Failure is NOT the Best Option
“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”
Recently I set up some forms to pour a well needed sidewalk in front of home. It has only been 5 years since we removed the old sidewalk, why rush? With a little encouragement from my family, I set to work.
The sidewalk had to follow a curving, sloping contour. I knew I needed a flexible material to use on my forms. I had seen contractors use a flexible thin 1/8” tempered hardboard. It worked great…well at least at first. Remember, I am a landscaper, not a contractor.
As we installed the tempered hardboard, I noticed the boards begin to get small waves in them. They were losing their form. Even I knew this was not good for pouring concrete. And then, the next night it rained, the waves magnified and the boards seemed beyond use. If I poured the concrete now, the sidewalk would be wavy and inconsistent.
I had several negative reactions inside my head. One, forget this, we don’t need a sidewalk. After all, we had done fine for five years! Two, this is too difficult for me. I will just call in a contractor and let them do it.
Then I remembered one of the famous “Mom Sayings”: “No child of MINE would do something like that!” Okay, then – what to do next? I knew that using the tempered hardboard for the entire length of the project was a mistake, I just wasn’t sure how to fix it. So, I called in a guy I respect and who works with concrete a lot on campus. His name is Denny. I asked him questions, listened, made notes. He gave me some great ideas and suggested several little tricks to save me some time and money.
I implemented the changes Denny suggested. Set up a time for the concrete delivery and then worked like crazy to pour the concrete. It looks amazing.
Here are the 3 quick lessons I learned:
- Always seek out good advice from several sources. Listen, write it down, follow the advice.
- When you mess up, stop. Start again more intelligently and fix it.
- Be patient. No matter how quickly I wanted to get the sidewalk poured, if I would’ve poured the concrete into the wrong form, I would see it everyday, reminding me I did it wrong. I might disagree with Nike on this point: Don’t just do it…do it right.
I love my new sidewalk. It was worth the wait.
Keep cultivating your Greatness,