2016 is going to be a year of failure.
I embrace it. Something that annoys the hell out of me is my Fear of Failure. It’s the same fear that’s been there ever since grade school, like a zit that simply won’t go away. In fact, the world has given me a never-ending series of opportunities to be paralyzed by FoF.
- If you don’t get good grades you won’t get into a good college. Fail.
- If you don’t excel in extra-curricular activities you won’t get any scholarships and won’t get into a good college. Fail.
- If you don’t do something noteworthy in college, nobody in the professional world will pay any attention to you when you graduate. Fail.
- If you don’t marry by the time you’re 30, all the good ones will be taken. Fail.
- If you play a show at a venue and the turnout is light, you’ll never be invited to that venue again. Fail.
- If you try a new sound and the fans don’t like it, they’ll stop listening to you. Fail.
- If you release an album and it goes nowhere, you’ll never be taken seriously by the Industry. Fail.
- If you’re not signed to a record label by age 25, you’ll never make it. Fail.
FoF is like Donald Trump: a cruel, irrational bastard that loves to mock people and make them miserable. So this year, I’m going to fail. I’m going to fail a lot. In fact, I’m going to try some shit that’s probably well beyond my means just so I can see how spectacularly I fail. I want to fail with such zeal that people write articles about the specifics of my failure. They’ll make charts and analyze still-frames from records of my failure and use them as case studies to forewarn future generations.
And I’ll probably fail at that last goal, too, but I don’t give a shit. FoF is far worse than any actual failure I’ve ever known. Like W. H. Auden wrote:
The chances are that, in the course of his lifetime, the major poet will write more bad poems than the minor.
Or like Thomas Edison said:
Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.
Let’s see what kind of failures we can crank out in 365 short days. Chances are good you’re not even going to remember most of them. But chances are also good that somewhere in the pile will be some stunning successes that will outshine the dark shadow of FoF. Here’s one last thought from weight-loss failure Sir Winston Churchill:
Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.
Come on, 2016, let’s see what failures I gotta dig through before I hit gold.