The Secret to Not Failing: Don’t Try Anything Hard!

March 5, 2015 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

“Never fear the fear of failure, because failure is only a stepping stone to your success!” These are the words of a 22-year old minor league baseball player battling against an All Star player for a starting position in the big leagues.

Oh, the young. Sometimes they’re so stupid. Don’t they know that failure is real and embarrassing and financially hazardous and demoralizing???

The answer is “yes.” Of course they know; this minor league player certainly does. But he is so determined to succeed that failure is not an option. Now he may or may not make his dream a reality, but if he doesn’t, it won’t be because he didn’t give it 1001%. With that attitude, chances are way better than good that he’ll make it. Maybe this year or maybe next, but it’s probably going to happen. Cause he’s crazy enough to believe he CAN DO IT!

You know the saying, “Most of us don’t regret the things we’ve done. We regret the things we didn’t do because we were too afraid to try.”

Chill: Don’t Be So Serious

When Tim Ferriss interviews famously successful people in his “must-listen-to” podcasts, he usually winds up the interview by asking the person, “If you could give your 20-year old self one piece of advice, what would it be?” My guess is that 50% or so of the responses sound something like, “Don’t take yourself so seriously. Chill.” And then these same people go out and try something new and maybe crazy because they don’t feel so much personal pressure.

I guess you can see why I love Tim Ferriss’ stuff so much. I’m into “crazy.” Tell me I can’t do something, and that “something” might just become my goal in life. When I was in my young teens my father told me I had no natural talents for “working on cars” (which was something all men were supposed do in the 1950-60’s). Hmmmm.

That pissed me off so much I became determined to prove him wrong. Then when I was around 21 I blew up the engine on my Volkswagen. The heads were warped so it required taking the engine completely apart, getting the heads repaired, and then putting the engine back together again.

So, I bought a book. No kidding. I bought a book on how to tear down the engine of a Volkswagen. I went to a friend’s garage, took my book and with some of his help I tore that damn engine completely apart and put it back together again. And it ran. Yep. I did it! (Oddly, I had a large coffee can filled with nuts and bolts left over??? Oops. But the engine still worked. Side note—I got rid of the car.)

Failure never occurred to me. I was gonna fix that thing no matter what. Fortunately I’ve lived most of my life with that attitude. And I have done A LOT OF DIFFERENT THINGS! Although my only nearly unconquerable fear was “dating.” OMG. I was always scared to death of asking a girl out. Why do you think I wasn’t married until I was nearly 36! J

The Answer to Fear of Failure:

“Who Cares?”

Life is short. The older I get, the shorter it gets. Do the math. I plan to go down swinging and kicking and having a good time as I embrace Meaning, Adventure, and Awe. I plan to help others, to live a little adventurously, and to soak in the beauty of this planet and the things created by the people on this planet.

And I’ll bet you want the same things. But do you have that annoying little voice that is warning you not to get out of your comfort zone; whispering that if you try to do your dreams you might fail and look stupid; or it would be a hassle; or that you’re too young or too old? Baloney. Those are the words of your most dreadful critic: your own inner self. It’s the voice of the lying little monster that dwells deep in your soul.

Don’t listen! Who cares what that voice thinks and even more, who cares what other people think? If you live by the advice of the “average Joe” you might be safe but you won’t be excited. I don’t want to be safe and I don’t want to be “happy.” I want more. I want excitement. There is a grand world all around you just begging for you to take advantage. DO IT!

The Crazy Person’s Creed

DO’s:

  1. Do something brand new and challenging at least one time per quarter (or more).
  2. Seek first to help others and then serve yourself.
  3. Make a checklist of things to do with meaning, adventure and awe. Make this an annual bucket list.
  4. Find ways to love.
  5. Find ways to have fun.
  6. Find ways to make a difference.

DON’T’s:

  1. Don’t spend your life-savings. In fact, there are boatloads of things you can do for free or very little cost at all.
  2. Don’t sacrifice your family—unless your family agrees that sacrifice is good for all. (Like going on a trip alone.)
  3. Don’t endanger yourself or others—unless rock-climbing is what all agree you should do.
  4. Be bold, but don’t be stupid. Sometimes it’s a fine line, but there is, indeed, a line.

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