At least they tried

“There’s an old Japanese saying: Fall seven, rise eight. If I were ever to get a tattoo, I’d get these four simple words indelibly inked.”

_Angela Duckworth, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance 


I read an interesting story the other day about a conductor who fired his bassoon player because he was to good.

Turns out the orchestra was performing Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring and the opening begins with an extremely difficult bassoon solo. The conductor said, “I don’t want the sound of someone playing this passage, I want the sound of someone trying to play it.”

He went on to explain that Stravinsky purposely wrote the opening line to demonstrate that in-between-season in very cold Russia of spring struggling to pry away the icy grip of winter. A bassoon player that easily played the part would fail to communicate that struggle.

That got me thinking…life is tough.

Just this morning I spoke to a proud dad who is still struggling over the fact that just a few days ago he dropped his beloved daughter off at college. Dad is trying to figure out how to transition from baby daughter to grown daughter. (Not easy!)

Yesterday I spoke with a pastor who is battling with some serious health issues while still trying to pastor his church.

As I’m writing this the elderly couple I saw struggling up the walkway to go to church last Sunday comes to mind.

I’ve got some things on my own plate that is really challenging right now, and I bet you do too.

But there’s one thing all of us can do…we can try.

Nothing good happens if we don’t try. Spring, new life, a better future doesn’t come without a struggle.

I’m not looking to get a tattoo, but “Fall seven, rise eight” would not be a bad one.

And how’s this for an epitaph: “At least they tried.”

The ONE THING for today: Nothing good is going to happen if you don’t try. And it usually boils down to this – Are you willing to try one more time?

Photo by Xavier von Erlach on Unsplash

Source of the bassoon story — The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life by Rosamund Stone Zander, Benjamin Zander