I found this quote over on Marmalade Bleue and fell in love with it.
From the book Quitter by Jon Acuff. (If you’re not reading his blog, start. It’s one of the nicest gifts you can give yourself.)
“We know how to talk ourselves out of or into things better than anyone on the planet. Think about a time when you made a horrible mistake and someone said, ‘What were you thinking?’
Usually you weren’t doing it because you thought it would be a horrible mistake. You thought it would be great. And you talked yourself into it. Because no one can convince us like we can convince us.”
We humans are so very complicated, aren’t we? And we are also quite simple. The thing that struck me most was the part about talking ourselves out of things. We fear failure. We want to avoid looking or feeling foolish if something doesn’t turn out the way we planned. But without taking any risks, our lives are nothing. Nothing. We cannot love, we cannot grow, and we cannot teach if we never TRY. We try because otherwise we’re just getting by. And that’s not LIVING. That’s existing. LIVING comes from the flavor we add to our lives by trying new things.
As babies, we look around and begin to focus on things further and further away. Then we begin reacting to the world around us and smile or cry in response. We start to reach for things that catch our eye. A baby doesn’t just lie around month after month. A baby learns to roll over, to sit up, to crawl, and to walk and talk. Babies would do this even if we didn’t cheer them on. As they learn to walk, they fall a lot. But they don’t stop trying. They get up and try again.
And so do we.
So, if something doesn’t work the first time, don’t give up. Try it again. Maybe it’s just a matter of building the proper muscles (physically, mentally, creatively) to get it right. Every step we take, literally or figuratively, is an exercise that helps build those muscles. Exercise…from taking a chance.
Sure, it takes less effort to stand in your own way, but then you don’t get to brag about all that exercise you’re getting if you’re out there giving it a go.
Kind of makes you feel a little better when you think about it that way, doesn’t it?
The Dyson vacuum cleaner was the result of 5,127 prototypes over 15 years.
I’m no longer calling my mistakes “mistakes”, they’re now just prototypes for what I will eventually accomplish.