I was curious how you have dealt with failure over the years. For me, my failures come mostly because I don’t like my occupation, which makes failing even more difficult because I am already miserable with my occupation to begin with. You love what you do. Does it make failing any easier? —Mike King, New Jersey
I’m sorry to hear that you’re miserable at your job. Seeing as you likely spend at least one-third of your life doing something you don’t like, and at least one-quarter of your life asleep, that leaves you with less than half of your waking hours to live as you see fit. That predicament may have worn you down, but you’re not alone in feeling that way. Perhaps consider meeting with a life coach? It might be beneficial to get with someone and talk through those perceived failures. But you’ve already identified the main source of your consternation, and if your job is dragging you down, it’s likely time to start looking for a new one.
I fail myself plenty, and I fail others from time to time. Sometimes they understand, other times they don’t, and they move on. That’s life. Myself, I try to keep moving forward. Two years ago, on tour with my rock band, we played what I thought was a very rough show in New York. In my mind it sounded like a clusterfuck—I thought I had failed both my band and the audience. The next night, I tempered my energy and asked the band to pull back a little as well. It was a very workmanlike show but way more musical. The following night, we played in D.C. at a show filmed for a DVD release, so it had to really count. It turned out to be one of the best shows I have played in years. Dwelling on failure is dangerous; learning from failure is an asset. —Bob Mould
Bob Mould’s live DVD, Circle of Friends, comes out Oct. 9. Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.