Posts Tagged ‘failure’

Posts Tagged ‘failure’

Acid Brain.

8.07.2010 | 2 Comments

So strange. Usually when my vacation time draws closer, I get more excited. This is not at all the case with my African adventure. I’m feeling a lot of pressure right now, and I know it’s pressure that I’ve put on myself.

“What if I don’t summit?”, I ask.

Inevitably, the person I ask always says, “you’ll summit!”

But what if I don’t?

Really, what if I don’t?  I’ll feel like such a failure.

…God, you know, I keep setting these HUGE goals for myself, and when I achieve them, I write it off as luck, or some other mysterious thing that got me there instead of my own hard work and determination. And then, to ‘atone’ for my success, I set an even loftier goal, something near the impossible.

It’s almost like I set myself up to fail.

Funny, I’m fine with believing that I’ve failed, but if I succeed at something, I can’t take it in. I’m not willing to give myself any credit if I achieve what I set out to do, but if I don’t succeed, I never stop blaming myself. I don’t ever want to feel as though I’m patting myself on the back, or getting a swelled head. But I don’t mind allowing myself to feel defeated and lost. It’s all twisted and backwards.

Maybe that’s why I’m so nervous.  I think maybe it’s because my brain is trying to gear itself up for the onslaught of negativity that is going to come my way, whether I fail, or whether I succeed. My poor brain is working overtime, roiling and sluicing at terrible speeds.

I wish there were Tums for the brain.

Six more sleeps.


The Failure of Failing

4.15.2010 | 2 Comments

After my brother recommended it, I’m reading the book “Three Cups of Tea” by Greg Mortenson. It’s a real-life story of Mortenson’s quest to build schools in the wildest, most remote parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan. I’m reading through it pretty quickly – the writing is pretty good, but the story itself is excellent.

Basically, Greg Mortenson is/was a mountaineer who attempted to climb K2 in Pakistan’s Karakoram Range, but was not able to summit. He dragged his weary bones down the mountain, lost, confused, hungry and delirious and stumbled across a village called Korphe. After the gracious villagers cared for him and helped him recover, Mortenson made a promise to them that he would return and build them a school.

The book then follows his adventures as he tries to make good on his promise.

I find the book inspiring, and I respect the fact that Mortenson has the drive and the heart to make life better for children on the other side of the world. But it got me thinking…

What if I fail to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro? Then the pressure is REALLY on! I’m going to have to build a school, or a hospital or something! Maybe ship in 450,000 mosquito nets, fund a boatload of malaria clinics, find a cure for HIV…

This is really stressful! Even if I do summit, well… it’s just a mountain, really. That’s not all that worthy, is it? In order to succeed, I need to fail!

I need to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro, because I’m not sure I have it in me to fail.

I’ve GOT to stop reading non-fiction!