thinking differently about success, failure and learning

a few weeks ago i wrote a blog post, the scrunchie challenge, where i felt inspired by a post at monk at work to change a habit.

i said i was going to keep a scrunchie on my wrist for three weeks, to remind me to ground myself whenever i wasn’t experiencing my body enough. i also said i was going to check in with you occasionally and report back on october 12. i turned it into a meme and tagged a number of people with it.

i didn’t keep the scrunchie on for a long time. i only checked in once, and barely at that. i didn’t report back on october 12. i didn’t really follow up on the meme. nobody took me up on the meme.

what a failure. of course you didn’t remember any of this because i’m not important enough and now that you’re reminded you just snort and say, geesh, what a flake. and how unreliable. i’m so embarrassed.

i better never start a meme again. obviously i can’t follow through on it. and you guys are going to think of me forever as an unreliable, flaky failure.

STOP!

REWRITE!

peter's think different challenge

okay, let’s try this again.

a few weeks ago i wrote a blog post, the scrunchie challenge, where i felt inspired by a post at monk at work to change a habit.

i said i was going to keep a scrunchie on my wrist for three weeks, to remind me to ground myself whenever i wasn’t experiencing my body enough. i also said i was going to check in with you occasionally and report back on october 12. i turned it into a meme and tagged a number of people with it.

i kept the scrunchie on for a few days. i still remember what it looked and felt like. something small shifted in me. since that post, i’ve been paying way more attention to my body. i feel more “in” my body.

one of the things that happened as a result of that was that i became aware that an old but irritating sinus problem had crept up again. i watched it for a while and decided not to have any sugar at all for 10 days, see whether that makes a difference. i’ve never done that before and am now on day three of that.

it also prompted me to work more on meal planning, to coincide better with my daily biorhythm.

i really gained something from this exercise! i guess there were a few things that i didn’t do and i would have preferred to have followed up on the announcements i made but, oh well, live and learn.

what’s the difference between the first story and the rewrite? the events were very much the same. what i focused on was different.

what have i learned from this process? what is my “metalearning”?

  1. how the look and feel of the physical reminder of the scrunchie imprinted on me. even though i didn’t use it much, it still stayed with me.
  2. how important it is to learn things over and over again. i knew about each and every one of the points here but for them to be effective, they need to be reinforced once in while.
  3. one things leads to another, and there are always surprises. i certainly didn’t think that this exercise would lead me to experiment with cutting out sugar!
  4. if i just keep at it and keep being open, i can always find new ways to deal with long-standing challenges such as meal planning.
  5. that, when i focus on my learning, what others think of me becomes uninteresting.
  6. next time i do a meme and nobody takes me up on it, i will first follow up on the people tagged and if that doesn’t work, tag a few more people.
  7. and that i can look at any thought, action and event in the light of learning. i don’t even want to say success. success brings up the dichotomy of success and failure. learning, on the other hand, is open-ended.

a heartfelt thanks to jennifer from heal pain naturally for inviting me to participate in the think differently meme. i had been wondering how i would write about the scrunchie experience and when i got jennifer’s tag this morning, it all popped into my head.

because that’s what i’m doing here. thinking differently about success, failure and learning.

who else wants to think differently? this meme was started by fellow vancouverite peter, so maybe i’ll tag a few more people from here. please read the guidelines for participating here. i’m tagging carol, paul and maggie.

(this post appeared in the 25th total mind and body fitness carnival)

7 thoughts on “thinking differently about success, failure and learning

  1. Jennifer Mannion

    Hi Isabella, Thank you so much for participating! I too, am attempting to think differently about the challenges that come up and how I interpret them. I am happy you learned from your experience — even if it went differently– that makes it all worthwhile. After all wouldn’t it get a little boring if we just coasted through life with everything going exactly as we anticipated? Thanks Isabella for the post! Gratefully, Jenny

  2. Jennifer Mannion

    Hi Isabella, Thank you so much for participating! I too, am attempting to think differently about the challenges that come up and how I interpret them. I am happy you learned from your experience — even if it went differently– that makes it all worthwhile. After all wouldn’t it get a little boring if we just coasted through life with everything going exactly as we anticipated? Thanks Isabella for the post! Gratefully, Jenny

  3. Peter

    Hi Isabella,

    Thanks for participating in the challenge. The whole ‘STOP’ ‘REWRITE’ thing gave me a good laugh. And yes, I do remember your scrunchie challenge as I believe your article appeared on my site as part of my Personal Stories of Change Blog Carnival. Thanks again for the great post! Peter

  4. Peter

    Hi Isabella,

    Thanks for participating in the challenge. The whole ‘STOP’ ‘REWRITE’ thing gave me a good laugh. And yes, I do remember your scrunchie challenge as I believe your article appeared on my site as part of my Personal Stories of Change Blog Carnival. Thanks again for the great post! Peter

  5. tess

    Hello to you!
    I found this article via the monk at work site & loved reading about your scrunchie project! 🙂 I’m going to design a similar project for myself and am kinda excited about it! I think I’ll use a simple beaded bracelet. not sure exactly what i’ll focus on but it will be good, i just know it.

    have you ever heard of 43 things.com? i just recently found it and love that it helps me to keep my goals front and center. you know that saying, “what we focus on grows?” so anyway–you might look into it for fun .
    thanks for the great article!!

  6. tess

    Hello to you!
    I found this article via the monk at work site & loved reading about your scrunchie project! 🙂 I’m going to design a similar project for myself and am kinda excited about it! I think I’ll use a simple beaded bracelet. not sure exactly what i’ll focus on but it will be good, i just know it.

    have you ever heard of 43 things.com? i just recently found it and love that it helps me to keep my goals front and center. you know that saying, “what we focus on grows?” so anyway–you might look into it for fun .
    thanks for the great article!!

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