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!
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.
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.
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!
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.