Thursday, January 26, 2012

Boggle and ketchup…

Sometimes, in life you miss the obvious. If you've ever played Boggle or any word search game, you know this already. You look and look and search, but just don’t see the word you’re looking for or the easy word that’s right in front of your face. It’s right there, but you miss it. You open the fridge and look for the ketchup and you have to ask who hid it, even though it was on the opt shelf right in front of you.  
The obvious slaps you in the face, but you don’t see it. 
I did that recently, with my blog. 
There’s an old saying says “Live and Learn!” 

I think I named my blog very appropriately for me as a person, but I “fail and learn.”
A few weeks back, I hit a speed bump in my vast blogging experience (3 ½ months - supposed to smile here). I really put this blog out for the purpose of encouraging others with insights, learning experiences, fails and a bit of laughter, but I failed miserably in one area - I overwhelmed a few people. 
In my excitement of starting this project and sharing (what I thought would be helpful tidbits for life), I over-shared my blog and it bugged a few people on FB. It was suggested to me that I needed to stop advertising my blog - I didn’t see it as advertising, but sharing an encouragement with others. 
It was advertising…I just didn’t see the “ketchup.”
In the learning curve of starting something new and my laser focus personality, I frustrated some folks and had to back-track and seek forgiveness for sharing too much. 
I had to sit back and think about my goal for my blog. 
Was it to get attention for me? Was it to truly encourage? Was it just an outlet? Was I impacting others? Did I make it right with those folks I bothered? 
I sat back and realized I failed - I’ve told you failure is good, but it still hurts, when your fail impacts others (BTW - most all fails impact others). I had to learn and grow and rethink and change and focus on the audience, rather than the audience total.  
The cool part is that we’re allowed to fail and allowed to get better and allowed to improve, so I will keep trying.
Three people, that day, discouraged me, because I had frustrated them (not with what was said, but with giving it out too much). I changed and "advertise" less now (in fact, almost never on that list).
That same day, I had four people tell me how encouraging my blog is to them, and that I should keep doing it. They helped me refocus too. The Lord knew I needed the encouragement to keep trying, but trying with the right motives. Glad He keeps us in check daily - I sure need it!
I learned that there is a balance to enthusiasm and a balance to spreading good thoughts, and I had the privilege of growing from failure.

If I bothered you or over-advertized, please forgive me...Truly, I want to be a help.
Lessons Learned: Missing the obvious happens a lot. Sometimes the risks you take, or the efforts you make produce failure, but if you never tried, you would never see any success, and you might not be able to help someone else. Failure helps you to be more sensitive to others.
Thoughts: Do you ever miss seeing the ketchup? Have you ever failed like this? Did you correct it? It’s hard isn’t it?


  1. I too am a rookie blogger. Finding balance is a hard thing. I don't want to overwhelm people with my "wisdom" but I hate for them to miss all the wonderful insight I have for the people who need all the insight! smile here
    You nailed it! I especially like the ketchup reference. Thanks!

  2. Glad you feel the same pain. Thanks for the kind comment. Keep reading...

  3. I understand what you say about over-advertising, I have problems with that too... I don't mind if people advertise on my blog, because I have new oppurtunities (I'm a fail at spelling...) to read other peoples insights on life and how they look at the world, or what interests them. This blog is funny, insightful, and true. If you had not advertised, I would not have gotten to read this. Thank you.

  4. Aiden, thanks for coming by and for your thoughtful amd kind comment. You just motivated me - thanks!

  5. I think it was Jon Acuff recently that wrote about the "math" of failure. He said that 1000 compliments can be overshadowed by 1 criticism.

    I've been where you are (and still go there a lot). I think the thing to do is learn from what others say, but whatever your passion is, stay with it for as long as He wants you to be in it.

  6. Joey - that's what it's all about. Focus on others and the Lord. Thanks.

  7. Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day. I really like your post here about "failure helps you to be more sensitive to others". That sure is true! I'll remember that as I go about my day.
    Have a blessed day!

  8. Thank you for sharing.  If you hadn't over shared, I think I would have missed it entirely that you _have_ a blog.  Disseminating notifications in a non-intrusive way would be a challenge for anyone in this continually plugged-in society.  It's becoming more and more obvious how plugged-in we are.  Remember the good ole' days when you were unreachable because you didn't have a cellphone, no email or no internet for that matter, and if there was a heavy wind storm, no land line either?  It wasn't that long ago. 
    Thank you for your blog.  I enjoy reading it and find it helpful, encouraging, and spirit lifting.  Keep up the good work!  Failure contributes to learning, learning to growth, growth to new ventures, and new ventures to new possibilities to fail.  

  9. Thanks for reading and for the comment - keep floating by...

  10. Very well written and please continue to stop by...I appreciate the encouragement...

  11. Very well written and please continue to stop by...I appreciate the encouragement...

  12. This is great encouragement!  I found you from DanBlackonLeadership!  I've only been blogging for 8 months - the learning curve is steeper for some of us.  Overlooking the ketchup reminded me that a couple of weeks ago I was getting ready to pour milk - I got the glasses out, and reached into the pantry for the graham crackers, I stood over the glasses with the box tipped in my hand before I caught my 'fail'. The family got a good laugh.  There is always someone watching - especially God.  Isn't it wonderful to have the forgiveness, as well as the guidance?  God bless you - your blog is great!

  13. You are kind, and the graham crackers probably went down easier with the milk...keep coming and commenting. thanks 

  14. danblackonleadershipJanuary 26, 2012 at 10:33 PM

    Craig keep writing, posting, and sharing your work on social media sites because your blog is adding value to others. I know you found me through Jon Acuff's blog and if you check out his Facbook or Twitter page he often shares about his blog.

  15. It's amazing that people are so kind - you are a blessing.

  16. There's no accounting for how we annoy others sometimes! LOL
    Keep writing and sharing!

  17. Love that comment - truly we drive each other crazy in life!

    Keep reading and thanks for stopping by.

  18. I think it's great that you are blogging and sharing what God is doing and allowing Him to use you this way.  There aren't a lot of guys who are willing to share and "talk out loud".  I'm thankful that you are one of them and that you do it with a heart that searches after our God.  God bless.

  19. Only the Lord could bring these thoughts to mind and I pray they encourage others...


Comments always welcome...