Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Screwups are Cumulative

If you look around you, there are likely tons of things in disarray in small ways.

If you simply leave these alone, more disarray will accumulate.

If you leave these things alone long enough, they can grow larger than your ability to cope with them.

I'm starting to see that most people don't experience colossal, earth-shaking, life-altering failures in their lives, but rather they experience small accumulations of cruft and disarray that permeate a large portion of their lives, and eventually cause high stress and failure. Or, at the very least, it limits how high they can climb.

In my career, I've experienced the slow, creeping accumulation of cruft and disarray that, over years, causes the exhaustion of good will and even the eventual loss of a job.

I've never been able to put my finger on that exactly. I felt in my failures that I had my part to play, but the crushing blow was always dealt by outside events outside of my control.

But the truth is, in most instances of personal failure, it's because I had let the small things get rotted away to where the support structures weren't there when support was needed. I felt like I had the habit of delivering when it counted. Big projects were successfully delivered/deployed, after all. But, of course along the way I was allowing the erosion of goodwill by not keeping up with the small asks, and I was allowing myself to be seen as less valuable.

So, what's the takeaway then?

I guess the takeaway is not to let the cruft accumulate; don't let the goodwill erode; don't concede to let people continually see you as weak in seemingly small areas, fight for your good name; and set things in order in small ways, all of the time.

Then, if failure comes hurling at you, you will have done all you could to have withstood the blow; and you might even survive it, and continue the fight.

Now, about these messy, dusty rooms, and unfinished house-projects...

A Thousand Tiny Steps

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