What Do We Do When We Fall Down?

This is the question that I started asking my children when they would fall down. Instead of reacting with a typical “Ooooommmgggg1111!!!11! Are you okayyyyy?” I’d just look at them and ask:

What do we do when we fall down?

At first, they didn’t know the answer, so, I gave it to them:

We get back up.

And that was it. After a few times, even despite how hurt they might be, they would quickly get back on their feet, perhaps wipe a few tears away, and continue on.

For me, it has been one of the most explicit and impactful things that I have instituted as a parent for my kids because it has taught them something very clear: Life is going to knock you down, again, and again, and again, and there is really only one adequate response to that – get back up.

Fortunately (and unfortunately?) I’ve also been able to not only share this with them verbally but my wife and I have been able to model this behavior as well.

Through the many moves, the many startup jobs, the new offices and apartments and teams and staff and partners… my children have come to understand that change is the only constant and that there are very few things that they can count as permanent.

And that their father is both fortunate and blessed to be able to try new things, not all of them work out really well and many of them are unplanned. But, it is important because I get to model what I have fundamentally shared with them: If I get knocked down I do the exact same thing that I have asked them to do – get back up.

Earlier this year I got my butt kicked. I started a new vlog project with the intention of doing it for a full calendar year. I quit after 8 videos and I felt that burn and since quitting I have felt that burn constantly.

I got knocked down and I didn’t really get back up. My excuses, although decent and acceptable for most folks, were not that good. I had an idea, it failed, and then I stopped and I just laid on the ground for a while considering how it all had gone so sideways.

Not to be melodramatic, but, this single experiment has been one of the more personally significant failures. I don’t know why I feel this way fully and I’m still trying to diagnose it, but, I know that the only real remedy is to get back up and try it again.

I’m not clear on the purpose and I’m not clear on whether or not it will prove to be something valuable for myself and for others, but, I want to at least get through a calendar year of uploading something.

The best time should have been months ago. The next best time, as you know, is today. So, despite all of the things that I have to do, I am committed to give it another go.

I have no idea the theme. I have no idea what it’ll be like. I have no areas of content focus or planned sketches or anything like that. I have no idea how many I’ll eventually do and I have no idea if I’ll be able to do it again to completion, but, I’m going to give it a try.

I’m going to share three ground-rules and I fully admit that I may break most of these along the way, but, who the hell cares:

  1. Upload something every business day. Weekends are optional.
  2. Quality is not important. Post-production is not important. Editing is not important. Execution is the most important thing, just like getting up after falling down.
  3. Try to share something useful for someone who randomly / accidentally watches it. Don’t waste the viewers time, if you can.

That’s it. So, with that, I’m starting up my vlog again. Subscribe and watch me fail my way through it all. I’d say something like “Enjoy!” but it might be really bad… for a long time.

Sorry, not sorry.


Also published on Medium.