Last night I gave the worst speech of my life. Everything that could go wrong, did.
I misunderstood the start time, and arrived late to the venue. Many of the seats in the once-filled room were now empty. People were partying audibly in the hallway. I walked out onto the empty stage and discovered the fly of my pants was open. I turned around to zip it, and when I turned back, a large potted plant blocked me. I stepped around the plant to start speaking, and immediately began stammering nonsense. An audience member in the front row imitated me and laughed. I finally found my words, but they were somewhere in the middle of my talk– everything was out of sequence. I couldn’t find my place in my notes. Another audience member began lecturing about what I was doing wrong, and I had to ask him to be quiet so I could continue. As I spoke, people stood up and walked out. When I finished, none of the few remaining attendees clapped or looked at me. I walked out of the building to find people on the street commenting to each other about how bad my speech had been.
I completely failed to deliver an effective speech. And …
The world did not end. Life continued.
Living with metastatic cancer gives one a different perspective about small things like failure. I don’t want to waste precious time fretting over what hasn’t gone right in my life.
Failure won’t kill me. It just teaches me what to do better the next time.
Like not having spicy barbeque sauce on a snack before bed. It gives me weird dreams. I’d rather not have that dream again.*
*Added that last sentence about 5 hours after the original post — evidently people didn’t catch my hint that this was a dream. Sorry I was too subtle. I don’t often hear that adjective applied to me!