May 28
You may be disappointed
if you fail, but you are
doomed if you don't try.

Beverly Sills


Today's Meditation:

The world is full of people who haven't failed, and they haven't done so because they've never really tried anything risky, anything out of the ordinary.  Sometimes they don't try because of their fear, sometimes they don't try because someone else tells them that what they want to do can't be done, and sometimes they don't try because they're just too busy with other things.  No matter what the reasons for not trying, though, they'll have to live with the fact that they'll never know if they could have done something or not because they never ever tried it.

I've failed a lot.  I've made tons of mistakes.  But I always tell myself that even though I haven't been successful at something, I have at least made the effort, and in doing so I've learned a lot about myself and things that I want to do.  I've disappointed myself and others many times, but each time I simply move on.  I take the lessons with me, and I leave behind the negative aspects of what I did or didn't do.

Often our major motivation is not to look silly in the eyes of others, not to disappoint other people.  But when we realize that those things can and do happen, it frees us up to take more chances, to stretch our limits, to try to take on more challenges instead of sticking with the safe stuff that we know we already can do. 

One of the more interesting things that I've found about life is that the times when I've thought that I've most strongly disappointed others, they actually are more impressed with the fact that I've made a strong effort or taken a huge risk than they are disappointed that things didn't turn out the way I thought they should.  And when I keep that in mind--the fact that people tend to be very understanding--it makes me much more likely to risk disappointing them again in order to try something new or different or difficult.

Questions to consider:

What are some of the factors that keep you from trying things that are difficult or risky?

How do the people who truly matter usually react when you make a mistake or don't accomplish something you've set out to do? 

What kinds of things have you not tried recently?  What kinds of things might you try in the future?

For further thought:

Yes, risk-taking is inherently failure-prone.
Otherwise, it would be called sure-thing-taking.

Tim McMahon


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