“What if failure didn’t matter…”

Would you be likely to take more risk or simply continue what you’re doing?

This “F” word is quite possibly more powerful than the real one. This word has the ability to build up, break down, inspire and discourage.

Some welcome it, some learn from it and some fear it.

The funny thing is, it is not in our nature to assign any value to failure. It is something we are taught and have to learn.

Think about it…

When we are babies, we don’t take our first step, fall down, call it quits and decide we will never walk. We get up, do it over and over again until we get it right

Actually, for pretty much the first decade of life we are colossal failures, many times over.

What is the result of those failures?

We learn, adjust, recalibrate. We find a way to make it work because we haven’t been taught yet that we “can’t” do something.

A study that I read awhile back stated that we learn more by the time we are 12 years old than we will for the rest of our lives.

The reason…

Experiment. Fail. Learn.

When we are young we are experimenting daily, almost everything we do is an experiment. The older we get the more we think we know so the less we experiment due to the fact we think we already know the outcome or that we might fail.

I was listening to well-known astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson on the Joe Rogan podcast when he explained this further.

He told a story of a mother walking with her daughter through a parking lot after it had rained.

As he watched they approached a puddle and thought to himself, “please let her jump in that puddle, don’t rob this experiment from her”. Just before they reached the puddle the mother pulled her away from the puddle so that she didn’t get wet.

Tyson explained his disappointment that the little girl didn’t get to experience for herself why she shouldn’t have jumped in the puddle.

Should she had been able to conduct her experiment she would be able to decide herself if the ride home in wet clothes was worth it. She “knows” now that she shouldn’t have done it but wasn’t given the opportunity to know WHY.

This can be applied to my 5 year-old son Camden last week.

He is so eager to help especially when we come home from the grocery store that he wants to bring everything in.

I came home with a 5-gallon jug of water that he wanted to bring in the house for me.

I knew he wouldn’t be able to lift it but I thought about what Tyson said and let him have his experiment. After several unsuccessful attempts he finally said “you can take it daddy, maybe I’ll do it when I get stronger”.

At 5 years old he just failed, for probably the 100th time that day but it didn’t faze him. He assessed that he needed more strength and figured at some point he would get it, enabling him to lift it.

Failure didn’t matter to him.

So what would you do if failure didn’t matter?

Would you decide to try out for “The Voice”?

Or

Write that screenplay you’ve always wanted to?

Or maybe even…

Quit your lucrative job in sales, become an urban farmer and eventually move to the “country” because your success has outgrown your facility like my good friend Roman.

If you operated as if failure didn’t matter, you might surprise yourself with what you’re capable of.

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