Risk Failure

Filed under: Editorials | |

Karaoke State Finals 70

You can play it safe. You can stick with what you know.¬†You can avoid singing “Blinded By The Light” in public.

Because if you go beyond your comfort level, if you try something new, if you … sing, you will, at some point, look stupid. You will say something you shouldn’t, you will mispronounce words, you will show your ignorance.

People will smile, people will point and people will laugh.

The more you risk, the worse it will be. You will show your complete misunderstand of a critical distinction. You will be on the wrong side of an argument. You will loudly and publicly be completely and utterly wrong.

You may be humbled, you may be hurt, you may want to crawl back to your comfort zone.

But, don’t.

If you let yourself make mistakes, you will be more tolerant about other’s mistakes, more compassionate about their feelings, and less smug for not having made the same mistake.

You can’t be great without striving. You can’t strive without falling on your face. You won’t know who your friends are until you fall.

I have ventured into this theme before: defeat does not come from failing. Defeat comes when you stop trying.

Don’t stop trying. Don’t stop reaching. Don’t stop making mistakes.

Note: I strongly suspect this post has more trilogies than anything I have previously written.

CC photo credit: evocateur


  • Anonymous

    Tom,

    I like to say it this way. Failure is an option.

    If we don’t try new stuff or experiment continually, then you will most definitely fail when it really counts. And you will probably fail at scale which will really hurt.

    The design firm IDEO has a saying in the firm, “fail now to succeed sooner.”

    Cheers, Brian

    • http://www.Planet10Tech.com TomaszStasiuk

      Hey, Brian. Thanks for that. I think it is absolutely right!

  • http://www.thejugglingwriter.com Christopher Gronlund

    I think if most people sat down and really thought about the best things that happened in their lives, they’d see that risk of some sort was involved.

    Or, if they feel risk is too scary, they should think about what it is about the people they look up to and think about how those people got there. They probably got where they are with some degree of risk.

    Most people don’t even fail when they take a risk if they look at it the right way. They may not do everything they hoped to do, but they still did something and learned a few things for the next time they try the same thing–when the risk won’t seem as big.

    • http://www.Planet10Tech.com TomaszStasiuk

      The unspoken part of the post is that in these tough economic times, you have to go beyond your comfort zone. But, you can view it as an opportunity. If you can’t get hired or if the number of paying clients has slowed to a trickle, why not try your hand at a puppet opera. I know, I know, a “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” reference. What do you have to lose? Go take a chance!

      • http://www.thejugglingwriter.com Christopher Gronlund

        I was laid off the week before Christmas last year. I was unemployed until July, when I worked someplace for a month before they closed their doors.

        I started freelancing this month. It’s scary. I don’t know if I’ll be able to sustain working for myself from home, but my goal was to be working for myself by the time I’m 45–in 4 years.

        Because I wasn’t afraid to try something new, there’s a possibility that goal will come 4 years early, during a time when everybody’s been telling me to find any old job and hang on to it by my fingernails.

        I have a good friend who’s a personal injury lawyer, and after many years with a good firm, they told everybody they were suddenly working on commission. My friend figured, “If I’m responsible for doing so much on my own, why not start my own practice.” That was several years ago. I’ve always looked up to him and some artist friends who have weathered tough economic times better than most people I know who work normal day jobs.

        Seeing others succeed by going beyond what they thought they were capable of doing served as a reminder that the times I’ve been happiest have been when I was pushing myself, even if life IS a little scarier at time out on the edge.