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Monday, August 08, 2005

Failure?

Here's another great classic question: "What would you do if you knew that you could not fail?"

Great question but unfortunately it presupposes that failure is a bad thing. HUH? Really! We spend so much energy fearing this amorphous unknown entity called failure that it zaps our excitement that fuels the follow through on new ideas. Failure only has power over you if you choose to recognize it as a bad thing. For some failure could be embarrassment, or loss of money, or discouragement, or wasted time, or some other form of pain. I'm here to tell you that everything you think you know about failure is WRONG! Those elements listed above are some of the main ingredients (in massive quantities) of SUCCESS! Every successful person you know has a story that sounds like failure but they didn't let it stop them from moving forward. If you never quit you never fail.

For those of you who work out, you know the term "muscle failure" to be the goal of every set at the gym. When you work your muscles to "failure" (total fatigue) they rebuild stronger - which is the goal. Using this metaphor, failure is success. The more you fail, the stronger you become, the more confidence you gain, which broadens your scope of the possible, therefore the more you can achieve!

So, new question:

What would you do with your life
now knowing that,
if you don't quit,
failure is impossible?

Think about this one. It may shape the rest of your life.

ALL THINGS POSSIBLE!!
Chris

13 Comments:

  • At 10:41 PM, August 08, 2005 , Blogger Linds said...

    WOW, I was just talking about this today with my physical therapist. I was getting frustrated because I was not doing as well as I had "planned" and I wanted to be able to pick it up right away and run with it (sorry for the pun). See, I'm learning to walk. Currently I'm 90%+ wheelchair bound. I am praying that changes within a year. She saw the frustration in my eyes and so we took a break. She pointed out that I was already succeeding because I was attempting it, and I wasn't going to stop until I got it right. Failure has never been an option for anything in my life, and I don't intend to let it start now. GREAT questions, lol you're making me think too late at night Chris!!! Take care ~The Linds :)

     
  • At 12:20 AM, August 09, 2005 , Anonymous Kathy said...

    Linds - You are an inspiration and my best wishes go out to you. Keep up the strength and courage - I'll be praying for you.

     
  • At 2:40 PM, August 09, 2005 , Anonymous Natira said...

    This is something I'm living now. New Years eve '03 I was put in the hospital for a PE, pulmonary embolism, and through the tests looking for the clot they found hodgkins lymphoma around my heart. so going through the whole chemo and radiation at 26 and raising two children on my own gave me a better view on life. Given a second chance at life I've now got the determination to do better for the kids and myself. I'm a full time mom and student and i know for a fact that if I don't quit I will not fail.

    Yes Linds, you are succeeding in your therapy just by attempting it. And I congradulate you!

     
  • At 2:43 PM, August 09, 2005 , Anonymous Nisha said...

    I would take on the challenge of being a parent if I knew that,
    if you don't quit, failure is impossible? There are so many unpredictable factors that contribute to raising a child. There are so many areas you can possibly fail. The responsibility alone can be overwhelming and at the same time very rewarding. I know it would take never quitting to be a parent. The decision is a life long commitment. I admire those who have started their adventure as parents, and hope they enjoy every step of the journey.

     
  • At 10:35 PM, August 09, 2005 , Blogger Christopher Showerman said...

    Hey Linds!! Thanks for your inspiring comments. Walking - how exciting! Like Kathy said, we are all pulling for you!! Keep us posted on your progress. You too, Natira! What amazing strength and determination you have. Hats off to you. You know you are really special when you have been chosen for so many character edifying tests!! As Nitzche said, "That which does not kill us makes us strong." Sending will power and strength!

    And thanks Nisha for your comments too. I would imagine parents don't have the option of quitting!! Choosing to be a great parent is a truly noble goal that starts with putting together a great family. If you don't quit, failure is impossible!

    By virtue of the fact that you have been given a dream to dream, it's proof that you are worthy of that dream.

    All Things Possible!
    Chris

     
  • At 7:21 PM, August 10, 2005 , Anonymous DaveW said...

    What would I do? I think the question is "what wouldn't I do?" I mean what great things could be accomplished if failure wasn't an option - cures for disease, eliminate poverty, the possibilities are endless.

    And, on a personal level (and probably more realistic), I myself have been trying to more often to say "why can't I" instead of "why I can't" - the power of positive thinking. Though I have been fortunate and haven't had to face the challenges that Linds or Natira have had to face, I think I see the improvements in my attitude and overall daily experience.

    Dave

    PS for Chris - I just got back from my trip to NYC and am still sorting through pictures and the writing is coming along...

     
  • At 8:07 AM, August 11, 2005 , Blogger Pae said...

    After reading Linds and Natira's posts I realize once again just how fortunate in life I have been. But there have been many times in my life when others may have seen failure, I however try to always see it as a learning experiance. Take raising children, for an example, cuz I don't care what the "professionals" say, there is no easy way to do this, there is no 'manual' that fits every situation, or every child. That has been my greatest fear in life, that I would fail as a mother. But after 16 years of being a mother I now realize all those little failures helped me learn what to do the next time. Because there is always a next time. I have sat with my oldest two children at one time or another and explained to them that I am human, I will make mistakes, but that I hope they learn from my mistakes. Because life is full of mistakes and/or failures, they do not need to use any of mine. And I try to express how important it is to learn from ones own mistakes or failures.

    I have had more failure in my art than anywhere else I think. The first time I tried to paint a mural, oh my god, it was a mess. I could have easily put the paint brush down and never picked it up again, it was soooooo bad. But I didn't. I learned a lot from that first nasty mural. I painted the wall white and started over. After painting the wall white about four times things started to click, fall into place. Each time I create something there is failure, but now I embrace it, because I know I will learn something new from it.

