Been in a brainstorming powwow with some dear ones. It’s not your typical session of spewing ideas and seeing what sticks. It’s more like tossing out our bad ideas about things we can’t afford to be wrong about. I tend to lean toward bad ideas serving as a form of streamlining better ones. Meaning, once you strike out the ones that don’t work you are left with better options. Process of elimination. But in this think tank we’ve been in, we are finding there is very little room for wrong thinking. Some projects are too valuable to be haphazard about. Those projects are ourselves and it’s an ongoing endeavor.
While we realize we are going to find error with our execution, it seems that much of that can be cured in conception. You know, the place where ideas are birthed. If the ideas are off, our efforts will be even more so. So we hash out these lofty things in the safety of a no-judgement zone. A space devoid of judgement simply means that it’s okay to share your thoughts, no matter how graduated or juvenile, concise or complex. Then we go from there. Is there error here? Is there truth here? Is this unto the goal? Is this going to derail eventually? Does this line up with and support the vision? We must ask these questions before we embark. And if we do find ourselves headed down a path that’s going to steer us off course eventually, we quickly redirect back to what we know is straight and level. This is a group effort, this thing called life, and who you surround yourself with and take counsel with does have a direct impact on the way you walk it out.
I’ll tell you what doesn’t work, by experience — isolation and island thinking. Nobody holds all the keys or answers or the knowithall to do it alone. We need others. Others to hold up mirrors that speak essential but hard truths; others to collapse into after coming to terms with said truths; and others to hash out all the delicate intricacies that make up life. Success happens in pockets like these. Getting things straight in your own soul in the cocoon of safe community is a make-or-break dynamic. I realize I’m especially rich here, having something so sacred in my own life. It’s not fool-proof, by any means, as humans we remain foolish by nature. But it’s prudence and I cherish those who bang it out in the conference room of vulnerability with me. Having a “team” of likeminded ones after the same prize is a powerful force. All the checks and balances are in place. It’s a smart design, good practice, and wise business.
The fact is, nobody can entirely avoid failure. Dare I even suggest that failure is a formative piece of the equation in finding success? But how we despise it so. Error is an intrinsic factor in finding solutions, though. I need to remember this always as I stumble ahead. Being a risk taker by nature, I’m doomed to many more trials and errors and that’s just how it works. I like to think I DO learn this way, and having that insight helps me to carry a healthy fear of quitting more than failing. Quitting is simply not an option though many toils and snares lie in wait. We can only forecast and strategize and make our best laid plans, but until then we can’t be afraid of trying for the risk of failing. I think I’m mostly okay with that. Mostly.
What I’ve got wrong right now is all I can actually manage right now. What do I have twisted in my head and heart today? What can I do about where I am right now? These are the things that set me on a trajectory for later. So, it’s a continual tweaking and realigning and reworking of what I can control this day. Tomorrow will bring it’s own challenges to the table… tomorrow. I know it‘s rare to have a soundboard so keen as the ones given me in this season. It makes a huge difference in how I deal and heal, walk and talk. But how I need a team. How I need counsel. How I need just enough space to fumble a bit and the cheerleaders who shout me into the end zone. Many days can feel like there’s a championship win on the line, but most days are just practice runs. Conditioning. Preparation for the big moments to come. It feels really good to have people in your corner, especially those who have known the heights and depths of both victory and loss. They don’t wimp out when the going gets tough — they press in and do the hard stuff with you. Those are my people.