Stop talking and start learning to enjoy failure

I suppose the difficulty of behavior change has become something of a frequent theme here, but the two serendipitously concordant blog posts here incite me to bring you new insight on the topic.

Hugh DeBurgh has a guest post on Zen Family Habits which sounds like just another tip-list post, “7 Surprising Keys to Family Happiness“. And it is that, but it’s the creme of the category: great original tips and succinct explanations of each. The primary message of the first few tips in the list is to talk less, do more. “Stop trying to live and start living.” “Make family happiness a real priority, not just words.” “Stop thinking about what you want and live in the moment.” These ring resonantly for someone who writes a lot about behavior change, but is not really much further down the road of action than you are. Talk less, do more. I feel there’s not much more I can say about that without getting ironic. Better go do something.

But first, the second of the two posts: “Enjoy the Fun of Failure” from Happiness Project. It seems crazy; failure is not fun. But her point is that failure is a necessary step toward improvement, and we should try to get better at seeing instances of our failure as steps in our growth toward who we want to be. This is a damn hard one, and something I struggle with most profoundly in the realm of learning new instruments. That’s an in-depth discussion for some other time, but generally speaking, dealing with failure is something that all of our paradigms probably need some nudging on. Each failure is one step on the road to becoming greater. Think of it that way.

So. Let’s stop talking. Let’s sit down and do something we’ve been fearing, something that we will fail at, something that will make us closer to the people we want to be. Go.

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