Missing the Mark by Michael A. Griffith

Professor Mike GriffithGuilty pleasure confession:  I like classic KISS.  Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, Peter Criss, and Paul Stanley.  Yeah, the whole make-up, pyrotechnics, stunts, platform boots, and usually loud songs.  They were my first rock band and they will always have a special place in my overly-nostalgic heart.

This week I’ve been listening to and watching live clips of them on Youtube.  Takes me back!  But these clips reveal that these rock ‘n’ roll legends miss the mark on a good number of their live performances.

Oh, they thrill the crowds.  How could a band with a blood-spitting, fire-breathing demon playing bass NOT thrill?  They put on great live shows.  But the various members sometimes muff a line or miss a note they tried to hit as they sang or played guitar.

I bring up KISS mainly because I’ve been listening to them this week.  But it occurs to me that they kept going on and on, muffed line and missed notes be damned.

And that level of perseverance is the mark of true performers.  Keep going, keep trying to entertain, to reach your audience.

You may not be a “performer” in the sense that you don’t appear on stage; you are not an actress, musician, model, etc.  But you certainly do perform at your work, at home, and in any endeavor you undertake.

You produce, you create, you communicate.  And whenever somebody undertakes an endeavor, attempts to make something, tries to get their point across, they are performing.  And they are bound to miss the mark sometimes.

To be successful, you must try and sometimes try again and again, until you get to the level of quality you or somebody else expects of you.

Did you know that Stephen King’s first novel Carrie was rejected 30 times by various publishers?  Talk about missing the mark!  But his (and his wife’s) vision, drive, and persistence paid off, as we all well know now.  At the urging of his wife, King sent the manuscript out time, and time again, until their efforts paid off.

However, an oft-repeated definition of insanity is, doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.  Applying this to missing the mark, you’ve got to learn from your mistakes, perceive any deficiencies in your attempts, understand just how you missed the mark, and deviate your performance to better ensure success.

Stephen King took critiques he received from editors and publishers and implemented some of them to his submitted manuscripts of Carrie.  He did not  just send the same old manuscript out each time.

Only effort, just trying is not enough to guarantee hitting your target.  You have to aim.  You aim by making careful adjustments based on what you witness and your past performances.  In short, you learn.

Belief + Effort + Persistence + Learning = SUCCESS!

Thanks so much for reading!