January 7, 2012

I’ve failed over, and over, and over again in my life.


It’s Friday night.

I’m working instead of going out and having fun or hanging out with someone who cares about me.

Because I love what I do, and what I do isn’t where I want it to be, yet. elephant isn’t good enough. Today, a writer/volunteer editor of ours exploded, leaving disappointed, angry comments about an article that wasn’t sufficiently reviewed or edited in his view. Thing is, we don’t have money for an editor, yet. We’re working on it. This colleague, a gent who is dear to me, sent me (and many of us) a somewhat harsh email about how we might be becoming the National Enquirer of blogs, and such.

It’s the kind of thing that takes the joy out of what I do. For a moment.

Then sweet Maranda of Origin Magazine mentioned that David Lynch had shared an article of ours (for the second time, as it happens) with his legions of followers. Then I remembered Kate and Bob and Andrea and Natalie and Lindsey and Tanya and Tobye and Colin and Reverend Wolsey and Julian Walker and my mom and…our talk show…and our many writers and readers and volunteers. We’ve built something.

It’s made out of love.

It’s not enough.

“You don’t try to build a wall. You don’t set out to build a wall. You don’t start there. You say, ‘I’m going to lay this brick as perfectly as a brick can be laid.’ You do that every single day. And soon you have a wall.” ~ Will Smith

But it’s getting there. And I know where I’m going. I don’t know how exactly we’ll get there. But when we’re huge, able to help the world a little bit, raise awareness on key issues that otherwise might go ignored, like my idols Jon Stewart, or Oprah, or even reddit (which launched an effective boycott of SOPA, last month, getting it into major national news)…

…we’ll be halfway there. With popularity, we must also grow quality. We must be a part of reinspiring journalism in a new media context.

And so when we fail, I remember quotes like the below, and examples like the above. Michael Jordan failed, he reminds us. Again and again. And again. But he cared. And he had a relentless work ethic. And he sacrificed good times and travel and fun for what he cared about most of all.

As he says, below, his success wasn’t borne of talent. It wasn’t God-given. It was the fruit of practice, and love, and effort. Again. And again and again. ~ Waylon, ed.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” ~ Aristotle

“Obstacles are things a person sees when he takes his eyes off his goal.” ~ Joseph Cossman

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” ~ Wayne Gretzky

“We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.” ~ Charles Swindoll

“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” ~ Michelangelo

Remember, MJ was cut from his high school basketball team:

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