Borrowed wisdom about *FAILURE*
I get emails from Nick Stephenson over at www.yourfirst10kreaders.com – and I asked him if I could share an extract from this one on failure.
It just rings so true. And he puts it so well. Take it away Nick:
Kids learn new skills and reinvent themselves every few weeks. For them, it’s as natural as breathing.
As adults, when things get hard or when we fail first time, we give up.
“I started my business 6 months ago and spent over 10 hours per week on it. Why can’t I quit my day-job yet?” Or,
“I launched my first book a month ago and nobody bought it. Self-publishing doesn’t work”. Or,
“I looked up how to perform brain surgery on the internet, but the Medical College won’t accept my application. The world is rigged against me”.
Okay, that last one might be made up.
But I’m betting there are people who have tried that.
Why do we, as adults, associate failure with being a failure? We all do it.
That which we would brush off as children becomes a noose around our neck as grown-ups.
Failure, an always temporary state, is a necessary step you need to work through in order to succeed. However you define success.
Whether it’s learning to walk (months of falling over), writing your first book (staring at a blank screen for a week), teaching your kids to cook, building a business, investing in the stock market… whatever.
You have to fail so you know what to do next.
And eventually, you succeed.
It might take a few months. It might take decades. It depends on how you approach the problem.
Richard Branson wanted to go into space. He failed at becoming an astronaut. So he built Virgin Galactic.
Steve Jobs wanted to make a lasting impact on the world. He failed for 20 years and then came back to Apple.
James Patterson wanted to be a #1 New York Times bestseller. It took him 17 years of failing and buckets of his own money to write the book that would get him there.
So, the question you should ask yourself isn’t “how can I avoid failing?”.
The real question is “how can failing help me get better?”.
Take those baby steps (they’re called that for a reason – see above) and pay attention to what happens. Start small.
Work your way up.
Be prepared to put the work in.
Believe that you want it enough.
And remember to seek out other people to model yourself against. They’ve already learned the hard way, so learn from them.
This is an extract from an email from the very astute (and very funny) author Nick Stephenson at Your First 10k Readers – you can find him at www.YourFirst10KReaders.com
See you on the road,