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  • mono 4:36 pm on November 1, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , dalai lama, doing, Failure, , self knowledge, self-talk,   

    Oh, Failure!: The Dalai Lama 

    Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, said, “The deep root of failure in our lives is to think, ‘Oh how useless and powerless I am.’ It is essential to think strongly and forcefully, ‘I can do it,’ without boasting or fretting.”

    What the Dalai Lama is calling for in this quotation is a recognition of the impact of how our thought influences our behavior in terms of “failure.” Someone who talks about what they “can’t” do, probably won’t do it, even if it is something that, as viewed from without, is something they actually would be capable of doing. Self-talk has a way of sneaking up on us and clouding our eyes in ways that may be devastating to our personal performance.

    On the other hand, it is good practice to focus on ways of thinking that promote the growth of our self-capacity and a way of thinking that, instead of setting up the impossibility of the situation before actually embarking on it, frames the situation as a problem that you can solve.

    For the Dalai Lama, this is the “deep root of failure.” It is the inability to imagine oneself capable of doing and thus, not doing, by virtue of one’s own self-talk. Change your way of thinking to lead you where you want to go. Don’t set up imaginary boundaries, because the imaginary boundaries will become real boundaries.

    Another article from the “failure” series is:
    Oh, Failure!: Elbert Hubbard

  • mono 6:11 pm on October 29, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Capacity, , , Failure, Interpretation, , Message to Garcia, ,   

    Oh, Failure!: Elbert Hubbard 

    This is the first in a series that I am calling, “Oh, Failure!,” in which I will choose one quotation about “failure” and provide my interpretation of it. This is a subject that has fascinated and hurt me for years and a subject that I have much experience in (i.e. I have failed many times in trying to do many things, big and small). For my own selfish purposes and hopefully to your benefit, I will do my best to interpret and open up the topic of “failure.” Let’s begin.

    Elbert HubbardImage via WikipediaElbert Hubbard, author of “A Message to Garcia,” wrote, “A failure is a man who has blundered but is not capable of cashing in on the experience.”

    In this quotation, Garcia is urging us to build our capacity for interpreting our failures in a way that can somehow be to our advantage. Sometimes, failing at a task can simply become our motive for giving up, even though it might not be in our best interest to do so. Failure can show us how to do things differently, if only we strengthen our capacities in such a way that we can learn to use the failure to better (or change) the situation and not let it get the better of us.

    If you find yourself failing in all the same ways over and over, change what you are doing and change how you are interpreting your failure.

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  • mono 9:53 pm on March 22, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Andy Dick, , , , Failure, , Obscene Voice, , Reflections, Semblance of Failure, Trouble With Being Born,   

    Reflections on “Poolside Chats With Neil Hamburger” 

    Poolside ChatsImage via Wikipedia

    The beauty of “Poolside Chats with Neil Hamburger” is the over-arching technical distractions, communicative disruption of the callers and anomalous-humorous confrontations perpetuated by the shows host Neil Hamburger. That is to say, overworked by “garbage” minded call-ins, faulty microphones and having access to an open bar, Hamburger assaults, demeans and controls the show creating and effectively working his comedic slander through a, what could be called:  semblance of failure.

    The episode with the talented musician/actor Bonnie “Prince” Billy (Will Oldham) perpetuates this semblance of failure by starting off with microphone problems followed immediately by a slew of humiliating phone calls, a bloody drug-using Billy, an uninvited Andy Dick and the presence of “the pool guy” who lurks in the background throughout almost the entire episode. Moreover, credits roll midway and one guest, distracted, licks a spider.

    E.M. Cioran in his book “The Trouble With Being Born” wrote, “An existence transfigured by failure.” It is this transfiguration that “Poolside Chats” seems to feed off. That is, the beauty of this show is its insistence upon failure (the failure of interesting callers and the failure of electronic equipment that plagues almost every episode), its utilization of failure (by always calling attention to it) and a general sense of humorous dis-comfort reliant upon the tone of disaster.

    Moreover, it is the unpredictability of the “obscene voice” that is the most unsettling aspect of this show. That is to say, the voice of the callers float over the scene, disruptive and unpredictable adding to the uneasiness of the experiencing of the show. The viewer cannot see the callers, but must suffer the gaze of the host and his guests. The disconnection of voice and body creates an ominous yet comedic atmosphere.

    Cioran also writes: “Failure, even repeated, always seems fresh; whereas success, multiplied, loses all interest, all attraction (Cioran 79).” It is this repitition that this show flows through and forever refreshes. This show is intimate, unrehearsed and chaotic, plentiful with a brutal and awkward honesty.

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