Yesterday I failed to publish an essay.
Then I unsuccessfully tried to dictate an essay on Failure. That, and Jordan Peterson’s new book, 12 Rules for Life, has rendered me figuratively speechless.
Peterson talks about a period of his life where he attempted to objectively observe all of his behaviors. This objective observation showed him that almost everything he said was untrue. He is in the process of arguing that we should attempt a similar exercise and literally gain perspective.
I have been intentionally practicing self-observation for a few years now and the effect has been roughly the same as what Peterson would suggest: Intense self loathing.
Human Beings are Not Perfect.
The limitation is of being is practically strangling each and every one of us. Speaking truth to it is like massaging the soul. We are fallen from Grace and only The Word can bring us home.
Sometimes Peterson gets emotional when talking about Being. And how could he not?
Emotion is part of the process. It’s almost central to it in some important way. Even science is fundamentally meted out by a confluence of emotional decisions by individuals. We are, in some important way like Jonathan Haidt points out, elephants and riders.
Yesterday I painted for the first time in a very long time. I’m looking at the painting now. It isn’t very good. It is my first painting.
Tomorrow if I woke up and painted, that painting might be a little better.
If I painted tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that, forever. Then maybe one day I would be as good as Picasso.
Then my first painting wouldn’t seem so bad anymore.
Then my first painting at a slightly saucy work event would be quite good indeed. Many people would like very much to have my first painting.
The painting hasn’t changed. But I have. The painting has become, not a failure, but an Artifact. How fascinating.
Perhaps, my writing must improve, in order for me to be read. If the writing was truly good, many people would read it. What is it now? It is failure. It is practice.
I’ve challenged myself to publish something every day. I was already writing every day so now it’s just the matter of pressing a button. I ought to succeed at this. Today I told my friend Sarah that 22 publications in March would be a success.
I barely edit.
I barely proofread.
I’m just pushing a button.
How hard could this be?