Keep Moving

How and Why to Keep Moving

I consider myself the consummate failure when it comes to life in general. I fail at most everything I do, in fact the only thing I think I’ve succeeded at is my relationship and even that is debatable (you’d have to ask my partner what she thinks). Right now as I work on a new project and try to envision what success means for that project I find myself contemplating this central theme in my life.

First I have to consider that each failure is just something different that I tried and couldn’t make work. I think my failures that would fall under this category are the two online bookstores I tried to make. I had always wanted a bookstore but knew enough to know that opening a brick and mortar store was a loosing bet from a business standpoint. I wanted to sell books though, so I gave an online store a try.

I actually made a sale on my more classic style store, one sale after six months but that was better than the other version I tried making. I had the brilliant idea to sell random books to people who signed up. The idea being that you would never know what you were going to get and that occasionally you would get a signed or rare book. It was an idea aimed more at people who really love books as books. Unfortunately looking back on this one I should have seen that it was doomed to fail.

When people buy books they are often looking for a specific book, not some random chance of getting a rare book and people that buy rare books are often looking for a specific rare book, not just some lottery set up. So it was a bad idea but I thought it was unique, but there is such thing as too unique when it comes to businesses.

I learned a lot from these two failures though. I learned about good web design and SEO practice along with online marketing and other skills I was able to apply to my day job. I also think that the fact I even tried it is a positive because if I hadn’t I would be always wonder what could have happened had I actually tried.

The next kind of failure for me is the kind where I haven’t succeeded yet. Under this failure I would put my programming career, my writing and my film making. These failures are actually harder than the other type because there is no clear line of when I’ve failed. I can keep writing books until I die, failing to get them published or find an audience the whole time, but I’ll only have totally failed when I die, and even then there is a chance that people will get into my writing posthumously.

Film making is much like this as well. I have been publishing my weird experimental art films on my YouTube channel every day for the past three months now and have yet to find even a hint of traction. Once again I won’t know I’ve failed at this until I die though, because there is no clear line of failure.

The same goes for programming, I am having trouble moving from beginner to more intermediate developer, sometimes feeling like I simply don’t have the right type of brain to learn programming. It’s hard but I won’t have failed until I die achieving nothing. At least with this one it stops when I die, the other two always have a chance of gaining an audience after my passing. It has happened to a lot of artists though the years.

Now pepper in a few smaller failures (such as my stagnate career, my fitness, the few good habits I had) and you end up with a gigantic why. No matter how much I fail it always hurts, so you would think it might make sense to stop trying so hard because I only end up exposing myself to more opportunity for more and more drastic failure. I have thought that a few times too, trust me, but I keep going.

I think the main reason is because I don’t want to be stuck regretting all the things I didn’t do. I think I have made enough bad choices in my life already and made enough miscalculations to have enough regret. I don’t need to add more opportunity for regret to my life. I would rather deal with failure than regret, failure means I at least tried.

I also don’t want to have my life’s memories be a string of get up, go to work, get home, watch TV, repeat. I want to have some more unique experiences, I need to exercise my brain and pursue things I enjoy. My purpose in life is one of creation not stagnation. I don’t want to end up in a position where I’m stuck wondering “what if I had tried?”.

So I keep moving, despite the failure and the pain. I keep going even when all I want to do is give up and admit I’m no good at anything. Even when I just want sit down and embrace a breakdown. I’ve spent more than enough time curled up in a ball of depression already, I don’t need to continue.

So I guess I should provide some advice regarding how keep moving when all that seems to happen is failure. I wish I could say something more useful less pithy than “keep trying” but that’s really all there is to it. Just try, don’t let fear of failure stop you and don’t let past failure hold you back. Try to learn where you can and try to focus on the small successes where you can. Otherwise it all comes down to the ability to just keep moving even when moving is the last thing you want to do.

I know that’s what I do at least. Plus, there is always the chance that one day I’ll actually succeed at something and that feels nice. I can’t succeed if I let my failure stop me.

Now, side note, I know I said in my last post that I was going to do a live stream of my building a Monero miner. Sadly that never happened, well not sadly actually, it would have been pretty boring. The reason it never happened is because the video card I ordered didn’t arrive until Monday and when I did the build I was just too wiped to also manage a stream. It was hard enough to just build the thing because I was so tired. But build it I did (with a helping hand from the fiancee) and it’s chugging away.

I do hope to get around to producing some video content for the blog for those that want it. I think it would be a nice change of pace, mix up all the text heavy content. If I get a chance this weekend I might record some. Until then let me leave you with this stream recording of me and my friend stalking deer a few weekends ago. Sadly my phone died before we managed to reconnect with the herd but it was a fun walk in the woods regardless.

 

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