Did you have cake?

Pinterest. I can be honest, I love it and and I loathe it. This platform both fuels my creativity and propensity for comparison. Most of what you find here (and really on any social media platform) tends to skew positive, a literal highlight reel of successes from classroom practices to applying eye shadow.

There is often disparity between the reel and what IS real.

Then there is Pinterest and the “Pinterest Fail”. We have all seen them, the wild attempts at crafting, a hair tutorial gone rogue, and kitchen mishaps that smack of inspiration but lack execution. I love the honesty and authenticity in the side by side photos.

I have had my fair share of “Pinterest fails”, in the kitchen and craft scene, but also in a more metaphorical sense: outcomes that didn’t align with the plan, a route that felt more like a detour, a conversation that went off script, an idea turned into an ordeal.

“Shockingly” the stars don’t always align and everything doesn’t always go the way I over-plan it. (I hope you read that last sentence with the sarcastic self-depreciating tone that I heard internally as I wrote it.)

This one has become my absolute, all-time favorite.

You can feel the disappointment seeping out of the bottom photo, as the end result is such a “fail” that it doesn’t even resemble the first image. Is it a lamb? A cat? Is it edible?

I love this lamb-cat-cake with my whole, entire heart. 

As I look at this poor little lamb, I am reminded that we often need to revisit the intended outcome or goal before declaring our efforts a complete failure.

Let’s take the lamb cake:

  • If the goal was the picturesque lamb cake…it’s an abject disaster.
  • If the goal was cake…goal achieved!
  • If the goal was a memorable dessert…WINNER!!

Now, let’s try it with collaboration:

  • If the goal is for everyone to agree and things to always go smoothly without any conflict or disagreement…chances are you area setting yourself up for disappointment.
  • If the goal is a product with everyone’s feedback and fingerprints on it…that is an  achievable goal.
  • If the goal is to move forward into a culture of trust, authenticity and collaborative reciprocity…then every single attempt, every step closer, is a WIN!

It is so easy to label a lesson, team-building attempt, or new strategy as a fail, and file it away, post the side by side photo and never look back. I think sometimes it is harder to recognize the real goal, shift the focus, accept the mess, and trust the process.

I want to challenge you to scroll through the “boards” of your year and evaluate the “pins” that on the surface looked like a fail.

Ask yourself:

  • What was the real goal?
  • Are you beating yourself up or making grand plans for change when you are making progress?
  • Have you lost sight of the good you are doing as you search for something that appears perfect?

Sometimes you need a lamb cake…but most of the time, the GOAL is just to have cake…so…did you have cake? I bet you did…

Still Learning,