Weeknotes for 26/9/2011 (On Failure and Optimism)

Adrian Peterson

This week the NFL team I support, the Minnesota Vikings, continued their season-long losing streak making it 0-4. They are a pretty stinky team right now.

What has marked their previous defeats apart from this week is that for each of their first three matches they built up a lead by the end of the second quarter that suggested they may have been demonstrating some form. Each week the lead at the half increased and each week the team managed to let go of it and lose.

This week however they found themselves trailing by a few points at the half.

What interested me about this position was that far from taking such a position as further evidence of their lack of game I managed to transform it into an optimistic ‘Perhaps this will inspire the team to rally, and a win’. Alas, it did not.

My support of the Vikings was fairly arbitrary to begin with. Upon falling for the sport and deciding to follow NFL this season I looked for anything to inspire a sense of loyalty to a team and with Minneapolis the home-town of a very close friend I adopted purple and gold. I knew they were not very good last season, despite having two of (in my humble opinion) the greatest players in the League right now, Adrian ‘All Day’ Peterson and Jared Allen. But I was also aware that the coaching staff were new and the Quarterback would be new (and maybe even an untested rookie). They were a team built on optimism. And I have a lot of time for that.

So I will extend to the Vikings the same courtesy that I am trying to allow myself. That is, to frame these losses as something more valuable and useful.

I am currently applying for jobs. I am applying for jobs that will take me away

from the direction I have spent the last 5 years heading in. 5 years before that I did almost exactly the same thing though, then, with more optimism. This week I have been summarising my actions and achievements over these past 10 years, trying to frame them in a way that other people, potential employers, may see as valuable. In doing so I realised that I have not been viewing them as valuable. In viewing them from the perspective I have been able to enjoy and be proud of them for what they were and what they meant, and still mean, to me.

I may even have felt a little smug.

I am aware that I have a tendency to view these changes of direction as failure. I view the neglect of a few weeks’ Weeknotes as terminal. I try to┬áremember┬áthat they are not. Otherwise I wouldn;t be able to be proud of them in the future, and I hope I will be.
I believe in the value of being transparent and accountable, hence the publicness of these Weeknotes (which are usually more self-critical);I am also aware that I am writing this post having publicised the site to a number of potential employers. I hope this doesn’t prove a misstep. But with that in mind I will point out two things:-

  1. This week I got more that 1200 pageviews for this post demonstrating a productivity tip I wrote. Which made me feel great.