Outrun the Bastards

I got promoted today.

But this essay isn’t about that. It isn’t about the culmination of stacking better habits and delivering better results.

This essay is about failure.

And how 2 failures led to me becoming the type of person I needed to be.

I interviewed for this promotion twice before and was found wanting. While nobody wants to hear that in the moment, it led to valuable insight.

On the first attempt, I learned about what it took to level up. Which led to learning that I wasn’t yet ready. I was overconfident and thought too much of my effort and abilities.

The truth hurts, but the truth was I wasn’t good enough.

Don’t like it? Get better.

So I put my head down and went to work.

Things happened that resulted in a more clear, more confident and more mature version of myself.

I got healthy again. My father passed away. My wife and I had another baby.

Another opportunity arose. Another failure.

On the second, I learned that I thought far too little of my abilities. On the other hand, I was far better prepared.

And I was close. Although small consolation that can be sometimes.

By this time, the compounded effects of my efforts to get better were beginning to show up more tangibly. They were showing up in my professional relationships, in my effectiveness at work and in my paycheck.

Failing twice in public led to a change for the better. I am thankful for those failures.

Those failures showed me who I was and who I needed to become.

They also showed me that even when we start doing things right, we must be patient.

Sometimes you just have to outrun the bastards.

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