Anyone who watched wrestling growing up is bound to have heard of Mr. Perfect Curt Henning. He did several promo’s about just how perfect he was and how easily he could accomplish the most difficult task. He even when coming out tot the ring would spit his gum out and swat it away (something I spent hours trying to emulate). This guy was absolutely PERFECT. However behind the curtain Curt Henning was far from perfect. He was a steroid user, battled several demons, and eventually died far to young from an over dose from a combination of cocaine and pain killers.
The point? His on air persona was far from reality. His was the picture of perfection to some, but was a normal human subject to desires, bad decisions, etc.
I think this persona, or idea of perfection s sometimes placed on those of us who choose to put ourselves out there in social media, blogs, etc. I have almost three years of posts on this site, written articles for several other website, magazines, tweets, and other outlets and I can not find one time where I mentioned anything about me being perfect. I strive for that as I think all of us should do but I myself am FAR FROM IT! I make mistakes, I made one just last night while acting in charge of the engine company. One of the greatest lessons I have learned in my fire service career was when I attended an 8 hour forcible entry class from FDNY Captain Robert Morris. During this we saw several videos of forcible entry techniques, some times succesful, others not. When asked why he kept the mistakes in the video he said he wanted to show the class that even he and his crew with all their experience in the fire service that they may still make mistakes, and that they learned more from mistakes than from success.
I make mistakes in all aspects of my life, I am a horrible critic on myself some might even say too hard, but as one of my twitter followers said if you’re not hard on yourself then who will be? The name Average Jake was created out of the fact that I consider myself just average. I am the average firefighter, or what I think the average firefighter should be (passionate, dedicated, love for the job) and I try to put those traits out there.
So the overall point is no matter if it is me, The Fire Critic, Jumpseatviews, Fire Service Warrior, or some other blogger, writer, oe tweeter NONE OF US are perfect. We strive for it, and attempt it but it is unreachable and we will fail, but trying to get there will make you pretty good. I know it can be difficult to embrace your mistakes, especially in a business where a mistake can mean life or death, but as I tell my oldest son when he doesn’t want to practice with people better than him at sports. You learn nothing from beating the same people over and over, you learn a lot from going against someone better than you. So do not shy away from mistakes. Train to make them reduced during the real thing. I know I learned a valuable lesson last night and plan on following up on that so the mistake is not repeated. Hard work is the only way to accomplish it, we are never done learning and just when we think we might be fate usually has a way to jump up and let us know we need to keep plugging.
Thanks for reading, spread the word, and STAY SAFE!