Getting good at being bad

The only thing I remember about when my aunty took us bowling for the first time when I was 7 is that on the way out she slipped… not a small, unnoticeable slip… a comedy, cartoon banana skin slip. But instead of turning red and running away from the staring onlookers, she did a kind of jazz hands gesture from her spot on the floor and exclaimed triumphantly, “ta dah!”

I aspire to my aunty’s approach to falling over. Because if you want to get really good at something, you have to be willing to be bad at it too. You have to get good at making mistakes, failing, looking like an amateur… slipping on banana skins.

There are 2 ways to get good at being bad at the thing you want to be really good at:

One: keep doing the work… all the time. Paint bad pictures. Take bad photographs. Bake bad vegan muffins (you’ll bake a lot of bad ones before you get to a good vegan muffin!). Write bad draft after bad draft after bad draft. Ta dah!

In 145 posts, there’s only one so far that I’m truly proud of. And it’s not this one. This one isn’t my best. This one is like the other 144… working things out, playing at the edges, slipping on banana skins.

But I’ll still get up at 5am on a Saturday to make sure it gets done because these are my reps. My boring sit ups. My mundane treadmill steps. I’m paying my dues… channelling my inner Usain Bolt and doing the delicate writer’s equivalent of throwing up on Youtube in public because apparently that’s how much I care about staying accountable to writing.

I tried the other way of being good at being bad for many, many years and I was really good at that…

Don’t try. Don’t show up. Expect to be good from the beginning. Expect it to be easy.

Easy is not an option… No days off… Never Quit […] Talent you have Naturally… Skill is only developed by hours and hours of work.

Usain Bolt

Have fun slipping on a banana skin today… jazz hands… ta dah!

Photo by Pixabay on

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Adebomi Salu says:

    Lordy Lord Shao🤦🏽‍♀️
    🎼it’s me you’re talking to 🎼…
    Seth Godin has told me too😁
    I need to just say “tah-dah” too as I continue to slip more on a banana skin.
    Thanks Shao 😊


    1. Shâo says:

      Sorry for the late reply, Bomi! I must’ve missed this wonderful comment! Yes… keep slipping on banana skins… I know you’ll do it with flair and panache! Ta dah!


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