The past six weeks or so I’ve listened to two books that were very different but contained an identical saying which I’d never heard before and really struck me.  It is:

“Anything worth doing, is worth doing badly.”

Yup, that’s right: badly.  This is a far cry from the Abe Lincoln saying I raised my kids with, wherein the word ‘badly’ gets replaced with ‘well.’

What is going on here?

Maybe it’s time to see that my quest to always do well at things from the very outset, hasn’t been serving me so well.  In fact that’s likely an understatement. Most of the time it’s probably been harmful. And I see now it has often been a real joy killer.  Taking myself so seriously has never really been fun.

Since reading the books I’ve found that the quote is attributed to G.K. Chesterton.  At this point I’m ready to say “Hello G.K. – Goodbye Abraham.” I’m up for letting go of demanding of myself that I do everything well.  And one thing that has already helped me lighten up when it comes to doing new things has been to shift the self talk language.  For example by saying out loud “I’m going to write a lousy poem every day this week” I’m now averaging about 1.5 per day – closer to the weekly average of my prior Type A approach, where only excellent poems were allowed to enter my journal.  

And perhaps the most important outcome of this experiment, is that I am beginning to suspect that this openness to failure may be opening my heart to genuine faith.  The kind that enables meaningful change.

I invite you to give it a try and see what opens up for you. Be Faith-Full this week and do something new you’ve wanted or needed to try – and remember give yourself permission to Do It Badly !!  

Then laugh a lot and share your fun story with a friend.  In the end that may be the best reason of all to fail…

…to connect and inspire each other to keep trying!