June 20, 2023

My sister texted me this evening asking if she should buy a new desk for herself. She’s considering one that’ll change between a sitting and a standing desk. Of course, I told her to buy something better than the one she was initially looking at.

When we got to talking, we inevitably started talking about work. One of the things we often talk about is our students. We compare notes and commiserate. Things are never the same as when we were in school, of course, nor are the students as capable, naturally. But, for all our complaining, there’s one stark difference between her and I: she will just do things.

My sister has conviction, only one of the many qualities of hers that I admire. She knows how to work hard and she will. She is able to travel in the direction she sets for herself, and, before long, she’ll get to wherever she wanted to go. It’s amazing to watch.

Acting quickly, after only enough thought, seems a good approach. Contemplating things for too long stands in the way of achieving great things. I would guess that the right approach involves action and thought at the same time, or, at least, in some sort of intertwined fashion. It’s better to do something than to do nothing, even if it doesn’t work.

Failure is not an insult or personal attack. It’s an attempt. Really, for every attempt, there are only two possible outcomes, much like flipping a coin. Failure is, ultimately, a result. It’s kind of a misnomer because if the expectations would have been defined differently, the attempt would have resulted as a success.

Besides, more often than not, it’s not nearly as good or bad as it seems. Whatever it is. I think, what’s most important is not the outcome, but the effort, the work, the attempt. Do it standing up or sitting down, but just do it.


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