Scratch, Begin Again

Scratch, begin again. Three simple little words.

Yet they’re three words that can transform and shift everything, once you fully understand them and allow them to work their magic. What’s also incredible, is that even if you don’t believe in magic, the power of the words don’t require that belief.

A Real-life Mulligan

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison

I was first introduced to this phrase a year ago, when I arrived at the first residential retreat of CTI’s Leadership program. (Definitely check out the link for more info; I’ll be writing more about the year-long program in the future. I’m also happy to talk to you about my experience as well, but back to our regularly scheduled program…) I’ll boil it down to what Scratch, Begin Again has come to mean for me: Do-over. Mulligan. A slightly longer explanation might be, ‘I’ve just learned one way that what I tried didn’t work, now I can try something else and see what happens.’

Failing Redefined

Scratch, Begin Again reminds me of John C. Maxwell’s book, “Failing Forward.” In the book, one of the key messages I took away was about re-framing how we look at failing or failure. Most of us default to the perspective that failure is a negative thing, and that it’s a reflection of who we are. Instead, it can be a powerful learning of a way that something doesn’t work, and can be a catapult to a new and better way for us if we choose to look for the learning and the lesson in the experience.

During Leadership, Scratch, Begin Again became a rallying call, a mantra that we used to remind ourselves that we could be human, fallible, and it didn’t diminish the people we were. If we found ourselves struggling to overcome a challenge, or had not accomplished something we had collectively set out to do, it wouldn’t take long for some voice to shout out, “Scratch, Begin Again!” There’d be a few laughs from the group, often a collective exhale of the breath we didn’t realize we’d all been holding, and then the energy picked up as we stepped back up to the task at hand, ready to try something new.

Back to the Drawing Board

It seems fitting that this is the subject for this blog posting, as I struggled recently with giving myself a hard time about not writing in this blog more consistently and regularly. And when I allowed myself a moment and told myself, ‘Scratch, Begin Again,’ my perspective shifted. When I started the blog (during the redesign and re-branding of my coaching business,) I was certain that the focus of the blogs should be around leadership, and coaching stuff, and a handful of other things I can’t recall at the moment. And then I took a step back and realized while those concepts are important to me, I was working too hard. So I’m choosing to Scratch, Begin Again with my blog focus.

Going forward, there will likely be opportunities to integrate leadership, and coaching and many other things, however, at the core, what this will become about is my adventure in fatherhood. Sometimes I’ll write about lessons learned along the way, or challenges I’m facing, or a whole host of other things. Full disclosure, there will be some bragging on my amazing daughter at some point so don’t say you weren’t warned. Instead of trying to be everything to everyone, I’ll share my authentic message, and trust that it will resonate where it needs to.

Your Own Scratch, Begin Again

I invite you to consider where you can use Scratch, Begin Again in your life. I think the more fully you embrace the concept, the more you’ll start to see some amazing changes in your world.

I’d also love to hear your thoughts on this piece, so feel free to leave comments or drop me a line.

And know that I’ll continue to tell myself, Scratch, Begin Again.

“The road to the next level is always uphill, so you can’t coast there.” – John. C. Maxwell