What is my best failure–continued?
This is a Ponder first: to continue a question from one week to the next. But I wasn’t ready to close the Board on this question yet.
Sometimes I think I should close the Board altogether. That perhaps this whole notion of trying to get people to ponder—to actively reflect on life and make intentional choices about how to live it—and then to try to get people to be brave and vulnerable enough to share some of their experiences with others (albeit anonymously), that it’s just doomed to failure.
If that’s the case, then Ponder Effect itself may be my best failure. If success looks like hundreds of thousands of subscribers and a robust Ponder Board each week and cars all over the country with our question mark on the back bumper, then it is failure central. On the other hand, I always said that if it helps one person, maybe one person each week, then it’s worth it. To quit because it isn’t successful according to the first definition might be a worse failure. Ultimately, I return to the question, Isn’t everything a notch on the spectrum of learning?
That is exactly why I’m not quitting—at least not right now. Because I believe we need to be learning, and one way to learn is by pondering. Sure, it’s easier to turn on Game of Thrones than to think about your best failure. But you can think about your best failure while you’re driving or folding laundry or having dinner with a friend. These questions are meant to accompany you throughout the week, steering you back to meaningful thought and conversation over and over again.
To the person who, last week, shared about calling off her first wedding and the discoveries that came from failing Spanish, thank you. To the person who talked about failing as a mom, thank you. What that does for the rest of us is help us frame our own experiences with a wider perspective. That’s the potential here.
Would anyone else like to ponder their best failure and share? If so, this is your lucky day…the deadline has just been extended!