Wednesday, February 29, 2012

“A” For Effort

The other day, I ordered something from a website. I immediately got an order confirmation. And the next day, a shipment confirmation, including a link to track my package. I love it when you can track your package right from the email instead of having to go to the website, log in, view your order, and then track your package.

So I clicked on the link, with the tracking number embedded. I didn’t even have to copy and paste the tracking number! It was great. Or so I thought.

I got an error message. “Your tracking number is invalid.” What? No, it’s not.

So I went back to look at the email. And tracking number.

The tracking number was clearly a UPS tracking number. And the tracking link I was given (with the tracking number embedded) was for FedEx. Fail.

“A” for effort. “F” for execution.

Sometimes I feel the same way.

I made some bread from Pinterest the other day. I’ll not share the link here, because, well, it didn’t turn out so well. And I don’t think it was the recipe’s fault. It was me. Or the yeast. Or the fact that there’s no place in my house that’s warm enough for bread to rise. I don’t really know. It just didn’t turn out like I thought it should.

It really wasn’t horrible. We ate it. Husband kinda liked it. And we’re going to eat the other loaf, too. And then I’m going to try again. Because that’s what we do. When things don’t turn out like we think they should, we go back, re-evaluate, and try again. It’s something that I don’t really think about that much because it’s second nature to me.

The problem is not in the failure. The problem comes when we quit trying. When we allow that big “F” of failure to stop us from trying again. Because most of the time it’s really worth it to try again. And when others around us have quit trying, somebody’s got to step up and make it happen.

Our society focuses too much on the “A” for effort. Everybody gets a trophy. Nobody loses. Whether or not you succeeded, you win. Yay, now didn’t we all have fun? I deserve…I’m entitled…I should get to….

No. That’s really not how life works.

I want to make sure that my kids know it’s ok to fail as long as they’re willing to dust themselves off and try again. As many times as it takes to either figure out how to do what it is they’re trying to do, or figure out a better way to get it done.

I’ll always give my kids an “A” for effort – when they truly put forth effort.  I love it when they try. Because you have to try in order to fail. And you have to try again in order to succeed. It’s the trying again (and again…and again) that takes the most effort.

At some point, execution becomes important. And expected. But that comes with time and practice (aka trying again) because nobody expects you to do everything right the first time.

I’m pretty sure that wasn’t the first tracking email that company sent. But we may be eating more sub-par bread before I get it figured out.

Pin It


  1. Try the link again. I've had that happen before, and it just hadn't had time to get into the system.

    Good luck with your bread!

    1. I plan to! I'm going to use up the second loaf for some French Toast casserole this coming week and then I'll be going at it again! I never give up on a recipe after just once if I think there's a way to salvage it!

  2. I love this. So true. All of it.

    1. Thanks, Jodi. And thanks for sending me that link with tips!

  3. Great post!! As for the bread, I always let mine rise on my stovetop with the back burners turned on low. (Pan NOT on the burners obviously!!) This makes it warm enough, no matter what. Also, let the dough rise till you think it's done, no matter how long it's "supposed" to rise. I usually let mine go longer than recipes call for. Of course you don't want it to fall, but that's unusual. :-) I have lots of recipes for different breads I love! Let me know if you want to try a new one. :-)

    1. That's a great idea, Lauren. Thanks! I set this to rise on the stove top, but the oven was on, so I cracked the oven door and draped a towel over it. The bowl got warm, but the bread didn't rise well. I think my yeast had issues. At least that's what I'd like for the problem to be - not me! Ha! I may hit you up for recipes soon. Chris has decided he likes homemade bread.