When I say I want to work out, this is one way I roll, “Tae Bo”. When I was in Los Angeles I had the opportunity to work out with Boot Camp work out master Billy Blanks. After each work out I could hardly walk for days! But I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything!
So, usually when I talk about working out I am talking about strapping on my sneakers, putting in a DVD of Tae Bo, P90X, Insanity, Jillian Michaels, or pounding the pavement on a nice long run outside. Booting up my iPod and thinking about nothing else for the next hour or so except sweating.
But there is another meaning to “work out” that sometimes also leaves me all sweaty and light-headed. And that is, will I work out or will I fail when I attempt to do something I have never done before? Nowadays when you fail, you don’t just fail – you Epic Fail. Nice, who’s the Einstein that came up with that one? I’d like to go and bop them upside the head for that one.
Epic Fail is such the rage these days that it has three, count ’em three, different explanations in the widely used Urban Dictionary:
When something can be seen to be a total failure
The highest form of fail known to man. Reaching this level of fail means only one thing:
You must die, or the world will fail itself due to such an extreme level of failage.
Epic- Anything great, spectacular, or large/monumental in nature
Fail- An inability to complete an objective, task or job either assigned or volunteered for.
Epic Fail -A mistake of such monumental proportions that it requires its own term in order to successfully point out the unfathomable shortcomings of an individual or group.
Mr. Bricks: Uh, Ava? I started working out!
Ava: That’s great what are you doing?
Mr. Bricks: I started eating the Quarter Pounder w/Cheese instead of the McRib. Because the Quarter Pounder weighs more – doesn’t that mean I will get more exercise by picking it up and putting it down more than a McRib?
Ava: Epic Fail Mr. Bricks, Epic Fail.
Nobody in life likes to hear that they failed at anything, even my poor old manager Mr. Bricks. We all would like to think that whatever we want to do or whatever we try to do it will work out.
I think we all need encouragement and we need to learn to encourage others. Somewhere along the line most of what we do in life has become us against them, winners vs losers, the top dogs vs the under dogs, etc.
There is no wonder people fear failing because our society has put so much emphasis on finishing first in everything. I think all of this added pressure has intimidated some people into not even trying new things. It is much easier playing it safe and not risk becoming an epic failure at something.
That hasn’t always been the case for everyone. Here is a list of people who knew it would eventually work out:
Abraham Lincoln was a failure as a businessman. As a lawyer in Springfield, he was too impractical and temperamental to be a success. He turned to politics and was defeated in his first try for the legislature, again defeated in his first attempt to be nominated for congress, defeated in his application to be commissioner of the General Land Office, defeated in the senatorial election of 1854, defeated in his efforts for the vice-presidency in 1856, and defeated in the senatorial election of 1858. At about that time, he wrote in a letter to a friend, “I am now the most miserable man living. If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would not be one cheerful face on the earth.”
Sigmund Freud was booed from the podium when he first presented his ideas to the scientific community of Europe. He returned to his office and kept on writing.
Thomas Edison’s teachers said he was “too stupid to learn anything.” He was fired from his first two jobs for being “non-productive.” As an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When a reporter asked, “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”
And speaking of Einstein….Albert Einstein did not speak until he was 4-years-old and did not read until he was 7. His parents thought he was “sub-normal,” and one of his teachers described him as “mentally slow, unsociable, and adrift forever in foolish dreams.” He was expelled from school and was refused admittance to the Zurich Polytechnic School. He did eventually learn to speak and read. Even to do a little math.
Louis Pasteur was only a mediocre pupil in undergraduate studies and ranked 15th out of 22 students in chemistry.
Henry Ford failed and went broke five times before he succeeded.
R. H. Macy failed seven times before his store in New York City caught on.
E. W. Woolworth was not allowed to wait on customers when he worked in a dry goods store because, his boss said, “he didn’t have enough sense.”
How’s your cell phone working out for you??? When Bell telephone was struggling to get started, its owners offered all their rights to Western Union for $100,000. The offer was disdainfully rejected with the pronouncement, “What use could this company make of an electrical toy.”
“Only Those who dare to fail greatly can achieve greatly”
Robert F. Kennedy
was cut from his high school basketball team. Jordan once observed, “I’ve failed over and over again in my life. That is why I succeed.”
Babe Ruth is famous for his home run record, but for decades he also held the record for strikeouts. He hit 714 home runs and struck out 1,330 times in his career.
Hank Aaron went 0 for 5 his first time at bat with the Milwaukee Braves.
During Troy Aikman’s first NFL season he threw twice as many interceptions (18) as touchdowns (9) . . . oh, and he didn’t win a single game.
Charles Schultz had every cartoon he submitted rejected by his high school yearbook staff. Oh, and Walt Disney wouldn’t hire him.
After Fred Astaire’s first screen test, the memo from the testing director of MGM, dated 1933, read, “Can’t act. Can’t sing. Slightly bald. Can dance a little.” He kept that memo over the fireplace in his Beverly Hills home. Astaire once observed that “when you’re experimenting, you have to try so many things before you choose what you want, that you may go days getting nothing but exhaustion.” And here is the reward for perseverance: “The higher up you go, the more mistakes you are allowed. Right at the top, if you make enough of them, it’s considered to be your style.”
After his first audition, Sidney Poitier was told by the casting director, “Why don’t you stop wasting people’s time and go out and become a dishwasher or something?” It was at that moment, recalls Poitier, that he decided to devote his life to acting.
When Lucille Ball began studying to be actress in 1927, she was told by the head instructor of the John Murray Anderson Drama School, “Try any other profession.”
The first time Jerry Seinfeld walked on-stage at a comedy club as a professional comic, he looked out at the audience, froze, and forgot the English language. He stumbled through “a minute-and a half” of material and was jeered offstage. He returned the following night and closed his set to wild applause.
Charlie Chaplin was initially rejected by Hollywood studio chiefs because his pantomime was considered “nonsense.”
Decca Records turned down a recording contract with the Beatles with the unprophetic evaluation, “We don’t like their sound. Groups of guitars are on their way out.” After Decca rejected the Beatles, Columbia records followed suit.
In 1954, Jimmy Denny, manager of the Grand Ole Opry, fired Elvis Presley after one performance. He told Presley, “You ain’t goin’ nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin’ a truck.”
Van Gogh sold only one painting during his life. And this to the sister of one of his friends for 400 francs (approximately $50). This didn’t stop him from completing over 800 paintings.
Louisa May Alcott author of Little Women, was encouraged to find work as a servant by her family.
Emily Dickinson had only seven poems published in her lifetime.
Richard Bach’s story about a “soaring eagle” was turned down by 18 publishers. Macmillan finally published Jonathan Livingston Seagull in 1970. By 1975 it had sold more than 7 million copies in the U.S. alone.
21 publishers rejected Richard Hooker’s humorous war novel, M*A*S*H. He had worked on it for seven years.
27 publishers rejected Dr. Seuss’s first book, To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street
So it’s all mind over matter — will what you want to do with your life work out or will it just be an epic fail. It’s your choice friends!
And I want to leave you with a quote:
“Never ever give up. If you do, only then do you have a chance of an Epic Fail!” — Ava Aston 2010