Friday, March 17, 2017

Perfect Age to "Fail"

For the past couple years, I've talked about creating a program that is easily accessible to companies and their employees who are anticipating retirement. In thinking about the course, I preferred an online format. In Corporate America it is often not "safe" to talk about retirement. Employees don't want to "show their cards" for fear of someone taking over their job or being passed over on more interesting projects. An online course provides anonymity.

I'm excited to report that now is the time to create this program. I have talked about it long enough. In fact, I think that I've spoken it into existence, which is a great method for getting what you want in life (but that's a future blog post!)

To create this online course I'm working with Cindy, a talented friend who has experience with videography. I have none. And so when she came over to my home to set up a recording studio in what previously was my son's bedroom, I had to learn everything from the beginning.  Three point lighting. Editing on iMovie. Saving to QuickTime Player. I literally had to learn everything.

I told Cindy that it was good for my brain to learn something new. Frustrating at times, but I feel like some new neurons are firing and clearing pathways. She said, "Most people our age aren't willing to try something that they might fail at, so I'm proud of you."

I appreciated her admiration, but I had to think twice about doing something I might fail at. I hadn't considered failing. And what is failing? That my videos aren't the quality of a major motion picture? Or that just a few people will be interested in taking my retirement course? Is not being a polished personality in front of the camera a reason for failure?

The more I thought about it, the only way I can fail at this goal is to not do it—to decide that it's too much work or my product won't be good enough, so why bother? Giving up is the only way I can fail.

And so as I'm creating this course, I'm embracing the challenge of learning new technology, writing scripts with sincere concern for my program participants, delivering my message to the best of my ability, and feeling like Gayle King (Oprah's BFF) from the CBS This Morning. I love how Gayle is herself in front of the camera. She comes across as being authentic. When she stumbles, she laughs at herself. She seems to have fun with the show. If I worried about failure, I would miss out on an opportunity to feel like Gayle. How cool is that!

If you're still stuck on the fear of failure, write a response to the following questions:

What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

Is there something worth doing, even if you fail?

After considering these two questions, describe what failure looks like for each of these situations.

Retirement is the stage in life to rethink success and failure. When I realized that the only way I can fail at creating an online retirement course is to not create it, I knew what I had to do. And by my own definition, I'm succeeding! 

Copyright 2017. Patrice Jenkins. All Rights Reserved.

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