You have to learn how to fall.

This is one of the themes of international bestselling novel ‘The Truth about the Harry Quebert affair”.  No need for a spoiler alert, I’m not going to give anything away here.  The twists and turns of the plot include the protagonist getting this advice from his eponymous mentor.


I won’t comment on the book overall here as it’s not a book review blog, but this lesson is certainly a worthwhile one.


Jack Dee referred recently on Desert Island Discs to being called thick in front of the whole of his school by his headmaster.  From his tone of voice it seemed not unlikely that his subsequent career is partly based on proving the headmaster’s hasty judgement wrong.


His lasting anger sounded like a catalyst for change.  An ongoing need to push back and have a better, more successful , life story.


Who knows what is the catalyst to turn your story round.  Dee’s story reminded me that I had a less public and yet personally important, experience at my school where I was the only kid in years 7 and 8 never to get a “good work mark” and therefore did not get my name called out in assembly by the headmistress.  Obviously much less of a public humiliation, as it is quite likely that no-one apart from me was aware of it, but character forming none the less.  It certainly focussed my mind academically as I went on to exceed my teachers’ somewhat limited expectations thereafter.


The point about falling is the bounce back.  Think about falling, diving, or jumping, into a deep swimming pool or lake.  It is only when you reach the very bottom that you have the ability to push up.


So the next time someone critiques your work, or what you said or did in a meeting, pay close attention.  Make sure that you fully feel the emotions that might arise.  Don’t brush over the negatives, don’t move on or forget it.  Use it.  Learn how to use the fall, to embrace the descent.  At the nadir of the descent is the point that you can push back up from most strongly.



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