I’m a strong believer in failing. I think failing is one of the most essential parts of success that no one really talks about. I have failed many times in my life on many different things, but each time I failed at something I learned something too. Like the great inventor and politician Benjamin Franklin said: “I didn’t fail the test, I just found 100 ways to do it wrong.” If you think about that quote for a moment you realize just how important that statement is. This is something we can apply in our everyday life professionally, personally, and even as a nudist.
Typically, when we fail at something, we ask ourselves why. Why did I fail at this? What did I do wrong to fail? How were my steps incorrect? Where did I slip up or make a mistake? When was the pivotal point to my failure? Then for those of you who don’t like to accept the blame may ask yourself: Who was the cause of my failure? With that question I have to solidly answer you with a simple word…YOU. In everything that has gone wrong in my life or things I have failed at, I can only ever point to one person. Me. A lot of self-reflection on each of our parts will lead us to the answer that we are the key component of our success or failure. When we realize that, we need to look at two more questions that are probably the most important part of failure: 1) Did I do it long enough? 2) Did I try hard enough? Let’s take a look.
Did I Do It Long Enough?
When I look at this question many of my personal scenarios come to mind for me. To keep things in line with my blog I’m first going to look at my first attempt to be a nudist. I have to say that I failed at being a nudist. As a teenager I didn’t know much about it other than I liked being naked. Even as a small child I would run around naked when I could, but as I got older that wasn’t the most acceptable action to take. Then as I moved into adulthood, I didn’t do it as much unless I was home alone, which wasn’t too often. Not long afterwards I gave it up altogether. Ten years later I started to pick it back up again by sleeping naked and going naked in the hotel when on business trips. Once again, not long enough. Sadly, it wasn’t until COVID hit this year that I truly started to actually do it more often and for longer periods of time. Now I am writing about it here more often, engaging with other nudist, helping others experience the lifestyle, and actually becoming irritated when I have to put clothes on to go out somewhere. As soon as I put something on I immediately feel restricted, constrained, and oppressed by society’s norms. Sounds like extremist talk doesn’t it? Moving forward with my life, nudity will be incorporated in almost everything I do where it is socially acceptable. Also, I’m ready to pull the trigger and get my membership card with either TNS or AANR. Most likely TNS at this point, but maybe both in the future. Have I fully succeeded as a nudist? I don’t think so, but I’m certainly well on my way to getting there. I just need to work at it a little longer.
The next thing that comes to mind for me as far as failures go is going to college. Initially, I went to college to be an engineer. My first thought was civil engineering because I was always fascinated by architecture and structures, but I didn’t really have the design ability to be an architect. Then I decided I wanted to do chemical engineering because I liked chemistry a bit. Finally, I wanted to do electrical and computer engineering because I was always good with computers. After a couple of years in the engineering fundamental classes, I finally chose to make electrical engineering my major of choice. During my junior year I soon realized that I may have made a huge mistake with my choice. Electrical engineering was way more complicated than I had imagined, and the professors were not native English speakers, except for one but he was doing research at national labs quite often. I became discouraged quickly and after a spring and summer semester of it, I dropped out and decided I needed a break. I spent so much time working on homework, doing math, spending time in the labs, that I literally just burned out. So rather than taking it easy for a semester or just taking a short break, I decided to throw in the towel and move back home. Also, during this time we were a young married couple and my extended time away caused significant stress and strain. It was too much and something had to give. Looking back on it twenty years later I can certainly say I tried my very best, but I just didn’t try long enough to make it a success. I only needed three-four more semesters, but at that point I was done. Without a doubt my greatest failure. Thankfully, I did not put all that science and engineering background to waste. After a few years away I went back and got my degree. Little did I know how that would set me up for many different career successes.
Did I Try Hard Enough?