    For me, I believe I would not learn as much or try as hard with out failure. I know it may sound odd, but for me if it is "easy" I really do not take much from it. But if I fall on my face a few times, you know really get the taste of the 2x4 in my teeth, I try that much harder. And if someone mentions that I should just give up, oh watch out, its almost like a dare. And when its all said and done, I feel better about obtaining what ever goal I had set out to occomplish.

    I guess the point I am trying to make is that I take failure as one step in the ladder of success.

     
  • At 6:45 AM, August 12, 2005 , Anonymous Natira said...

    Pae you talked of raising children wonderfully. Raising children really is a learning process not only for the child but for the parent(s) as well. With my two, my son is 6 and my daughter is 3, I have made plenty of mistakes and learned from them.
    I'm sure in art there are lots of challenges and dares as you said. I love a challenge. Like with my chemo the challenge was to keep moving and living life like normal. The reward for my challenge was to walk in the Relay event for our area, front lines, holding the banner. Boy did I cry. I can remember my first challenge was in highschool. I told my Mom that my graduation gift to myself was a trip to London, U.K. She said I didn't have the means, funds or sense, that hurt and I felt really bad until I realized there lie the challenge. She regretted it, 4 months later, I spent Christmas and New Years over there, by myself. She never second guessed me after that.
    'What defines us is how well we rise after falling.' This came from a movie I love to watch and it fits in nicely to this post.

     
  • At 9:38 AM, August 12, 2005 , Anonymous Jaschenka said...

    So many great comments out here!
    So, if I knew I could not fail my challenge would be to achieve something I would normally not even dream of starting, like climbing mount Everest or something. With that F for gymclass still engraved in my memory I feel my only limits in life are my physical limits..but I never experienced this as a failure. I guess you don't miss it if you don't use it. Therefore I also think I can honestly say that I would be able to get around just fine without the use of my legs..strange as it may seem. On the other hand; my biggest fear would be loosing my vision or use of hands. Does that make any sense?
    Anyway, I greatly admire you, Natira and Linds, for your optimism and strenght and I wish you all the best.

    'If you aim for the moon and miss, you'll still be amongst the stars!'

     
  • At 1:10 PM, August 12, 2005 , Anonymous Ute said...

    Great comments from everyone.

    For me, whenever I am aiming for something "bigger" giving up - or failure - is never an option. I am so driven that I just keep on trying for at long as it takes. No matter how many set backs or difficulties are on the way. The result I end up with might not always be what I thought it would, it can be even better or just different. It's when I try "little" things I have never done before, I sometimes come to a point where I think, this is never going to work, but I finish them just the same and often surprise myself with the result. To quote Mike Ditka: You never really lose, unless you quit trying.

    All the best to everyone and have a great weekend!
    Ute

     
  • At 10:01 PM, August 13, 2005 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    What an inspiration to read all of the preceding comments. My thanks to all of you for opening my eyes even wider to life's possibilities. In addition, my best wishes and congrats. to all of you for the successful pursuit of your goals.

    As I review the past, I note that some of my greatest inspirations have come from my two sons. Almost 15 years ago, my oldest son was in a terrible car accident which resulted in an 11-hour surgery and a 3-month hospital stay. After many weeks of therapy, he was told, at a meeting of his physicians and family, that he should expect to spend the rest of his life in a wheel chair. His quiet, but determined response to that announcement was, "I WILL walk again!" Not only does he now "walk again," but he also, as a result of the hospital experience, married his beautiful occupational therapist, and I now have 3 wonderful grandchildren.

    My other son, 9 years ago today, set out on a life-commitment journey to Los Angeles to become a film actor. I have learned much that I never realized about the challenges of that profession, and I have to say that this young man's "never-give-up" attitude has been a constant inspiration to me.
    He has taught me the true meaning of my advice, years ago, to him, "Follow your dream!" I am reminded here of Joe Darion's lyrics to "The Impossible Dream" from Man of La Mancha, where he inspires the notion that, no matter how hopeless it may seem, make it our quest "to reach the unreachable stars." My sons have proven to me that this is possible. My love, thanks and best wishes go out to both of these young men, and to all of you. To borrow a familiar phrase,

    "ALL THINGS POSSIBLE!"



    Anonymous

     
  • At 2:43 AM, August 14, 2005 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hi Chris,
    sorry to depart from an excellent forum subject, but I just noticed in IMDB that in addition to "Sea of Fear", you are also credited with "The Gentle Barn". What can you tell us about these and the possible release dates?
    thanks,
    Amsterdam-Man

     
  • At 11:11 AM, August 14, 2005 , Blogger Christopher Showerman said...

    Let's hear it for the parents!! Great insight and power from all the parents - including MY MOM - thanks mom for posting! You are an awesome supportive force in my life. Thanks.

    By the way, if you are interested in Pae's progress as a Muralist as she referred to, check out her work on the Fan Contribution Page. Bravo!

    Well it's great to see that failure doesn't seem to stop anyone here. It makes them stronger if anything! Three cheers for failure! Just think what whimps we'd be without it!

    Amsterdam - Sea of Fear is still in distribution talks. I'm not involved with that side of that particular project so I have no info for you yet. Rest assured, there will be new info soon. Gentel Barn was a Short that showed here at a couple of Festivals. I don't think you can actually purchace or rent it anywhere. Thanks for asking and I promise I'll keep you posted!

    All Things Possible!
    Chris

     

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