2017, my new year’s resolution was to fail more, fail better and get up faster after getting knocked on my ass.
I had no idea when I set that goal for myself, I’d fail so spectacularly, I’d fail so publicly. After the mass shooting in Las Vegas, when Ava DuVernay published a tweet, asking why the shooter is called a lone wolf when he’s white, but when the shooter is black, when the shooter is brown, he’s called a terrorist, I retweeted something like this: “As soon as I heard it was a country western concert, and the shooter was white I felt relief, white people shooting white people isn’t terrorism, it’s community outreach.”
The tweet went viral.
The twitter shitstorm hit.
My life turned upside down.
My family disowned me. My business partners printed out copies of my tweet, taking it out of context, and taking it into court where they used it to have me fired from a job I’d spent 7 years building for myself. My girlfriend pulled away from me. The community of my birth danced around the avalanche of vitriol. I had dreams where mountain lions ate me while I was singing karaoke, “Summer, Summer, Summertime. Time to sit back and unwind.”
I failed. It was the biggest failure of my life. Turns out, I lived up to the resolution of 2017.
2018, I have a simpler resolution: succeed beyond Beyoncé. It’s unrealistic. But so what? Coming off last year’s spectacular failure, there’s something sexy about taking the momentum of turning upside down and keeping the roll going by seeing what’s on the other side of being upside down.
Maybe it explains why I was moved when Will Smith posted a video called “Fail Early, Fail Often, Fail Forward.”
Here’s a guy who’s achieved the highest of the high. He lives on the mountaintop of achievement. But instead of hogging the view, instead of feeling like the view is for the chosen few, the privileged, the elite, those we typical describe as having “God Given Gifts,” or talent, or money, or a daddy named Sean Carter, instead of seeing it like that, Will took a look around and decided the mountaintop was big enough for all of us, and the view is something to share.
Speaking of sharing, enjoy!