10,000 Ways That Won’t Work

Joe on Mt. Sherman

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” ~Thomas Alva Edison

Had yet another rough day. Seems like there have been too many of those recently. So, I came here to write with a brain spinning with frustration and, therefore, too spun out to be creative. In these instances, one thing that often gives me a jumping off point for my writing is finding a quote I can relate to. I flipped through one of my books and found this one by Thomas Edison. It’s a quote about perspective and perseverance, and it perfectly fits what I feel I’ve been going through lately with my boys. I have been researching, reading, investigating, and conjecturing about every possible way I can help improve their lives as they struggle with learning disabilities. Yet, for all my effort, the results have been seemingly inconsequential.

Then I saw this quote. It made me laugh. Maybe I’m just approaching this all from the wrong angle? Yes. I’ve tried a whole heap of things to help them. I’ve felt worthless because nothing has worked out. But, just because I haven’t found the answer yet doesn’t mean I’ve failed. Like he said, I’ve simply found 10,000 ways that won’t work. That’s not negative progress. That’s 100% progress in the right direction. That’s 10,000 steps closer to my goal of finding a solution. I simply haven’t found it yet. But, I’m narrowing the field down and, sooner or later, I will hit upon what I’ve been searching for. I’ve eliminated enough variables that the solution must be getting close.

I need to stop being so damn hard on myself. I’m doing the best I can. I need to tell the little boss inside my head to shut up. I’m busy working.