During the heyday of musical carousels, an extra attraction enticed riders to grab a ring from a dispenser as the whirled turned. Players hoped to match their dexterity with the timing of the carousel’s rotation and the up-and-down canter of their wooden horse to snag a ring as they sailed by. Most rings were iron, but one or two per ride were made of brass and redeemable for a free ride. Striving for the highest prize by catching the brass ring meant living life to its fullest.
At one point in my life, I kept a list of all the things I had tried and failed. And anytime I toted that nasty thing into view, usually to add to it, it was good for another self-confirming round of Just My Hard Luck.
Yet despite that formidable list, those failures failed to define me. Because I knew my trying time of trying had not yet run out. We’re all on this merry-go-round of life. Bright lights, swirling color, beating music and fanciful figures fuel our dreams and entice us to extend our reach beyond our white-knuckled hold on our unsettled seats. We manage only the briefest glimpses of our goal. We aim. We try. But the pace is swift and the sweeping panorama quickly recedes into our past. We miss.
What kind of rider-tryer are you?
- The fearful tries not.
- The perfectionist tries only if success is assured.
- The loser gives up trying at least one try too soon.
- The risker leans far into the effort of each try.
- The experimenter tries many kinds of tries.
- The persistent one tries and tries and tries and tries again.
- The teachable one tries, learns, applies and tries.
- The winner stays on the ride, actively trying until ultimately succeeding.
Stay on the ride. Live fully engaged. Gain the brass ring.