I had fun making a three-minute video to promote my book, Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything. I wrote the script and enlisted the help of two talented and generous friends—actor and filmmaker Jeffrey Goodson, and actress and singer >Holly Schroeder. We got together and Holly interviewed me as if we were on a TV talk show. After Jeff’s typically superb editing, I posted the video on my website. Alas, you won’t find it there anymore. I trashed that bad boy a few hours later.
Why? From the start, I was leery of my acting ability. The more I tried to sound natural, the more I came off as rehearsed and inauthentic. Wondering if I was just being too hard on myself, I posted the video on my site and asked my ex-wife (whom I’m still very close to) and our daughter to critique it.
Their judgment was swift and harsh, which was exactly what I expected and hoped for. They both urged me to remove the video immediately because the inauthenticity of my performance was not consistent with the authenticity of my message. I am grateful for their brutally honest feedback. I don’t want people to tell me what they think I want to hear. I want them to tell me what I need to hear.
Therein lies the lesson. When I made the decision to put myself out there and establish a public presence, I knew I had a lot to learn and that I would stumble occasionally. As Dandy Don Meredith said, “The higher you climb on the flagpole, the more people see your rear end.” But I also knew I wouldn’t be able to do the work I feel called to do unless I took that risk.
So up I go on the flagpole, and there’s nothing on God’s green earth that will stop me from climbing as high as I can. I’ve got work to do, work that I feel is important, work that can help heal the world. So what if I take a pratfall now and then? I’ll just get up, dust myself off and figure out a better way to do what needs to be done. After all, it’s not about me, it’s about the work.
Tomorrow I’ll ask Jeff and Holly if they’d be willing to try it again, only this time Holly can narrate a TV magazine-type piece in which I don’t have to talk much. Holly is a much better actor than I could ever hope to be (and a whole lot prettier, too!) so I will leave the acting chores in her capable hands.
Trying to act in a video is not the last mistake I will make, nor the worst. But that’s okay. By doing something wrong, you learn how to do it right. Not learning is not possible. You will not achieve great things until you conquer the fear of failure.
More important than a mistake itself is your reaction to having made it. If you can step back, keep your awareness antennae on full alert, and calmly and objectively analyze what happened, you have a much better chance of getting back on track.
Architect and visionary Buckminster Fuller explained the value of mistakes through the analogy of a ship’s rudder. A ship tends to continue moving in the direction it is angled. The helmsman has to steer the ship back toward the intended destination, acting and reacting, adjusting and reorienting, in a never-ending process of course correction.
I love course correction. I crave constructive criticism. It’s one of the best and fastest ways to grow. So if you don’t like something I’ve written, or think I could do something better, I’ve got three words for you: Bring it on!
Mishaps are like knives, that either serve us or cut us, as we grasp them by the blade or the handle.
James Russell Lowell
ABOUT PHIL BOLSTA
Phil is the author of Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World, a comprehensive guide to living a spiritual life. Who will benefit from reading it?
Anyone who is on a spiritual path, or wants to start one
Anyone who loves life, or wants to learn how to
Anyone who is happy, or wants to be happier
Here is a two-minute video introduction to Through God’s Eyes.
• an overview of the book
• the complete table of contents
• the Foreword by Caroline Myss
• my Introduction
• chapter excerpts
• a sample end-of-chapter story
• endorsements from authors and thought leaders
Just click on the link below to download your free PDF sampler!
THROUGH GOD’S EYES PDF SAMPLER
Schedule a Mastery Mentoring phone session with Phil to learn how to apply principles of spiritual living more effortlessly and effectively. Priced affordably! Click here to e-mail Phil for details.
Phil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent people he interviewed, including Joan Borysenko, Deepak Chopra, geneticist Dr. Francis Collins, acclaimed sportswriter Frank Deford, Dr. Larry Dossey, Wayne Dyer, Dan Millman, Caroline Myss, Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, Dr. Bernie Siegel, James Van Praagh, singer Billy Vera, Doreen Virtue, Neale Donald Walsch, and bassist Victor Wooten.
Reading this book is like spending a few minutes face to face with each of the contributors and listening to their personal stories. Click here to read unsolicited testimonials from readers. Learn more by visiting the official Sixty Seconds website.
Sixty Seconds was one of three finalists in the General Interest/How-To category at the 12th annual Visionary Awards presented by COVR (Coalition of Visionary Resources) in Denver on June 27, 2009.