Successfully Fail to Succeed (i-mail article)

Nov 5 22:00 2002 Doug C. Grant Print This Article

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Article Title: Successfully Fail to Succeed!
Author Name: Doug C. Grant
Contact Email Address: doug
Word Count: 549
Category: Motivational/Inspirational
© Doug C. Grant,Guest Posting 2002
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(from the ‛i-mail' files)

by Doug C. Grant

"So why haven't you done it?"

The question arrived by i-mail shortly after I had settled down to read the paper. Unlike e-mail, which I can read whenever I feel like it, i-mail demands instant attention. It comes from my Other-Self and is all internal. It can, of course, be ignored. But this simply intensifies the nagging.

I put down the paper and irritably responded, "Done what?"

"That article you've been thinking about writing."

"Oh, that. Well, truth is, I didn't think I could do a good job of it. The article probably wouldn't be accepted and I would have wasted a lot of time."

"So you decided on instant failure. Is that it?"

Other-Self had tweaked a nerve. "I did not decide on any such thing. It's just practical wisdom. Like somebody said, ‛Anything worth doing is worth doing well.' I didn't think I could do it well so I didn't consider it worth doing. That to me is sensible logic."

"That's not logic. It's borderline stupidity."

"And I suspect, without any urging from me, you're about to guide me down what you consider a far superior road of reason."

"You're quite perceptive today. Consider this. ‛Anything worth doing is worth doing the beginning.'"

"Oh, come now! Talk about your stupid logic. Why would anyone start out to purposely do something poorly?"

"Excuse me. Did I say ‛purposely'? I don't think I heard that word."

"Okay, so maybe you didn't say it. But obviously that's what you meant."

"Not at all. Perhaps an illustration will help illuminate your thinking. You don't remember but what happened the first time you tried to walk?"

"I probably fell flat on my kazoo. So what's your point?"

"Would you say you walked poorly?"

"All babies walk poorly in the beginning." I began to suspect where Other-Self was going with this but I refused to let on.

"Exactly! But according to your logic you should never have taken that first step because all you could do was walk poorly. Which would have left you flat on your kazoo for the rest of your life."

"Nonsense! You're trying to turn a two-step into a waltz. Taking baby steps and spending three days on a no-where article is not the same. Not even close."

"Are you certain?"

"You're triple ‛A' right I'm certain. It's absolute foolishness to spend a ton of time and a bucket of sweat on a project that hasn't got a Hail Mary chance of succeeding."

"So, to your way of thinking the entire effort would be a waste."

"Wonderful! You're finally coming over to my side of the road."

"Before I make such a long journey, let me ask you one last question. If you write the article now, is it possible that an article you write next week will be better for today's effort? And, if so, what about the next article? And the article after that? And then maybe one day you'll actually end up writing something magnificent."

"Okay...okay," I reluctantly muttered. "I see your point. I think what you are saying is that anything worth doing, no matter what it is, is worth doing least in the beginning. Is that right?"

"Exactly! Now, about that article."


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About Article Author

Doug C. Grant
Doug C. Grant

Doug C. Grant retired from a successful career as a nationally recognized business writer & marketing consultant. He now helps members of the ‛Over-50', crowd live healthier, happier and more productive lives through his Empowered Maturity Web Site ( and an on-line interactive seminar.

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