching a new book to publishers, I’ve been giving a great deal of thought to rejection and its impact on our lives and careers.

Always aware of my desire to become a writer I penned my first short story at around the age of eight. A science fiction tome about space travel, which makes sense since Flash Gordon was a particular passion. Many years later my first book was a science fiction-fantasy-comedy-murder mystery (is that even a thing?) that convinced all my friends I was indeed far crazier than they’d even imagined.

My sanity aside, the point is this, how can one be a writer without living, experiencing and failing?

Oh, of course the old adage write what you know is still very relevant, however this may work for some writers, but for many varied life experience contributes volumes of information to their skills.

I didn’t set out in life to be so ADD in my professional choices, so how did I end up going from journalist to comedy writer to stand-up comic to bakery owner to newspaper editor to cooking show host to radio talk show host to college professor, NBC’s Baking It cooking show judge and back to writer?

I can only sum it up in one word…risk. And how do I count these adventures as successes or failures?

Was I afraid to fail at any of these or other endeavors? Yes and No actually is all I can answer. 

Many expound the theory failure is not an option when speaking about how to achieve success, and mindset is indeed a critical component. Yet is it the only one that propels us forward?

I truly believe that failure is an option and it’s not to be feared, but embraced as a life lesson necessary for many to achieve success.

We learn far more from our failures than our successes. This is universally agreed upon and yet so many fear failure and employ it as a valid excuse for failing to try.

Perhaps it is the path I have chosen that leads me to such conclusions. Any career in the arts is fraught with rejection. 

What constitutes a magnificent painting, a funny joke, great writing, or an incredible opus?

Are there those who would balk at George Gershwin, stand aloof before a Picasso or sit dumbfounded and silent watching Robin Williams perform?

Of course there would be, which explains why so many great artists are maligned and ignored during their own lifetimes.

Taste is relative to life experience and since we all share different histories our penchant for art, music or literature will naturally vary.

However there are certain universal truths. What makes Picasso stand out from other artists who have been passed over despite obvious talents?

What makes a Scott Fitzgerald or Lady GaGa a star?

Man has sought the formula for success since art became a commodity to be bought and sold like pashminas in an Indian street market. 

How many sales constitute gifted? Did our ancestors drawing on cave walls consider themselves the Picassos of the prehistoric world?

Should art be measured by volume of sales or prices and be discounted if it boasts only ten fans? 

Doesn’t the mere appreciation of any creation by even one person signify its success as a vehicle to inspire?

Does an artist ever fail when the very action of realization is in itself success?

For then we must ask ourselves at what point does an artist achieve greatness? Is it when one critic gives thumbs up to a symphony? When a gallery displays a new sculpture or when a publisher buys a book?

Failure encompasses all areas of life so why do we fear it so much we fail to achieve what gifts we possess?

The stigma of failure is debilitating to so many yet the act of creation is joyous. There seems to be a paradox afoot.

I can’t be certain why some fall short while others with lesser talents succeed, no one can.

Is it persistence, luck, karma, talent, no one seems to know for sure although many will claim they have the absolute answer to that question.

I suggest that there is no failure and the act of doing is successful despite the outcome.

If a lesson was learned, or a feeling of achievement seeps inside one’s soul, or the sheer joy or accomplishment of a goal or dream, there can be no failure.

Many believe that the only failure lies in not trying at all and I must concur.

Success is no guarantee of happiness and yet if missing the mark brings us closer to achieving our goals, it remains a positive outcome.

I say try and try and try again until you have achieved what you seek to create and enjoy the moments spent in the effort.

Life speeds by and the only way to get where we want to go is to keep moving so jump on that train and ride it until the end. 

No one is ever a failure that has attempted to succeed and no one has the right to nullify anyone’s efforts, no matter the outcome. Doing something you love is a blessing and a joy. To avoid those moments in a lifetime because of a fear of being judged by others would be truly the greatest failure.

Easy Keto Style Chicken Magenta

Four chicken thighs 

4 Thick slices of Swiss Cheese

2 Cups of Heavy Whipping Cream

2 cups chopped mushrooms

1 egg with ¼ cup of water added

2 cups of Almond Flour

2 tablespoons oil

2 tablespoons butter

¼ teaspoon of nutmeg

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp chopped parsley for garnish is optional

Season the almond flour with salt and pepper. Pound thighs flatter then dip in almond flour, pat well to get excess off and dip in egg mixture then back in almond flour. Add butter and oil to frying pan and heat. Add chicken pieces and fry until cooked on both sides. Remove chicken and add mushrooms and sauté, then add cream and season with a little salt and pepper and nutmeg. Cook down cream until it thickens. Add chicken back in and cook until done in cream sauce. When the chicken is done add a slice of cheese to the top of each piece and place pan under the broiler until cheese is browning and bubbling.

Serve and enjoy.

2 thoughts on “How to Avoid Failure

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