Trying is the First Step Towards Failure

Homer Simpson once said “Trying is the first step towards failure”.

You know what?

He was right.

When I bought that T-shirt, I remember acknowledging that phrase and taking it to heart.

So for a little while I didn’t approach anything wholeheartedly because I believed it was better not to risk failure than to try my frugal attempt and suffer the embarrassment of not succeeding.

I look back on that moment and think about how stupid that was. Lucky for me it didn’t last very long.

Put your Try-face on!

cpl gui, counter strike, try hard, try face

Before we’d start a match in Counter-strike, go on a quest or attempt a mission in Guild Wars, I remember someone always telling us, “Guys, it’s time to put your try-face on!”

As lame as it sounds, it worked.

When you know you’re about to face a challenge or out to complete a grueling task, don’t you prepare yourself?

You know that the weight is heavy, you know that test is hard, you know you have a big day ahead of you.

So you prepare. You grunt as your approach the bar, you study your ass off day and night, and you pump yourself up in the mirror in the morning.

You get in that winner’s mindset. You breathe, you focus, and you put your try-face on!

If you weren’t in that mindset, you’d be screwed.

Trying is NOT the first step towards failure, it’s the most important step to success.

So why are we afraid? Why do we put it off and do it later? Why do we make excuses when we try and fail?

It’s because we don’t fully understand what it means to fail.

Defining Failure

App Sumo, noah kagan

Does a failing grade make you stupid? Does a failed PR make you weaker? Does a failed date make you insignificant?

If you think this way, you should pause right now and take a deep breath, because none of those situations describes failure.

Noah Kagan, a marketing guru of and owner of and started something called The Failure Olympics.

The Failure Olympics is a set of trials one must go through to “learn to fail”. Examples of said trials include:

  • Asking to take a picture with a stranger holding up a sign saying “I don’t know this person”.
  • Asking for 10% off your next coffee.

The first is easy. The second, a bit more challenging.

Noah see’s failure as something that is feared by most people, which I agree with 100%. So by exposing yourself to situations where you’re more likely to fail, you detach that feeling to any overwhelming guilt and loss of pride and change it into “I’ll try again”.

In the end, you didn’t lose anything, at all!

You took a first step and you asked that person to take a picture with you, you asked to get that discount on coffee, you attempted and wrote that exam, you tried pulling the weight and you went on that date.

Now, that first step gets easier and easier. Until eventually, you get what you want. This applies to all the examples above, and more!

I define failure as “the absence of effort.”

Without effort you’ve failed to even start. You never took the first step and without it, you’re not moving, backwards or forwards.

At least with backwards you can sidestep and go at it with another approach.

In effect, success is determined by your effort and persistence towards any situation. Combine it with creativity and you’ll be unstoppable.

Go out and fail!

pwned, failure

Personally, I never liked The Simpsons, so I don’t understand why I bought that shirt.

I live by the words of the most influential and imaginative teacher in the history of forever. I’ll leave you with the phrase that made her the icon and role model of children across the globe.

“Take chances, make mistakes, and get messy.” – Ms. Frizzle


Is there something you tried the first time and didn’t succeed, but tried again a different way and knocked it out of the park?

Let us know in the comments below.


–  Benny

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Photo Sources: homer simpson, appsumo, CPL GUI


Young at heart and forever a kid. Obsessed with fitness, adventure, education and lifestyle design.

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Posted in Life Improvement
29 comments on “Trying is the First Step Towards Failure
  1. lorriecramer says:

    Loving the idea of having a “Try Face”!!

  2. mahalramos says:

    I like “I define failure as “the absence of effort.”

  3. Thanks for the “like” on my blog about HICT. All news to me, but think it’s time to start a little self-improvement effort.
    As for Ms. Fizzle, consider yourself my introduction…news to me, but love the quotes. Time to learn more. Keep me posted]; >

    • Benny says:

      I also wrote about HICT, it’s super convenient for busy people, minimalist while maximizing benefits. Welcome to YAH and I hope you like what you see :)

  4. Fantastic article. Blogging is the first step towards failure, I think, and success. I had to really face my fears to put my voice out and publish a book at that! What if I only get bad reviews? What if? I FAIL?
    It doesn’t matter. I would have done it anyway.
    I never regretted any of the falls I had roller blading did I? Because it meant learning how to do it and being rewarded with the fun of simply doing it.
    Like writing…

    • Benny says:

      I had the similar thoughts about blogging and a lot recently about just life in general. I threw out everything I knew about society and just did the opposite for everything. So far so good. I repeated a quote that really resonated with me, “Fishing is best where the fewest go.”

      So fail, and fail successfully! :P

  5. Thanks for stopping by my blog! Love the inspiration here! Blessings to you!

  6. jottingjory says:

    Great read Benny! Look forward to more of this stuff in the future!

  7. onbalance says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog today! Any blogger that quotes Ms. Frizzle is fantastic– I have three kids who all love Magic School Bus.

    • Benny says:

      No problem! Glad to share the love. If it weren’t for Ms. Frizzle, the world would be radically different. Nice to know other generations are still watching this amazing show.

  8. ABE says:

    I love Ms. Frizzle! We read all of them – probably still have them somewhere. You can’t do real science any other way.

    Failure – pah! That’s just what sometimes happens when you try. So?

    • Benny says:

      Oh boy! I remember watching every episode of the cartoon series as well as reading most, if not all, of the books. I’ve recently obtained the entire TV series and began watching it through from episode 1. There is some high quality education in there.

  9. mt says:

    Thanks for the inspirational post!

  10. Picky Eater says:

    This inspires me to get out there and fail!

  11. biedec48 says:

    Awesome article below, and great blog overall… Love the energy!

  12. Excellent, loved this article, and was reminded of some words from a customer of mine: “Anybody who never failed never did anything.”

    • Benny says:

      Definitely, absolutely, 100% correct! How can you find out who you are, what you like or what you’re good at without trying?? Your customer is a wise one.

  13. awesome and sooo true!
    well said :)

  14. JD says:

    This was a boss post. I really enjoyed it! It speaks so much to getting yourself back up off the floor after a setback. I really liked your quotes in bold and will keep them with me in that inevitable moment that I try and fail. Failure’s not the end, though.

    Thank you for visiting my blog and liking my post! Be well :)

    • Benny says:

      Haha, no JD, you’re pretty boss!

      Thanks for noticing the bolded font :P, I try to use it tactically for those who just want the barebones summary of my posts.

      and don’t mention it, I’m happy to spread the love! :)

      See you ’round!

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