Cop an Attitude: Finding What Works Through Trial and Error

You don’t learn from a situation where you do something well. You enjoy it and give yourself credit, but you don’t really learn from that. You learn from trial and error, trial and error all the time.

Suzanne Farrell

I spent most of today reading blogs instead of writing.

You know why? Because yesterday I wrote an epic post full of sass and ironic attitude.

Or so I though. Today I’m not so sure. When I reread it, it didn’t say what I wanted it to, and it came off more obnoxious than ironic.

I’m reading today, because I’m disappointed in what I wrote yesterday, and I’m exploring other blogs and voices to see what works and what doesn’t.

Trying Different Voices On For Size

As I write this, I haven’t published a single post on Authentic Gecko but I’ve tried out several different writing voices. I didn’t intend to, but I have.

When I started writing posts I tried to be serious and guru-ish. I tried to sound like I knew what I was talking about and had important knowledge to share. I was all Leo Babauta over at ZenHabits, trying to share small tidbits of wisdom that would change your life.

But that was hard to write, and really doesn’t feel like me. I’m just not the guru type.

I’d like my writing to be like Erika Napoletano over at Read Head Ranting. She doesn’t write about personal development but I enjoy the way she writes. She tells it like it is and doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to the language she uses or what she’s willing to reveal about herself. (If you aren’t comfortable with a few – or several — F-bombs or worse don’t click on the last link.)

So I tried to write something edgier and went with a headline that would get bleeped and a who-do-you-think-you-are attitude. It was fun to write in that voice but I don’t think it is right for the kind of site I want Authentic Gecko to be, and I don’t really agree with what I wrote. I think I got caught up in being edgy rather than authentic.

However much fun I had writing that way, it isn’t right for me or this site. (Besides, I decided long ago that when you don’t normally swear, and then you drop an F-bomb one day — people pay attention.)

But back to today.

As I sat here it occurred to me that finding my voice for this blog is a good metaphor for finding what brings us joy in life.

The Life Lesson

Just as I don’t instinctively know what my writing voice should be for this blog, we often don’t know what we want from life; what is going to bring us joy or help us on our journey.

We can either sit back and think about what we might or might not like, or we can “cop an attitude,” get out of our comfort zone and try things.

Whether it is a new food, new hair cut, new writing voice or new form of meditation; we’ll never know whether we like something until we try it.

I think life is supposed to be about trying new things and keeping the things that work for you, and discarding the things that don’t. What work for me may not work for you and vice versa, but that doesn’t mean we can’t pick up ideas from each other and try them on for size.

The edgy attitude that I admire in someone else’s writing may not be right for me but it was fun to try out and, by trying it, I’m a step closer to finding what does work for me.

The same goes for other parts of our life. Trying something and finding it doesn’t work puts us way ahead of just sitting back and wondering what will work.

What things have you tried that you thought you’d hate, but that unexpectedly brought you joy or that you thought you’d love but really didn’t enjoy? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Oh, and here are some thoughts from other smart people:

Photo by Steve Mueller


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