Take More Risks

We Are Not on This Earth Long Enough to Play It Safe

If you are like me, you have been taught to fear failure. Growing up, school was all about having the correct answer. There was no reward, no A, for trying and failing. It was black and white. One way, one answer, learn it.

Now, there are many cases where this rigidity makes sense, I understand needing to know that 2 + 2 = 4. But rarely does life after school come with perfect answers. In fact, there are times when doing something exactly as you did in the past—with success I might add—ends in failure.

Success, it turns out, is not the result of a perfectly executed plan. Success is more like a journey down a winding path. A path constructed on a bedrock of missteps and small failures which has been made smooth and rerouted through experience and never losing site of the end goal. Failure only occurs when you fail to get back up after falling or when you do not learn from it or when you are so afraid that you never take that first step.

Without risk, there is nothing to be gained. Every great invention came from risk-taking and failure. Occasionally, the failure changes everything, even the goal itself. Take for example Dr. Spencer Silver who was attempting to develop a super-strong adhesive when instead he accidentally created a reusable, pressure-sensitive adhesive, that we know today as the Post-It note. If he had not looked closer at this failure, trying to learn from it, he would have set it aside and got back on the path still hunting for that super-strong adhesive.

If you never took any risks, you could not survive. Learning to walk took months of failure. Learning to speak and read, years of failure.

No one starts as an expert.

No one succeeds without failing first.