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No Use Locking the Barn Door After the Horse Has Bolted

The accumulated knowledge of the world gives us much wisdom.
But some dross.
The wise know mistakes are as common as mud in spring.
We all make them. Every day. All the time. Again and again. 

Are we nothing more than helpless jellyfish? 
Heedlessly headed towards our next mistake based on the whim of a wave?
Perhaps. So why revisit a failure?

Horses cost money. They can be useful – for transport, recreation, racing, farming.
They are also often loved. To have one bolt hurts. You failed it.
But what if it returns? Maybe it wanders home. Maybe police or animal control officers find it – maybe with a thief who stole it. Or what if you decide to get another?
A second chance! What do you do differently?
Do you simply vow to lock the barn door nightly? Didn’t you originally plan to do that?

Good intentions feel good. Every New Year’s, many feel they can do better. 
Data shows within two weeks, most fail and give up.
Until the next January.

What to do differently? Ask what makes a plan succeed. 
What if your inner jellyfish could swim towards success? One method is called “lessons-learned.” 
You go back to that unlocked door. How did it get unlocked? 
You try to find each little mistake that led to the bolting horse. 
Is there a practice or process that would keep that from happening again? 

What would it take to start that practice? What can you start tomorrow? 
Yes, even if the horse isn’t back. Even if you never get another one. 
Thinking through mistakes, devising remedies, practicing what you devised.
That’s how a jellyfish swims. 
That’s how you give your prodigal horse a fearless, heartfelt welcome.

For April 7, write a poem that argues against, or somehow questions, a proverb or saying.


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