Failure is an Option

When was the last time someone told you it was ok to fail? Maybe over cooking something and your partner said “That’s ok, better luck next time”? What about at work? Hmm, thought not. Angry faces all round and maybe you get put on a reprimand for your efforts.

Not failing is crazily unrealistic. If we – humans – didn’t try things and fail we would, quite literally, still be living in caves. But we seem to have completely forgotten this. Most big organisations strive to succeed all the time. This is why, by and large, everything stays the same. Take the iPhone. It was revolutionary. Steve Jobs’ vision incarnate. Now look at every iPhone since and every smartphone out there. They basically all look the same and do the same things. Any changes to the template are evolutionary not revolutionary. All the copycat companies would rather have a small share of a big market than invent a new market, because they are afraid to fail.

Fail. Embrace failure. You’ll feel better about yourself for following the tried and tested method for making progress that the earliest humans used, and you’re more likely to succeed big in the long run.

This photo is a buddy and I trying to climb Mont Blanc. We failed. We also failed the next year. On the face of it we’d have loved to have summited first time but we’ve learnt a whole load more by failing. We can’t learn without failing. If everything went according to plan all the time we’d sort of appear at the end scratching our heads and wondering how we got there.

Failure makes us a lot more resilient. People who have an easy or seemingly gifted life quickly become unstuck when the going gets tough. From the outside it might look nice but having a meltdown because something doesn’t go our way isn’t pretty.

Fail often and embrace it as the natural path, success will come in its own time.

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