result, excuse me, failure

The secret answer to why you and I fail

Today I understood a very simple but profound rule. Totally unexpected. A riddle to which the only right answer is in the mirror.

As a part of the training I’m engaged in I do a “90 days video journey” in which I post a daily video message on a private FB group. The rest of the communication happens on a members only platform, where I like to blog and sometimes ask questions. Like yesterday:

Why do you think my blog post do so much better than my video’s?.

I’ve been doing video production for 20 years, but being in front of the camera is new to me! And it’s not easy to find my voice, to get close to my true self without playing a role. I know that on camera I’m clumsy and I have a hard time finding words in my poor English. I take a lot of time for a short message; I beat about the bush. I thought that was the reason the videos aren’t so engaging.

Someone suggested that I should post something of value. I have 20+ years of experience in video production and there are so many people doing this 90 days video journey, so that totally made sense.

2 days ago I saw a video in my favourite community where the wind was blowing in the microphone of the speaker. Typical issue. I knew what to talk about, so I went for that in my next recording.

But then I realised that I talked directly in my iPad and since I tend to talk quietly, there is a too high noise level. My own sound setup was quite poor. It just didn’t feel right, especially since

  1. I know how to do it better
  2. I have the equipment available
  3. I tend to criticise others when I see technical imperfections

This was the 10th video I recorded! And it was the first time I felt embarrassed because I know I can do much better.

In previous videos I fixed the poor sound quality with some software tricks. Yet, when I teach video production (I have done that several times in the past) I constantly hammer on the fact that good preparation is imperative for good result! There is a lot that can be fixed in the mix, but rather than solving problems, the mix is intended to make it better, to put some extra creativity in your productions. In other words, I constantly sin towards my own rules.

I talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk.

Suddenly I was frontally confronted with me not doing my best! It hurt somehow for another reason. Spirituality and ancient wisdom is never far away with me.

There are 4 rules that I carry with me since about 15 years, the 4 Toltec agreements:

  1. Be impeccable with your words
  2. Take nothing personally
  3. Don’t make assumptions
  4. Always do your best

How can I expect to change things if I don’t do my best, if I do everything on a sort of cruise control?… The definition of stupid by Einstein is expecting different results by doing the same!

The clue here is that nobody can answer the question if you have really done your best. That’s something we can easily cover with stories from the ego.

So if we take my question “why aren’t my videos engaging?” to a more holistic level there are no answers in the video itself. The fact that I may be clumsy can be negative or positive (integrity, vulnerable). What no one but me knows is how much effort I did.

That’s how I came to the insight how people that make (in my opinion) poor videos can reach far better results, because they gave all they had! I may have nicer lighting and a bit of better editing, but if it is a draft video to me, how can I ever expect to get traction?

So this was 90 days video journey’s first breakthrough. Simple, nothing revolutionary, but in my face.

Ironic. Now that we’re all locked down is the moment that I come out. I’ve been writing every single day since ages, but no one gets to read anything of it. In over 90% of the cases I don’t even read it myself.

Now that we’re all in, I come out and it is so inspiring.

Connection. Finally.



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