Purposeful Incompetence: When you end up not being able to do something, and it later ends up you shouldn’t have done that something.
I’m not good at anything. And at the times I’m worse at something than I think I could be, I wonder just how terrible I really am – like at life? Ya know?
Okay, that was probably sorta vague… Sorry.
A few weeks ago, I decided. I’m going to do this. I controlled my butterflies, I made up a form, and formulated a plan. From start to finish.
Next was the talking. The door-to-door fundraising. The talking and finding a way to each person’s door – through the garden, the doorbell-less people, the ones who aren’t home. All o’ that. But I wasn’t chickening out, no, this was for the good of the young cat who was pregnant. I was first trying to see if she had an owner, (I was pretty sure she didn’t), and second asking for donations so I could get her medical care.
If it were for me, I would have said, “Nah, it’s not important,” and given up. Only the fact that it would matter to somebody else propelled me, and also gave me strength to give it my best.
And I failed.
Person number one, was home, and even had their door open for breezes. But they couldn’t hear me. I snuck off their porch, and walked down the road. “Nothing to see here!!!”
The next place I tried, I started walking down their lane, but got an ominous feeling, causing me to shrink back.
Then I kept walking… and kept walking. It was a dead stretch. Not home… wouldn’t be interested… not home… not going to ask them… not interested… Until I was back at my house and hadn’t knocked on a single door.
I called myself “The Worst Fundraiser in the Whole World” and felt like giving up. Giving up on everything.
Then…. I saw the kind lady. I decided I would ask her the “easy question” – “Do you know who’s cat this is?” and leave the “money” question for later. 😉
I ran out, and since she had always been kind to me, I was assured of a good reception, even if I came off odd at first.
I started, stumbling, but finished strong.
“Oh, you know, I don’t know… but I would ask ____. They would be the only ones who keep their cats outside.”
I went inside, hopeful, and glad that I had a good encounter.
It was in fact ____’s cat. So, from there on my plan was null and void!!! It was great that I couldn’t fundraise! And it didn’t matter that I couldn’t find the owner, because just one small conversation with Kind Lady I’d been wanting to meet anyway, gave me the answer, and avoided the multiple dead-ends.
I know this may sound like sheer-luck. But I also feel like it’s got a purpose. This has happened before.
I feel like it’s my incompetence, my weakness, my short-fallings and utter fail-itude.
However, sooo many times, because I “couldn’t” or “felt like I shouldn’t” it gave me a boost some where else in life. It was a very good thing I didn’t do that – at that time, or I got more information later…
I don’t follow every small whim that I “feel” I should do – that has gotten me in trouble before (anorexia, extreme Spock-ness). But when I try and it doesn’t, doesn’t work, something different happens.
If something doesn’t go well, and you tried, I encourage you not to hate yourself for it. Maybe you need to give it another try, or maybe it’s its built-in protection.
We have natural built in stop-signals and these “incompetences” have protected me from over-excercising, over-dieting. And I felt like a weak failure. I felt like I couldn’t complete a regimen I started with. But it was actually my body’s systems kicking in and telling me what I needed, though my brain had thought it logicly through a different way.
And here, it kept me from having to have several difficult encounters, and possibly have to call “false-alarm”. Not being able to keep my mouth shut when I’ve resolved to has sometimes been the only way I’ve actually shared with my family, and many other times it’s acted for various random good things. I’m not saying be “superstitious”, but I think sometimes these things work out for us like this for some reason.
Our so-called “incompetence” can have a purpose. Either to save our bodies from false thoughts, protecting us from things that science later proves wrong – Lionel telling King George not to smoke, even though his doctor’s recommended it for strong lungs, or just some fortuitous series of events that works out for our good in the end. Waiting to go to college, but then finding your perfect degree. Not getting a cat, and then having a pet fall in your lap.
It actually happens, so just … don’t hate yourself. 🙂
(Blissful Britt talked about this in her post Quitters Sometimes Win. It’s really cool how we both thought the same kind of idea!)
Have you ever felt like a failure but had it end up good that you stopped a heading?
It’s Earth Day today? I think… anyways, although I am not a proponent of most earth-y organizations, since I find most founded on weak foundations — not important right now — EarthHour.org is doing a “Earth Day” event. At 8:30pm your time zone people participating in the event are turning off any unnecessary lights.
It’s just for the hour, but it’s also a good everyday practice. Anyways, solidarity and all that. If you’d like to participate go to EarthHour.org to find out more, or just turn off your lights during that hour! 😉 (I couldn’t figure out how to “sign up” so I’ll just try to do that.) 🙂
Addendum: OH. MY. Gosh. It totally wasn’t earth day. I’ve been getting my holidays all jabber-wacked since joining Twitter and such. So sorry.
Well, I guess it’s never a bad thing to turn off extra lights, no matter what day it is! 😉