I’m gonna quote basketball legend Michael Jordan here, only because I think it’s fitting in the context of this ultimately failed to-do, and because I think the notion of failure is a compelling one to consider when looking at our 365 project as a whole. M.J said: I can accept failure. But I can’t accept not trying.
On the surface it’s a pretty basic statement, maybe even a little blasé. It’s something your mom might have said to you when you were ten and you didn’t get the lead in the Christmas pageant. “Oh don’t worry sweetie, the important thing is you tried.”
Sure, trying is definitely important. We should all try to succeed at things. But what’s so bad about failing now and again? Some of the most successful people in the world failed miserably on multiple occasions. Henry Ford. Isaac Newton. Bill Gates. Failing is a good thing. It’s a healthy thing. It’s part of the process. It’s a stepping stone. Failure is something to be celebrated.
Yes, ultimately we failed to canoe to the island. We accept and embrace that failure. That afternoon the waves were strong and the motor boats were out in droves. We got as far as the Portlands before having to make an emergency stop, and by then we had nearly swamped the entire boat. We’ll probably attempt the paddle again. But not until next summer (by then our project will be long over). Some to-do’s are destined to fail, like this one and this one and this one. And that’s just totally dandy as far as we’re concerned. Because the way we see it…if we’re not failing now and again, we’re not trying hard enough.