Congratulations! You Won Tried!!!

These past weeks I have been giving thought to both my family of origin’s—and our culture’s—attitude toward trying.

Regarding my family, I have realized that not only were we to perform faultlessly, we were to perform effortlessly.

Working at something wasn’t applauded, and after giving our best we might hear, “Is that all you’ve got?”

When we did, in fact, ‘win’ at something we heard that it was easy, or that others had done it more quickly or easily.

As an adult, I realize parents—no one—can pour from an empty cup.

Neither of my parents received recognition for their (considerable) achievements; it wasn’t in their vocabulary to recognize ours—much less effort that went into failed adventures or misadventures.

Expanding that lens to society I’ve noticed a similar trend.

Despite participation trophies, and the lip service paid to Theodore Roosevelt’s ‘The Man in the Arena,’ our society glorifies our winners while its losers are met with compassion at best, catcalls at worst.

Let’s change this.

Let’s celebrate your—my, our—try’s.

With this in mind, I included the pictures—above—of my multi-year, daily effort to put my feet on my head and confess to you my disbelief/crabbiness that, despite my best efforts they don’t get any closer…

Then—in the spirit of this post—I remind myself it’s not about the achieving.

It’s about celebrating the trying.

What celebrations are you ready to plan?

I’m ready to applaud.


For more on the value of effort, not achievement, look at “Let Them See You Sweat”