How are you feeling right now? Are you successful?
If you answered yes… why are you successful? What makes you a success?
If you answered no… then why dont you feel like a success? If you had it, would you truly be happy?
We are conditioned as a society to focus on what we dont have. Drive an old car? POOR. Dont own your own house? SLACK. Own your own house, but not in a “good” suburb? Are you single? Do you feel like everyone hates you? Do the people you want to like you… dont? Are you too fat? Not fashionable? Hate your job? Hate your life?
In this day and age, we are bombarded with messages of what “success” is… for a guy, you have to have Brad Pitt’s good looks, Jeff Bezo’s bank balance, drive a car thats cost rivals the GDP of a Third World Nation and you have have an permenantly Insta-Ready supermodel/influencer girlfriend who you bang like a champion after you attend yet another glamourous event.
I’ve already written about this so I wont rehash it… but look at it from a different tack. Everywhere you look there is a story about someone who is younger, prettier and more successful than you… they are #blessed with good fortune… there are musical prodigys, there are champion athletes, there are movie stars… the list goes on.
What these stories dont tell you is the countless hours of practice, study and countless failures that went into that success. Think about Kendall Jenner… I dont like to, in fact I am so anti-Kardashian its not funny… but yeah… she grew up with all the success and trappings of riches… she has a veritable team of people whose job it is to make her up, dress her, train her and moderate all her social media to present this perfectly curated existence.
Now think back to the infamous Pepsi ad she shot… irrespective of trying to solve the whole #BlackLivesMatter with soft drink, the whole ad tried to represent to the dirty unwashed that “shes just like you”. It failed miserably. She got absolutely caned for her efforts. Pepsi took a huge hit as well. It was a massive epic fail on her part, for someone who is sooo protective of her image, she learned that even she isnt above reproach.
Enter massive Mea Culpa from her six months later on her show
“Obviously, if I knew that this was gonna be the outcome, I would have never done something like this”, she said, sobbing.
Cut to an on-camera interview with Khloe, who explained to the audience: “Kendall did a commercial and basically caused a huge controversy. It sucks, cause Kendall’s been taking the blame for it all. Kendall tries really hard to be socially conscious and aware of the jobs that she takes and to really think about how things affect other people, so it weighs really heavy on her heart.”
Producers showed some critical tweets about the commercial, such as, “So many adults had to f— up in so many unique and equally tone deaf ways to make this awful ad, it’s honestly breathtaking.”
Later, Kendall explained why she filmed the commercial in the first place – when she got the offer, she was thrilled to join the list of celebrities who have done Pepsi ads, from Michael Jackson to Beyonce to Britney Spears.
“I trusted everyone. I trusted the teams,” she told the camera.
“But after I saw the reaction and I read what people had to say about it, I most definitely saw what went wrong. I was so stuck, and I really didn’t know what to do, that I completely shut down.”
Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Reading this article whilst I was typing, I was hoping to find something redeeming in the article about learning a lesson from failure… there is none!!!
Her response was basically that she just wanted to be more famous, joining the ranks of other entertainers and it wasnt her fault… and she feels really bad… she never meant for this to happen. She trusted other people and they failed her.
This raises the point I actually wanted to make, have you ever noticed those people who never take responsibility for screwing up?
Its not my fault that I lost my temper at you, I had a bad day at work.
Its not my fault that Im late… the coffee place took forever to make my drink.
Its not my fault that people think Im an asshole, they just dont like the fact I like to keep it real.
The asshole one really resonates with me. I suffered from that for a long time. I consider myself a Zero Bullshit person. I wont suffer fuckwits kindly. Case in point, I once told someone who fucked up that they should stop and apologise to every tree they pass for wasting the oxygen they produce. The reason I am Zero Bullshit is because I’ve been jerked around by too many people to have it continually happen again and again. Of course, to those people I offended, I was an asshole who was just too much work to deal with, so they’d stop dealing with me, actively excluding me.
Thats not to say there arent flashes of it now and again, but I was failing as a co-worker, as a friend, as a team member.
Okay, so I’ve failed… I fucked up… what do I do now?
Well in one sentence… OWN YOUR SHIT! If you fucked up, cop to it. Admit you made a mistake. Dont try and reduce the blame, just stand tall before the man and admit your mistakes. Its gonna hurt, its gonna suck and its definately not the easy way out.
Of course, there are limitations to this… dont expect your partner to be okay with you admitting you’ve cheated, or your Boss to be ok with you losing the company money through constant errors.
The companion to failure is consequences… there are always consequences. Even when you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place decision wise… you cant always win… sometimes you have to lose the battle to win the war.
Growth as a person is about accepting those consequences. It will go a long way towards reducing any lasting consequences.
What should Kendall have done?
Rather than waiting six months and drumming up publicity for the long awaited response… rather than playing the victim… she should have come out straight away and said:
“I made an error of judgement, I was too focussed on joining the likes of Britney, Michael Jackson, Beyonce as ambassadors for the brand. I should have been more considerate to peoples feelings about this very important subject. In future, I will choose my projects more wisely and with greater oversight so that I can make sure I truly reflect the values that I hold close to my heart”.
Further reading of the article, Pepsi actually apologised.. not for upsetting the people with such a ridiculous ad… but for putting Kendall in that position. They did mention that they see themselves as a diverse company and did not see that the scene in question would cause such a hassle.
I guess this is the second issue when it comes to owning up to your failures. You can always tell when someone is stage managing their apology. You can tell when its being done for the sake of closing the issue down rather than learning from their mistake.
The whole apology issue in this case absolutely smacks of insincerity. Sure, she might feel bad… but why wait so long? Why do it on a TV show? Why not address it head on, right away and admit it was ultimately her responsibility to ensure she reflects her core values.
Sure, she’s young. Inexperienced. She is surrounded by a team of PR professionals literally every single waking moment. They could have coached her, they could have set up the opportunities… no… these experts probably figured “lets sell the rights to #KendallApologises” or something.
The reason Im banging on so hard about this, is that many people look at these oxygen thieves as role models. What is that teaching people? Dont fess up, dont confront your problems until its beneficial to you… just ignore it and hope it goes away… and if it wont, do the least amount possible, play the victim and blame everyone but yourself.
So now you’ve got that out of your system, tell me why accepting failure and its consequences will make me a better person
To fuck up is a human trait. We all do it. I do it constantly. Writing this blog, should the wrong person read it, I will be apologising for any misconcieved slight. The first question I’d have to answer is why I never told them about it.
My first response would be because I didnt see the need to. I wasnt writing about my truly personal life and definately not writing about them. Im keeping all their secrets intact but baring my own.
But maybe Id want to share in it, its definately a passion of yours…
Yeah, but I wanted to write with the freedom and not worry what others thought…
So why write it all? If you were sooo worried people were gonna read it?
Cos its cathartic… I get to rant and take it out on the anonymous public…
So why make it public
Anyway… admitting when you’ve made a mistake is the first step in fixing the problem. Hiding the problem means that one day you will get found out. Something that could have been dealt with there and then is now a lot worse because time has passed.
Sometimes its better to just rip the bandaid off… its gonna hurt, its gonna suck and yeah you’re ego is gonna take a hit. Ultimately, its better than doing nothing.