When it comes to this question the first thing that comes to mind is marriage. Particularly mine given the recent events. We have been married for almost 21 years now and been together for 24…well, was 24 years. Reflecting back over the course of more than half of my life, I’m pretty certain I can say that I don’t think we tried hard enough. I’m sure this is true for most couples given the high divorce rate in the US. When it comes to making relationships work, both parties must be committed to trying their best and striving to make their partner happy. When there is an imbalance in this thought process, then you begin to have one person doing a significant portion of the giving and the other taking more than giving. Over time this can wear down the giver to the point they don’t want to give anymore, and when they start to take more you have two sides pulling in opposite directions. Over time this tension begins to grow until everything just snaps and falls apart.
I may be wrong in this thinking, but based on the conversations I’ve had and the things I read, I’m pretty certain this imbalance is the leading cause of irreconcilable issues between couples, and could lead some astray. Personally, I believe if each person comes into a relationship asking themselves one question, then many of these relationships would not fail.
What can I do to bring joy and happiness to my partner even if I don’t get anything in return?
Let’s think about this for a moment. If each person approached the mindset of being a giver and not seeking out how the relationship can benefit themselves, then I think each relationship would experience a much higher level of joy and blissfulness compared to others. Obviously, there has to be communication between the two and you have to work at it and TRY every day. You can’t expect the other person to know your thoughts and expectations. If I ever decide to get into another relationship with someone again this will be my thought process. My expectation will be that the other person shares the same viewpoint, and if they don’t or I sense an overwhelmingly selfish personality things won’t go any further.
Let’s bring this back around and see how this can relate to a social nudist lifestyle. I can say that I have failed pretty bad at a social nudist lifestyle. Have I been to a club? Yes, I have, but I didn’t really try to engage in any type of social interactions as one might think. I think my shyness and the fact that I had never did anything like that before in my life led to me not trying harder to make friends or continue engaging afterwards. It wasn’t until some years later that I actually tried to engage with others, but that was mostly online and I didn’t give it a valiant effort to say the least. Fast forwarding a few more years, I finally started to step outside of my box to see where the social nudist life would lead me. I still haven’t participated in any local or club activities nearby, but I think that is mostly attributed to not having a participating partner. I think it would be a much easier time if you were to have someone that actually wanted to live the lifestyle with you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t at least make friends with a few. Once I started to actually write and make a blog, social interaction started to change for me. I transformed my Twitter from tweeting and retweeting various nudist images to engaging with followers. I cleaned up a lot of the suspect accounts (still working on that), and mainly focusing on nudist topics, talking to followers, and promoting true nudist values. The same can be said about my blog too. It was a mess of crap to say the least. I didn’t give it much effort, thought, and I certainly didn’t try to be thought provoking or engaging with other, much better nudist bloggers. Once I tried and put forth the effort, then I started to see things change and the online social interaction has grown significantly.
Looking back on all the failures I have endured during my life; I can say everyone of them has been a blessing to me. How can I say that? I can say that because I learned something from each failure, and each one has helped me grow as a person. Here’s the way I look at it; It’s better to have tried and failed than to have never tried at all. At least I can say I gave it a go regardless of the outcome, and although I didn’t do somethings long enough or try hard enough on them, I can look back say I learned a great deal either about me or about how to prevent the failure in the future. I just wish some of the failures didn’t hurt so bad.
As we enter a new year with everyone’s resolutions, good intentions, and expectations of sweeping changes, we should take a few moments to reflect on what we have failed at in the past. Take a look at these items and ask yourself the same questions I mention here: Did you do it long enough and did you try hard enough. Digging deep I’m sure you’ll find the answer lies within one or both of those answers.
Have you tried dipping your toe into nudism only to fail at that attempt? Did you do like me and want the social interaction, but you weren’t willing to try hard enough or to do it long enough to actually make some kind progress in overcoming your fears? I would like to invite you to take some time this year and set out a goal give it more of an effort and to give it more time. If you have a partner that doesn’t want to participate, then you may need to continue giving them more time to acclimate, and you may need to try just a bit harder to help them. Just don’t be too pushy. They need to come to the conclusion themselves this is what they want, and not just doing it for you.