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"What’s Your Why? Or a Failure to Make Work, Work" is live at The Big Smoke.

· The Big Smoke,Failure,Essay,Work,TMI
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Can one work and not fail? It feels unlikely, Still, does that mean I shouldn't ruminate on said failures or continue my examination of my ongoing failures? I think not. So, please do enjoy "What’s Your Why? Or a Failure to Make Work, Work" at The Big Smoke here and if you want to imbibe on some excerpt you can do so below.

You may also want to read my last piece at The Big Smoke, "The Pygmalion Effect: Or, A Failure to Parent," here, the one before that, "Without Ritual (and the Failure to Seek Out the Sacred)," here, or even the one before that, "The Thing About I May Destroy You, Trauma, and Failure," here. And yes, I'm really into ruminating on failure these days.


"My relationship to failure is complicated and at times the relationship has been self-serving, furthering a personal narrative I want to tell the world: failure doesn’t bother me, I’m cool, resilient, able to push past and through all that puny mortal nonsense.

"Even if that were true, it’s not, the question remains: Have I learned from my failures?

"Failure as a tool for learning who we are as workers and humans is valuable.

"Another way to ask this question is: If I was more self-aware and more present at work in recent years, and if I could have better recognized the bigger picture and what my why was, would I have also been more proactive, or at least failed better?

"Because while a one-off failure can hurt, such failure is somewhat contained and transitory. I’ve suffered through a string of recent career failures, however, and that calls for some kind of reckoning.

"Reflection anyway.

"One can also be thankful for one’s failures, but with a caveat: It’s hard to be thankful in the moment, and so much of this is about the moment, getting some distance from it, seeing it more clearly, trying to understand it, and then moving forward, calloused and better. Or as stated in the Fast Company (3/12/19) article “Yes, you’ll fail. This is how you’ll actually learn from it:” 

“Allowing yourself time to feel the humiliation, embarrassment, anger, or other emotions that come with failing–making a big mistake, receiving a negative performance evaluation, or getting fired, for example–helps you get beyond the failure faster.”

"I don’t know about faster, but as the article also encourages one to “map out what went wrong,” I’ve set about engaging in an exercise to deconstruct my personal and recent career failures, precipitated by (though not only related to) being fired from my long-time place of employment in May 2016 and the career decisions that immediately followed."