I FAILED TODAY! By Don Jessop
I tried. I really truly did. But I didn't make it. I failed, and here is why.
I thought I had enough time. I was wrong. I'm embarrassed to even be writing about it. But I just read an amazing book about failure and success. In the book, the author (Jon Acuff) talks about dealing with failure by saying, "This too shall post!" Notice the word "post" instead of "pass." In other words, when he fails he writes about it. He shares it, not just because it's real and helpful for others, but because it's helpful for him to let it pass.
So here I am. Posting about my failure. I suppose I should just get on with it then...
I was giving a lesson for a new student. The horse was behaving poorly and I was running out of time. The horse wouldn't respond the way I had hoped or expected after about forty minutes of training. It was a simple enough task, but there were too many factors blocking our progress. Nonetheless, I persisted. I thought the horse would give in, and I could end on a positive note. I was wrong.
The horse simply could not let go of his distractions. He could not focus. Had I had more time I could have made the impression I wanted. Alas, I didn't have any more time, and I failed him, and my student. As my time rapidly approached zero, I started looking for something positive to end on. Anything at all. Even a simple moment to pet my horse and let him know I'll be back tomorrow. After years of training, I know that even when things go differently than expected, all I have to do is find something good to finish on and the next day will prove better.
The challenge on this particular day was that I knew I wouldn't be back to help the student accomplish the goal. She'd be on her own. I gave her my phone number, and told her to call, but I don't think she will. She seemed disappointed in the lesson. Her expectations were not met and she's a sensitive type that may never try again, if she fails once. I hope she can break through, I hope she can reach out. I hope she doesn't give up. But I'm also heartbroken that I couldn't get through. It's a passion of mine to serve. Yet I feel I have failed.
But don't count me out yet. I'm not one for quitting. And I'm not quitting on my students. I'll be reaching out to her soon. It it were my horse, I'd be back the very next day, looking for one ounce of progress. In fact, if it were my horse, I would have gone slower from the start. Not pushed so hard for big results on day one. Often as a teacher, I'm limited for time and want to get as much done as possible to serve. Sometimes it backfires. But I'm still here, and I'll be here tomorrow. I hope my readers will too. I hope you don't give up. I hope you persist for the results you want with your horse. (or your life)
Thank you for your support
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