I’ve had this mantra running through my head for days, “It’s not failure, it’s future.” This came up as a text response to a friend who had made a difficult choice for her small business. It was something that I just said as support for my friend. It kept coming back, singing in my head. The message needs to be more, so here we are typing out the thoughts.
As a creative person, small business owner, student, athlete, or human (fill in the blank with your scenario), things often don’t seem to work as planned. There’s a saying that goes something like, “Make a plan, and the Universe laughs.” I have so many ideas daily, as a neuro-spicy/divergent thinker (AKA ADHD), that many don’t make it to the studio…YET! There are art pieces, collaborations, rented office spaces, or events attended that weren’t the best art, fit, or time that resulted in what I define as success. That doesn’t mean they were failings. They were learning opportunities for certain, but it could have been a timing thing. The perfect space at the wrong time will not result in success. The best art idea in your head may need time to become that beautiful piece of art.
I had a request for a custom tree recently. With the holidays coming, I cannot and will not be able to get it finished by Christmas. I conveyed this to the customer, and they asked if there was any way I could. I said no, and I “tried” to start the project to meet the Christmas request. What came out was not the tree for this customer. When the art is ready to be made, it comes. At least, that’s how it is for me. I was trying to recreate something that had already been made. You see, the customer wanted a tree that sold before they could decide. I create one-of-a-kind wire trees. No two are ever the same. Art, for me, is a conversation with the mediums I use. I was rushing through to meet someone else’s goal. What do I have to show for it? Two trees that are the wrong size. Are they usable? Sure they are. Will they get finished before Christmas? Most definitely uncertain! HA HA.
I have had so many jobs, careers, projects…a couple of marriages that have ended for whatever reason. I have moved offices, houses, schools. One thing that is always reliable is change. I have revisited ideas, canvases, job possibilities, and more. If the thought comes back around in the future, maybe it was the timing that was wrong, or the location or the customer base, or there was more information/knowledge needed for the project to be successful. Life is the best teacher.
If there is something that you view as a failure, try this mantra on for size, “it’s not failure, it’s future,” and see what comes next—blessings and peace on your journey.