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Failure is normal; mistakes are necessary

You have to recognize failure and mistakes when you see them. The words failure and mistake connote a judgment about a situation. But if you are going to do anything, you must risk failure and error.

I recall one highly successful man tell me that ‘all his attempts to get income after his formal retirement had been “complete failures”‘. He almost said it with glee. He was ready to accept success because he knew what failure consisted of, and would name it as such. No sweat.

I have a very difficult piece of equipment that I take off and re-attach to my tractor every spring. It is a backhoe. It requires the following: the perfect placement of a set of bars protruding from the backhoe under the tractor, so that the cross bar catches the holding brackets of the tractor; the attachment of the hydraulics, which frequently are under a pressure that prevents them from attaching; manipulating the height of the attachment bar with the hydraulics, and by the time spring comes around one has forgotten the knack of moving the whole device just so; never forgetting to move the whole tractor less than a few inches so that the hydraulic tubes are not ripped out of their sources, before the backhoe is successfully attached; and probably a few other nested subproblems.

It used to take me about an hour of cursing and swearing because I used to think that this job should be easy. When I at last accepted that the job would take forty five minutes even if everything went smoothly, frustration disappeared. I have not cursed on that job for over five years. It takes the time it takes.

I have been watching a lot of Andrew Camarata videos on youtube, and the thing I notice os that he makes mistakes, owns them, and moves on to get around or remedy the situation. Failure is normal; mistakes are necessary. I have been so much less frustrated by this realization. I wish I had learned it ages ago.

Andrew Camarata videos are the best illustration of the American working spirit I have yet seen. Watch them and learn. I have.

Tricky tricky

Rupert Sheldrake is brilliant

Rupert Sheldrake is the British biologist who has been taking a stick to the materialist assumptions of modern science. He does so because he thinks we have conflated materialism with science – the former being a doctrine about whatever could be real with a method of inquiry for determining fact.

His point is that science is blocked because it has been in the grip of materialist doctrines, of the kind that the High Priest of materialism, the Selfish Gene theorist, Richard Dawkins, relentlessly promotes. Sheldrake holds that the universe is not limited to material forces and that it is radically evolutionary.

I have corresponded with Sheldrake on occasion, read his books, and am convinced that he is correct. Regardless, Sheldrake has maintained his composure and conducted himself with civility while being constantly savaged by zealots of materialism. It is one of his amazing strengths.

Sheldrake will not persuade materialists that a) they have a doctrine and b) that it is limiting their science. They would assert that their doctrine is in fact reality and their science is impeccable, because materialist. Speaking of intellectual phase locking.

Sheldrake’s website is here.