Once upon a time, there was a struggling writer who wrote stories that spoke to his soul. They were quirky, poetic, and the public wasn’t buying them. Even some of his writer colleagues ridiculed him. One day in desperation his wife beseeched, “Why don’t you write books people can read?”
Ouch. Imagine yourself in that scenario. What would you do?
This guy knew what he would do. He kept writing, believing people would understand someday. And even if they didn’t, writing was something he was compelled to do. By the way, his name was James Joyce, who today is regarded as one of the most important and influential authors of the 20th century.
The challenges, obstacles, and setbacks you face define you – or cause you to grow enough to redefine yourself. Now take this idea and apply it to failure…
You can’t become an agent of real change unless you are willing to face failure. Not just the potential of failure, but failure itself. Because if you’re not facing occasional washouts, you’re not really pushing yourself. And if you haven’t manifested at least one spectacular failure by now, then you’ve probably been playing it safe.
Iron sharpens iron. You will never develop into who you are meant to become by playing it safe. When you’re not challenging yourself, you’re not growing. And if you’re not growing, you’re not reaching your true potential. And that, is an insult to the force that created you.
If you are committed to becoming the highest possible version of yourself, you’ve also got to be committed to failing forward. That might mean professing your love to someone only to discover they don’t feel the same toward you, writing an opera that never gets performed, or launching a business that goes bankrupt.
Recognize and embrace that reality, because anything less is just playing safe.
P.S. If you’re the type of person I wrote this essay for, you need to be at TRIBAL ‘23. I promise you this event will be the single most transformational experience of your career. Really. Details here: http://tribalevent.com/
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