I'm someone who needs to have goals with deadlines attached, something to focus on and work toward. But I also need to remember to keep my goals realistic, and not throttle myself when one of my many self-imposed deadlines goes whizzing past.
"Establishing goals is all right if you don't let them deprive you of interesting detours," wrote longtime Green Bay Press-Gazette columnist Doug Larson.
My 2011 schedule now includes time for detours.
"The difference between stumbling blocks and steppingstones is how you use them," says my friend Millie Snyder.
I've become fond of a few of my stumbling blocks. Some are quite comfortable. And some have been around so long they've begun to take on the shape of my butt. I like that I'm now able to recognize the good that tripping over them has occasionally done, how they've forced me to slow or take a path I'd not have noticed before.
That's the thing about advice. By heeding it, there's a chance you might miss out on some genuinely great gaffes. Some of my biggest mistakes have brought about my greatest joys.
"It is a mistake to suppose that men succeed through success; they much oftener succeed through failures," wrote Scottish author Samuel Smiles. "Precept, study, advice and example could never have taught them so well as failure has done."
And so, with that last bit of wisdom in mind, I begin this new year determined to notch even more failures into my belt. Because through them -- so very, very many of them -- I must surely be destined to someday swim in success.
Reach Karin Fuller at karinful...@gmail.com.