Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Failure Is The Only Option

What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail? You probably wouldn't do anything. There's no reason to. Not failing is safe. It's warm. All of your friends are there.

When failure isn't an option, there's no risk. Without risk, there's no character development. Without character, there is only mediocrity.

Failure hurts and is costly. But there we stand. It's dark. We're wearing tight white spandex and holding a pole. Your left foot slides onto a rope stretched over a big drop. The people on the ground look small. Don't look down.

Your mouth is dry and you can hear your heart beating.

Plant your right foot as your palms sweat. You wonder what in the hell you are doing here and you adjust your grip.

Take another step.

We could stretch our tightropes at twelve inches, twelve feet or 120 feet. At twelve inches, there is no risk. At 120 feet, the tightrope walker needs to be sharp and in tune. At 120 feet everything is being risked. At 120 feet, the tightrope walker is truly balanced.

Sometimes it's dark, cold and lonely. Sometimes I don't know where to plant my foot. Sometimes I wish I were on the ground where it's safe. Yet daily I slide my foot along the rope. I have to. It's the only way.

What would I do if I knew I couldn't fail? I would quit my day job and embrace a career where failure is an option with significant consequences.

I'm mixing my metaphors here, but anyone can get that which hangs low. For the sweetest fruit, you need to go out on a limb.

Just don't give up.

No comments:

Post a Comment