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Can I be a successful failure?

PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:28 pm
by inspiresuccess
I don't know where else to put this so I'm starting here. I thought the title was catchy so that's what I came up with.

I miss going after my dreams. I tried rereading WishCraft and got bored. Obviously, not where I need to go.

As far as successes go, here's a list. After a long period of illness when I spent years mostly isolated and alone I have started over again by doing the following:

Joining a church. Volunteering to drive people to doctors appointments. Volunteering to do food preparation once a month for a shelter. Going to Sunday service on a fairly regular basis. Joining a book club at the church.

Joining a 2nd church. Going to evening meditation service once a week. Joined the women's group. Sometimes go to the community dinner. Tried one other thing that didn't work out but at least I gave it a try. Made a new friend in the women's group. First real intimate friend I've had for years.

Creating a garden in the community garden spot. Taking on a 2nd plot this year, which currently seems completely overwhelming unless I get some help with it. But I'm looking forward to planting things again. I'm planting more than I did last year so I have more to share with people. Not only do I like being outdoors and growing things. I like sharing what I grow.

I like being creative and sharing my creativity with others. Both of those things – creating and sharing – are important to me. I'm not the kind of person who wants to create a piece of art and have it sit in the closet. I want it to be in an exhibit so that other people can see it. I'm not the kind of person who wants to just design sweaters for myself. I want to design them and sell them so I could share them with other people. I'm not the kind of person who just wants to write music at home and not share it with anyone. I want people to hear it. So there's a balance between 2 things – being creative by myself number 1, and sharing what I create with other people number 2.

I'm feeling my way through what's going on here. Trying to express my frustration at the same time as giving myself credit for what I've done so far in terms of getting my life back on track.

I have more to say but I'll have to say it later. My name here is Inspire Success. I hope that by writing this I can find a way to inspire myself again to pursue my dreams and share them with people.

Re: Can I be a successful failure?

PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2019 2:09 pm
by SquarePeg
These are wonderful achievements!

Exhibiting your work is a good goal to strive for. Keep a look out for "Open Studio" events in your area. In the meantime, do you have a portfolio that you could bring somewhere without too much advance notice?

Re: Can I be a successful failure?

PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:29 pm
by inspiresuccess
SquarePeg wrote:These are wonderful achievements!

Exhibiting your work is a good goal to strive for. Keep a look out for "Open Studio" events in your area. In the meantime, do you have a portfolio that you could bring somewhere without too much advance notice?

Thanks SquarePeg.

I haven't done any artwork in years. That's the problem. Getting myself motivated to do something beyond the basic foundation I've built. Looking at what I've done, I think that's what I've been doing -- laying a foundation of places to go on a regular basis and places to meet new people. Maybe I'm feeling frustrated because I'm ready for the next step up or at least I'm ready to be ready, if that makes sense. Maybe the frustration isn't really a bad thing. Just a message that I'm ready to move on.

Re: Can I be a successful failure?

PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:47 pm
by inspiresuccess
A good friend sent this message:

"Maybe you're exactly where you're supposed to be, and feeling the way you're supposed to feel. The blinding passion has a way of fizzling out. Maybe you're just supposed to enjoy your garden, and maybe try a project or two in a mellow, contented way."

I think that makes a lot of sense. The one thing that gives me energy is my garden. I can focus on that and really enjoy it in the moment without worrying about what I'm going to do next.

As far as trying projects in a mellow, contented way, I think that's a good point as well. When I go back and think about the things I've done they've all started in very small ways.

Sweater design. I got married and wanted to make my husband a sweater. I hadn't knitted since I was a child. Making a sweater for him was my only goal. Once I got knitting again I wanted to learn how to design which I did. Once I started designing I wanted to get published which I did. But it all started with one simple wish.

Masters degree. This started with a basic desire to overcome my fear of public speaking. I went to Toastmasters and worked on it and finally made some progress. I didn't have any goals beyond getting over the fear. But then a part-time job became available at a local college that required me to speak to students in lecture halls. Because I had gotten over my fear of speaking I was able to get the job. I loved the job and the people that I worked for told me if I went back to school and got my Masters degree I could teach at the college. And that's why I started going for my degree. My initial goal was just get over my fear of public speaking.

Art quilts. I went to a garage sale and someone had the quilting frame set up. "I've always wanted to learn how to quilt"! She told me how to get started and once I learn the basics I started applying artist techniques like painting fabric. My quilts ended up being exhibited in art galleries and quilt shows. But the whole thing started just because I said oh I want to learn how to quilt.

I think what my friend is saying is that it I need to allow myself to enjoy my life on a daily basis and allow my interest to reveal themselves when they're ready. Not try to force myself to get to the next level but let it unfold.

The Universe has not helped me much over the many years of difficulty. I do feel very much like the Universe is in tune with me now and leading me. I need to trust again. There is a spiritual saying that goes, "Be led; don't lead".I think it's about trusting the universe. There are so many examples of that happening now.

I was going to pay someone to take up the soil in my 2nd garden plot because it's just too hard for me to do. It's a lot of work that I can't handle it this point in my life. Someone was supposed to come today and let me know how much he would charge to do it but he didn't show up. One of the members of the garden came over and told me he would help me for free. He's an elderly non-English- speaking Russian man who does a huge amount of work his own garden. I had the person next to me translate the Russian for me. He says that he is retired and he has nothing to do all day and he enjoys doing gardening. Talk about the Universe coming to my rescue!

I will try to heed my friend's advice and enjoy my garden and be open to whatever comes along.

be open to whatever comes along.

PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:33 am
by Lynx

There's a sort of goal in the last line: "be open to whatever comes along." Quite Zen, and free.

I've often lived the opposite pattern, opening with grand goals and then finding I needed to trim some back. Simple starts to something bigger seems very organic.

Interesting bit: when I painfully discovered that I could spin myself out into mania, one of the prime factors was this over-ambitious (to the researchers) goal setting. When she tried to run a treatment program she found maniacs resisted trimming those goals. I understand from my own experience. If it's not big, why bother?

In your case and what I'm learning: if it holds your attention, then do it. Much gentler.


Re: Can I be a successful failure?

PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:21 am
by Elaine Glimme
I identify with that thinking (not in a good way) - "If it isn't big, why bother?" But the best things I've ever done have started small. I think that's why I like the idea of the stepper thread - small steps and keep going.

This is especially true for me as I get older and just don't have then energy for the big stuff. But the little stuff I can do, like helping a friend who had surgery. An easy step, and a goal completed.

This may be horribly corny, but Mother Teresa's quote comes to mind, "We can do no great things - only small things with great love."

Re: Can I be a successful failure?

PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 11:56 am
by inspiresuccess
Elaine and Lynx,

Thank you for your thoughtful responses. I appreciate it so much.